Mangaluru (The Hindu) Three-day literary and cultural extravaganza, Alva’s Nudisiri, begins in Moodbidri.
Eminent researcher S. Settar on Friday said Kannada as one language not only represents unity but it is also the language of plurality representing the culture. Unfortunately, attempts are being made to move towards singularity.
He was speaking after inaugurating the three-day Alva’s Nudisiri, the festival of Kannada language and culture organised by Alva’s Education Foundation at Moodbidri near here. Kannada, though is one, has evolved in plurality in different regions.
The essence of Nudisiri is the culture of letters while Kannada advocates plurality through language, art, music and culture.
Prof. Settar noted that liberalism was present in Indian society for ages with no ruler banning any literary work.
There was no instance of lynching any writer or poet or banning a literary work on the ground that the writer or work was not in tune with the popular feelings in the last 20 centuries. However, of late, censor boards and governments are attempting to dictate rights and wrongs, he regretted.
Prof. Settar said he has taught history as told by others during all these years and is now feeling having cheated his students.
“I have failed to understand the history and later teach it.” Researchers and teachers should reach old history texts not for study but for curiosity and should indulge in research for new thoughts, he said.
While a blind look at the history would suggest that India had caste system (Chaturvarna), the reality was that India was free from caste system in the first six centuries of its existence, Prof. Settar said.
Politics and conventions
In her presidential address, Kannada University Vice-Chancellor Mallika Ghanti said politics plays a big role in age-old beliefs and traditions acting as societal regulators.
She said regimes of all times have indulged in creating turbulence in society making people to focuses on them to protect themselves as seen in the history.
Dwelling on the Sabarimala issue, Prof. Ghanti said the rule prohibiting entry of women aged between 10 and 50 to the Ayyappa Temple is mischievous.
There is no logic behind supporters of the ban who claim ovulating women cannot enter the shrine. she said. Speaking about plurality and singularity, Prof. Ghanti said religions attempting to enforce singularity are taking a violent form as singularity is based on violence.
Religions once pro-people have now become tyrannical, she regretted. Writers have the responsibility to prevent clashes among people on religious basis, she added.
Alva’s Foundation Chairman M. Mohan Alva and others were present.
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