BANGALORE: With the Kannada Sahitya Parishat (KSP) presidential election scheduled for April 29, literary circles are contemplating whether the new office-bearers would be able to keep political interference at bay.
The 97-year-old literary body did not have funding problems as the government had been releasing funds annually for all its projects.
However, litterateurs are sad as the KSP did not achieve much and failed to protect Kannada due to political interference.
Also, they alleged that the KSP did not take steps to prevent the government from shutting Kannada medium schools across the state. “Nothing can be done to prevent politicians from participating in literary functions like Sahitya Sammelana as the Parishat is entirely dependant on the government for funds,” sources said.
The government releases Rs 1 crore, Rs 5 lakh and Rs 1 lakh to hold all-India, district-level and taluk-level meets, respectively.
“There are ways by which the Parishat can become financially independent, such as I-T exemption under section 80G of the Income Tax Act for donations,” said Narayanamma, the only woman to have contested the KSP elections.
She lamented that adequate efforts were not made to obtain money from various sources.
Senior lexicographer Prof G Venkatasubbaiah, who chaired the 77th Kannada Sahitya Sammelana, urged the KSP to conduct independent events. “KSP’s 40-page monthly magazine, ‘Kannada Nudi’, has a circulation of 1.4 lakh, and an approximate readership of 5 lakh. Why were no efforts made to generate revenue through advertisements?” questioned a former KSP official on condition of anonymity.
He added that the KSP had 90 vacant sites and 15-20 Kannada Bhavans across the state. “The revenue thus generated is not properly accounted as the district KSP presidents are only nominated.”
Prof Chandrashekar Patil (Champa), one of the presidential candidates, told Express, “Politicians are not untouchables and are free to attend our events. But I do not wish to pressure the KSP just because they grant us funds. After all, they are giving people’s money and not their own money.”
“KSP should become economically strong. Politicians should not be invited for literary meets as they have vested interests,” added Narayanamma.