BENGALURU: A search committee formed by the state government to nominate a ‘Rashtrakavi’ has asked the public to suggest names of poets for the post by January 27. The committee was formed following the death of Prof G S Shivarudrappa, the last poet to be conferred the title.
Committee chairman and writer Ko Channabasappa said the government has not set any guidelines for selecting the poet, but the committee members have prepared some criteria.
He said, “Apart from the names that we search, we also want to consider people’s voice.” Anyone can suggest a name giving good reasons for his or her choice.
Channabasappa said the position is not constitutional, and there is no democratic process to choose the Rashtrakavi. “It is only a respected post. The state government had nominated two Rashtrakavis after Karnataka was formed,” he said.
Kannada Book Authority chairman and committee member Banjagere Jayaprakash said they have written to 120 writers, poets and thinkers who have won Jnanpith or Sahitya Akademi awards or have presided over Kannada Sahithya Sammelanas.
“We have chosen at least two poets in each district and the two do not belong to the same caste. We have informed them of the criteria and asked them to write to us,” he said.
Manjeshwara Govinda Pai was the first poet to be conferred the title in 1949 (before the formation of Karnataka). He was followed by Kuvempu in 1964 and G S Shivarudrappa in 2006. After Shivarudrappa passed away in December 2013, the post has remained vacant.
According to sources, the names of poets Chennaveera Kanavi and Nissar Ahmed are the doing the rounds for the title.
People can send in their suggestions to the chairman, Rashtrakavi Search Committee, Department of Kannada and Culture, Kannada Bhavan, JC Road, Bengaluru.
- Extraordinary contribution to Kannada poetry
- Should have worked for integration of the state and Kannada
- Should be secular
- Should not be involved in any controversy