Karnataka: Muslim writers ignored, alternative sammelana on cards

That was the trigger and soon, the Bandaya Dalit literature became hugely popular across the state.

Published: 27th December 2022 07:47 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th December 2022 07:47 AM   |  A+A-

Kannada Sahitya Sammelana logo. (Photo | Express)

Kannada Sahitya Sammelana logo. (Photo | Express)

Express News Service

HUBBALLI: Voices of dissent are growing louder as it is alleged that organisers of the upcoming Kannada Sahitya Sammelana in Haveri are ignoring Muslim writers and poets. In rebellion, some senior Kannada writers are planning to organise an alternative meet, Jana Sahitya Sammelana, in Bengaluru on January 8.

Last week, when the Kannada Sahitya Parishat announced the names of writers and poets who are taking part in the sammelana, a section of Kannada writers objected to the list, saying Muslim writers have been ignored. While the state has hundreds of Muslim Kannada writers, only a few have been considered for the sammelana, they pointed out.

Since then, there has been a campaign on social media to organise an alternative event or Paryaya Sammelana, parallel to the Haveri meet. Many writers have agreed to be part of this rebel lit fest.

But organisers alleged that petty politics is being played in the name of sammelana. The Kannada Sahitya Parishat has no intention of avoiding writers based on their religion, they said. “There are six Muslim writers and poets who are part of the Haveri Sammelana. It has become a routine for some people to create a controversy during the mega Kannada event,” an organising committee member said.

In 1979, when the sammelana was held in Dharmasthala, a parallel Bandaya Dalit Sammelana was organised, as the interests of Dalit writers were compromised. The then sammelana president, Hampa Nagarajaiah, had turned down a demand to hold a discussion on Dalit issues and the then Chief Minister Devaraj Urs had to intervene for the smooth conduct of the sammelana.

That was the trigger and soon, the Bandaya Dalit literature became hugely popular across the state. Later, journalist and writer P Lankesh had called for an alternative Sammelana to the Hubballi meet, but did not meet with much success.

The upcoming 86th Sahitya Sammelana will be held for three days from January 6 in Haveri and final preparations are on to make it a grand event. It will be inaugurated by Chief minister Basavaraj Bommai, who has taken a special interest as his home constituency of Shiggaon is in Haveri district.


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