Debate Over Rajyotsava Awards Just Won’t Die Down

Published: 29th October 2014 06:01 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th October 2014 06:01 AM   |  A+A-

BANGALORE: The list of Rajyotsava award winners of this year will be announced in the next two days. Experts from different fields, however, have questioned the system of selecting winners for this coveted award.

A section of writers feel that applications should not be invited to choose the candidates for the awards while others see no problem with it. But they feel that only deserving people should be chosen for the award.

Jnanpith awardee Chandrashekara Kambar told Express that the award is losing its significance.

“Earlier, there was no competition for this award. There was no lobbying. A team of experts and senior academicians would select the awardees,” he said. Kambar said earlier people did not complain or question the list of awardees as they felt the winners indeed deserved the award.

Veteran vocalist R K Padmanabha said, “How can one expect that eligible people apply for awards? The government should recognise the awardees. Who will check how true are the details given in the applications?”

Experts from various fields should be included in the selection committee to ascertain the achievements of the applicants, he felt.

Earlier, Jnanpith laureate U R Ananthamurthy had suggested that a committee of eminent people should be formed to identify people for the award, instead of inviting applications.

Historian M Chidananda Murthy said, “Kannada Rajyotsava is a state festival. People who have contributed to Kannada literature, culture, folk, music, medicine, agriculture and other fields should be recognised and awards should be given to them.”

“When I received the Rajyotsava award, the government was not inviting applications from people,” he said.

He said he personally feels that it is not a good trend to invite applications for the award. “But there is no harm in that, provided eligible people get the award,” he added.

As awardees are picked from Bangalore, Mysore, Dharwad and other major cities, achievers from taluk, hobli and villages are not given priority. By inviting applications, such people can also get the award, he said.Marulasiddappa, a member of the Rajyotsava Award Selection Committee, said thousands of applications had come this year.

“The Kannada and Culture Department officials filtered the applications and gave the list to the committee. We have scrutinised the list. We have also chosen some names for awards that were not in the list,” he said.

The committee has submitted the list to the Chief Minister and the final list of 59 members will be chosen from the list, he said.

Film director K S L Swamy said the award is not restricted to one category. “There is a complaint that awards are given to those who are relatives of influential persons. The selection (of deserving people for the award) is the toughest job. When Rani Satish was the Kannada and Culture Minister (when S M Krishna was the chief minister), she called to tell me that my and my wife’s names (actor B V Radha) have been finalised for the awards. She also said though both deserve the awards, it will send a wrong message. I suggested she drop my name. But when Dharam Singh was the chief minister, I got the award,” he said.“With applications, one can reach people from all sectors,” he added.

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