BENGALURU:Bars and hotels would not serve liquor and non-vegetarian food at Shravanabelagola during the 81th Kannada Sahithya Sammelana, KSP sources said.
Though no specific instruction has been issued, bar and hotel owners have taken this decision unilaterally to maintain the sanctity of the place, which is an important pilgrimage centre for Jains, Kannada Sahitya Parishat (KSP) sources told Express.
Though the KSP had already decided not to serve liquor and non-vegetarian food at the Sammelana, it later wanted to extend this plan for the entire city during the event. “We have placed the appeal before the district commissioner who assured (us) that he will consider it. In the previous year, it (sammelana) was at Madikeri; hence, there was no problem in serving liquor. But since this is a pilgrimage centre, we want to maintain the sanctity of the place,” a source said.
Umesh Kusugal, Hassan district commissioner, said there has been a discussion on closing bars to maintain law and order. But nothing has been decided yet. Even if a decision is taken to close bars, it will be restricted to Shravanabelagola taluk, and not the entire district, he clarified. On hotel owners deciding not to serve non-vegetarian food, he said he was not aware of this. Nagaraja Hettur, writer and social activist, said keeping out liquor and non-vegetarian food only at Shravanabelagola would not serve any purpose. “It should be restricted in the entire district. Else, people will bring these from outside.”
Bullock Cart Procession
Siddalingiah, president of the Sammelana, will be taken out in a bullock cart procession. Normally, the presidents of sammelanas are taken out in an open vehicle. “Siddalingiah is from a rural place and he would be delighted to go around in a bullock cart. Also, Hassan is a city of farmers, and so we want to give the procession a different touch,” Janardhan, president of Hassan KSP, said.