Kannada Sammelana – Why Do We Need Them ?

nissar.jpgLet me start off by saying that I completely support the annual Kannada Sahitya Sammelana. At the same time, I would like to analyze the usefulness of such conferences. There are certainly a few things which have bothered me about several such Sammelanas. 

I want to touch upon all the flavors of such Sammelanas. How about the regular ‘Vishwa Kannada Sammelana’ in America, once every two years ? (Yep, even Kannadigas in America have realized that when you live here, America is indeed the World…thus the word ‘vishwa’). The main idea behind such conferences is to bring many American Kannadigas together. There are literary, philosophical, and youth forums at the conference, but the main emphasis is really on the cultural aspects. In the recently concluded Sammelana at Baltimore, I was involved in both literary and cultural part of the festival. I read my poem and sang some songs, on two separate stages (Oh, and my wife sang a song written by me and composed by my mother J ). But, I can honestly say that I enjoyed singing so much more than reciting poem for multiple reasons. One, obviously there were much more people who listened to my singing than my reading. And two, the cultural programs were well organized whereas the literary programs were totally ill-planned and completely mis-managed. What I want to emphasize here is that the Vishwa Kannada Sammelana hardly has any literary touch to it (even though it claims to have it). It’s all about cultural programs and there’s nothing wrong there. This Sammelana provides that vital link between thousands of Kannadigas in Ameriica. We need that once every two years and I think it is very appropriate that we continue doing such Sammelanas. 

And, we have the annual ‘Kannada Sahitya Sammelana’ in India. You can see almost all the big name politicians during the inauguration every year. Everyone from the chief minister to the district-in-charge minister will be vying for the limelight. They come, they go and no, they don’t conquer any hearts or minds. The Sammelana president’s speech is one of the key things. He or she decides that there are several burning issues regarding Kannada and Karnataka. They come up with a list of problems and list of solutions. The government is asked to review them and implement the solutions. And, all that falls on deaf ears. In my opinion, right there, the reasoning for holding an annual ‘Kannada Sahitya Sammelana’ is lost. So many people (including URA !) have talked about improvements to primary education and how Karnataka government and ‘Kannada Sahitya Parishat’ can help in this. People have spoken about pathetic state of affairs outside Bengalooru, especially in North Karnataka. The border issue is perennial, especially when Sammelanas happen in places like Belgaum and headed by people like Patil Puttappa. I do understand that not all problems have solutions and not all problems have easy solutions. It’s easy to blame the government. I will not do that in two sentences. I need much more words to bash the government. What I fail to understand is that none of these issues – literally zilch – gets even looked at by our netas. Isn’t that sad ? 

In addition to president’s speech, Kannada Sahitya Sammelana’s have tons of discussion panels, poetry reading and evenings of music, dance and drama. Unfortunately, not many people are interested in the former, bulk of the gatherings are for the cultural programs. A handful like me attend both the events. I hate to discriminate, but the former is for the ‘intellectuals’ and the latter is for the ‘common’. And, that makes me a jack of all and master of none J  

At the end of the day, it makes sense to have such Sammelanas. It brings several common men like us together. We swim through a healthy literary river for three or four days. We also enjoy the best cultural programs that Karnataka has to offer.  We enjoy in the name of language. What more can I ask ?  It’s easy to neglect the presence of the politicians.  

This brings me to the next level Sammelana’s. ‘Gulbarga District Kannada Sahitya Sammelana’ and ‘T.Narsipura Taluk Kannada Sahitya Sammelana’. Really ? Are you kidding ? Now, don’t give me the reason that not everyone can travel to different cities every year, so the district and taluk sammelanas are needed. Neither is it true that the ‘budding’ writers and artistes get a chance at the district and taluk Sammelanas. Have you ever seen a list of their programs ? It is full of ‘bogus’ writers and artistes. Other than the president (in most cases), such Sammelana’s are a total burden to the exchequer. 

I have no strong opinion on a few other out of state sammelanas such as ‘Kerala State Kannada Sahitya Sammelana’ or ‘Delhi Sammelana’. Some of them serve the same purpose as the ‘Vishwa Kannada Sammelana’ does for American Kannadigas. So, I guess that’s good. But, I am not in favor of any such Sammelana coming up with resolutions to “immediately transfer Kasargod to Karnataka” or “implement Mahajan committee report at 7:59PM today”. That’s not the job of such Sammelanas, especially when they are hosted in another state. Come on, do you think we will be happy to host a “Marathi Sammelana” in Belgaum which comes up with a resolution asking the central government to give Belgaum to Maharashtra right away. Such things are plain wrong. 

