Enarada, Mangalore,June 20, 2013:
By C D Souza
President of Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academy Kasaragod Chinna was forced to resign from his post following the directive of the Chief Minister asking presidents of various academies to resign.
However, Chief Minister has made an exception by retaining the president of Madhyama Academy and Chairman of Kannada Development Authority, strengthening the widely held belief that a change in the guard at the state would also pave the way for changes in the appointments to these academies. That is why there has been such a hue and cry about the unwillingness of Kasargod Chinna to resign from the post of President of Konkani Sahitya Academy.
It is a well known fact that various academies in the state like Konkani Sahitya Academy, Tulu Sahitya Academy, Madhyama Academy and many such academies are nothing but tools in the hands of successive governments in the state to be filled with loyal party workers.
Now, the resignation of Kasargod Chinna has given an opportunity for many aspirants who are now busy vying for the post of President of Konkani Academy. Hectic lobbying has already begun in Bangalore, by a leading Mangalore based Konkani organization which has proposed the name of a businessman for the post.
This lobbying has angered many senior and leading Konkani writers who feel that the post of the President should go to a writer of repute and high standing in the society. These writers are also lamenting that nominating a businessman whose knowledge about Konkani literature or his contribution to Konkani music are questionable, would be the ultimate insult done to writers.
Henry Mendonca Pernal, President of Konkani Writer’s Forum, a registered body of Konkani Writers, who had written a letter to the Chief Minister to this effect on June 10, 2013, today met Mangalore MLA J R Lobo and handed over a letter to him on behalf of the writers requesting that the post of president should be given o only to writers.
When contacted Henry pointed out “during the last several years prominent Konkani writers have been sidelined and it is time the writers are given due recognition they deserve by appointing a writer of great standing and reputation”. Henry pointed out that Lobo assured the delegation that he would take their views for consideration and ensure that justice will be done to the job aspirants.
Henry’s views are supported by another young and emerging Konkani poet Venkatesh Nayak who points out “in the last two years Konkani Sahitya Academy did not involve Konkani writers in any of its activities. It is unfortunate to note that the most of the functions organized by the academy in these two years were filled with people known to the members. As such real writers did not get any opportunity to get involved in any activities of the academy”.
The issue has already grabbed eyeballs and generated quite a controversy among Konkani writers in Mangalore. Along with Konkani Writer’s Forum there are many other senior Konkani writers who are unhappy about these developments. They want a non-political person to be at the helm so that Sahithya Academy lives up to the reputation of being a literary academy and works for the promotion of Konkani language, art, culture and music.
Fortunately, Tulu Sahitya Academy was spared of the ignominy undergone by Chinna who was shown the door by the government, though he was reluctant to do so. President of Tulu Academy Umanath Kotian had resigned just before he contested unsuccessfully from Moodbidri in the recently concluded elections in the state.