BANGALORE: The time has come for all Kannada writers and people to make it their duty to spread awareness against the closing or merger of Kannada schools, said renowned lexicographer and president of the 77th Kannada Sahitya Sammalana G Venkatasubbaiah (GV) on Sunday.
The 99-year-old lexicographer was speaking to Express after being felicitated by Kannada Book Authority chairman and poet Siddalingaiah at the book fair organised at Ravindra Kalakshetra in the city.
Stressing that it behoves people to launch a movement if a school in their region is being closed, Venkatasubbaiah said mere protests will not save the Kannada language. “If there is less strength in one school then the people should make it their duty to send their kids to that school,” he said.
At the felicitation programme, Venkatasubbaiah said there was a need to organise book fairs in every district headquarters to make Kannada books more accessible. “Before 1948, I could sit and read all the books published in a year. Today, I am happy to say that more than 5,000 Kannada books are published every year and almost all of them are bought,” he said. He added that this is an indication that Kannada language and culture will survive the test of time.
Venkatasubbaiah regretted that though the Kannada and Culture Department has published many good books, they have been gathering dust. The books should be out in the open in fairs like this to reach maximum number of readers, he advised.
Siddalingaiah said that the book fair has received a good response. Books worth of Rs 1.5 crore have been sold in the last four days, and more importantly, people from all walks of life, have bought books, he added.
The Dalit poet said that about 10 works of fiction in Halegannada (old Kannada) would be released shortly. Venkatasubbaiah will release them and steps would be taken to publish the poetry of Pampa, Ranna and other poet laureates of Kannada, he added.