For those cynics who question the validity of ‘Vishwa Kannada Sammelana’ and ‘Kannada Sahitya Sammelana’, my answer will be “Nice try, but bug off”. We need them. That cements our culture, it builds relationships, it’s a celebration of language and much more. As for the district and taluk Sammelanas, my answer will be “When is the joke ending ?”. Oh, I have to admit that Kamala Hampana definitely qualifies to be a part of the ‘kavi gOSHTi’ in ‘Heggadadevanakote Taluk Kannada Sahitya Sammelana’. 

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21 Comments on “Kannada Sammelana – Why Do We Need Them ?”


  1. Good Insight about Kannada sammeLana’s & other aspects around it.
    I feel you have a very good hold on language, happenings & everything. adakkondu kappu chukki antha ondondu article/post nallu ondu chuti yaake? To make it notoriously famous ?
    DS, Stop taking names & concluding about whats right & who suits what.. This is something no necessary I feel.. Again.. choice is yours..! Please don’t take me wrong.

  2. Arun Padaki Says:

    Very informative again. But too much of Hampana bashing eh? Veena is right.

    The CM and URA apparently are upset for not having been invited. Don’t understand why they are not considering themselves as one of the hosts. Worst thing to happen was JD-S supporters shouting against the Sammelana for ‘ignoring’ the CM. Is the CM bigger than Kannada? Well, personally the CM might have felt hurt, but being the CM, he should have taken the lead in the event. Unfortunately, all political parties in Karnataka have little to offer for Kannada and their supporters (in this case JD-S) have only proved it right.


  3. This happens most of the time, why do people expect them to be invited there at all? There is no need to invite person like CM.. when I go to Shimoga to attend the sammeLana why can’t the CM.. These kind of expecting red carpet swagatha is not acceptable I believe..
    Lets respect the kannada & the kannada poets, kannada music, film etc., than being this demanding in life..
    Arun, Thanks for supporting sir.. illa andre full opposition party avaru nanna tuLidu bidtaare, pls visit mukta section at sanjay’s blog.. I would say you would be one of the best commenter there, we discuss about everything under the universe.
    http://msanjay.weblogs.us/entries/88/muktha-tn-seetharam

  4. decemberstud Says:

    @ Veena :
    Thanks ! As for taking names and concluding, I do agree that it’s probably not the best action all the time. But, I don’t think I do it all the time. And, sometimes I feel a few things have to be spelt out multiple times just to emphasize the severity of the problem. I am not sure I cans top taking names. It’s really hard to be diplomatic 🙂

    And, a very good point on going to Shivamogga. If you and I can go, why can’t CM go too ? As Arun points out, is he bigger than Kannada ? Of course not.

    @ Arun :
    Thanks again ! So, you agree with Veena, huh ? Seriously, I feel some things need to be repeated several times to show the world how wrong they were. Selection of Mrs. Hampana is one such thing. I personally don’t have anything against her. Infact, I haven’t even seen her.

    And, you are so right about JD(S) having nothing to offer to Kannada. Involvement of politicians is the biggest problem with such Sammelanas. But, as I mentioned earleir, it’s easy to forget the politicians and move on. The only problem is the media makes sure that the politicians get undue mileage.

  5. tarlesubba Says:

    wait a minute. i might know you.
    tell me. akshaya bhandhar and mrinalini make sense to you?

  6. decemberstud Says:

    LOL…that easy, huh ? ‘Kamadhenu Bhandar’ would have been better, but ‘Akshay Bhandar’ works too….

    On that note, do I have the honor of referring to you as “Dr.” yet ? 😉

  7. rk Says:

    ds,
    every now and again we get to know it IS a small world! 😉

    2 days ago, when a few of us met, vijay and usha’s hubby got to know they had a common link!

    kudos to the small-blog-world!!

    🙂

  8. rk Says:

    ‘Gulbarga District Kannada Sahitya Sammelana’ and ‘T.Narsipura Taluk Kannada Sahitya Sammelana’.

    ds,
    how about “All Karnataka Malleswaram 9th Cross Kannada Sahitya Sammelana? or Jayanagara IV T Block 21st Main Sahitya Sammelana? 😉

    good post.


  9. Does Madam visit this site DS ?…
    Tarle subba avare.. paapa annonymous blogging ge yaake kallu haaktiri paapa? kamal bhandaar is close loong back is what DS said!
    & you know what DS likes music a lot, Light music ginta Classical music ista avarige.. Radio station gu visit maadthidrante, avara ammana jothe.
    heege churmuri timkodu aagaaga namma mysore blogs nodtaa idraaranthe,
    DS, is there anything like Brothers day.. Just asking.. US nalli ella day maadthaaralla so kelde ashTe.
    RK.. good one.. Jayanaagar IV block sammenlana ginta.. CTR/MTR/VB/Dwarkabhavana visitors sammeLana idre sakkat…!!

  10. Vittal Says:

    Good post – I had almost forgotten about Hiremath and Hampana episodes!!

  11. Srik Says:

    Hahaha…
    DS,
    This page is becoming another Vijay’s page where the actual comments are a big deviation from the main post 🙂

    I third the opinion expressed by Veena and Arun. I really like to see good things written here, not the same old politics.. I hope u understand 🙂

    Hmmmm… Veena, CTR sammelana….ROFL….Malleshwaram sammelana…Hahaha 😀
    Sometimes its a pain to attend such events when the budding artistes perform. Oh! God ! Save me from them all.

  12. Arun Padaki Says:

    …and you can add ABVP(should we read it as BJP) to the list of political parties that have not accorded the respect to the language. It was disgusting to see them disrupt the proceedings as they do in colleges. The reason was that they were denied permission to participate in the Kavi-ghoshti. Believe me, none of them looked like having read one Kavithe ever, forget being a Kavi.

    As you said there are lot of political issues discussed and thrusted upon in the Samelanna. So unfortunate, that people like GSS, NA, URA, Champa, etc are doing this. But very little comes out of the Sammelana that would popularise Kannada or Karnataka, except the food :-).

    Veena – thanks for the link.


  13. Srik.. nimage maadlikke enu kelsa ilva.. adyaak kaNN haaktheera ree? nimage comment maadlik aaglilla andre bidi.. deviation anthe aha.. 😉
    ninne news nalli gaLaaTe torisdru.. aaga nange takshaNa nenapige bandiddu ee postu… DS…!

  14. decemberstud Says:

    @ RK :
    Thank you very much ! And, yes, it is indeed a very small world. I bet I am ‘somehow’ related to you as well 😉 The Malleshwaram and jayanagar Sammelanas are hilarious. We should try them 😉

    @ Veena :
    Yes she visits the site. And, if I am right Second Saturday in August is the Brother’s day. it’s just that Hallmark hasn’t been successful enough in marketing it yet.

    @ Vittal :
    Yep, so many such instances. I am sure we can all collectively come up with an interesting fact book.

    @ Srik :
    LOL…I can’t protest. See, sometimes I have been the frontrunner in hijacking Vijay’s blogs. So, I will keep my mouth shut here 🙂 And as for your “I really like to see good things written here, not the same old politics.. ” comment, I sure hope you meant it as two separate sentences with a fulls top and not a comma. Something like “I really like to see good things written here, I don’t like thepolitics.” See the difference ? 😉

    @ Arun :
    Yes, you are right. And, these ABVP goondas were my inspiration for the concluding post on the Sammelana.

  15. Vijay Says:

    Did someone mention “blog hijacking”? 🙂


  16. I thought these ABVP guys were those conducting some spceical coaching for CET entrance exams during late ninties. I didn’t attend since they charged & it was a heavy rush arena..
    ABVP is for Akhila bhaarateeya vidhyaarthi parishat alva? vidhyaarthigaLu istell maadthaarenu ? there was a moive called ‘Student’ recently in kannada. Not too sure whether people got inspired from all these! I havent watched it but saw some scenes on udaya TV!

  17. decemberstud Says:

    LOL Vijay.

    Veena, yep ABVP guys were the same ones who coached for CET when you and I went to school.


  18. school alla DS.. college.. CET comes after II PUC( plus 2 whichever applicable :-))


  19. Vijay.. remember that school college discussion we had near dwaraka bhavan ? US/NRI… andre nange ee naDuve sakkat maja baratte… 🙂

  20. decemberstud Says:

    Yes yes, college 🙂


  21. Very interesting site… I wish I could build one like yours!nancy


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