Expressing anxiety over the growing influence of right-wing communal forces and resultant religious and cultural intolerance in society, noted Kannada writer Kum. Veerabhadrappa, known as Kum Vee in literary circles, said that writers should express necessarily oppose in their writings attempts to destroy India’s secular and harmonious social and cultural fabric. He was addressing at a national seminar on ‘Literature towards social harmony’ at Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Bhavan on the Gulbarga University campus here on Thursday.
“Ours is a diverse society with different communities with different socio-cultural practices living together in peace and harmony. Kannada literature has always stood firm against any attempts at disturbing this peaceful coexistence. Its mainstream has always been secular. Now, some vested interests want to destroy this harmonious and secular social structure by imposing one religion, one language and one culture on a multi-religious, multi-linguistic and multi-cultural society. It is dangerous. The writing community needs to oppose these attempts and stand by India's secular tradition,” the litterateur said.
Dividing the litterateur community into two categories, ‘irksome’ and ‘pleasant’, the writer said that those in the former category are always annoying to the establishment as they positively respond to the social issues of their time and criticise governments for their malfunction whereas those in the latter camp are always found pleasant to the establishment as they neither raise any social issue in their writing nor criticise government for its failures. “The society needs writers of the first category in more number. They are the people who stand by oppressed and marginalised communities. They are the protectors of the Indian Constitution.”
‘Fight against fascism’
Referring to the killing of rationalist M.M. Kalburgi and activist-journalist Gauri Lankesh, Kum Vee said that they were killed for boldly telling the truth and uncompromisingly taking the side of truth and justice. “We will continue their fight against fascism. We will inherit and cherish the ideas they lived for. We will continue their legacy,” he said.
Basavaraj Sadar, president of Akhila Bharat Sharana Sahitya Parishat, expressed concern over growing religious and cultural intolerance in society. “We are living in a society where some leaders openly announce cash rewards for cutting noses, legs and even beheadings of their ideological opponents... We have a long tradition of being assassinated for telling truth. Right from Socrates through Basavanna to M.M. Kalburgi, we have a long list,” he said.
S.R. Niranjan, Vice-Chancellor of the University, presided. Dayanand Asagar, Registrar, H.T. Pothe, head of Kannada Department, Nagesh Kolli and Sanganagowda Police Patil, members of Academic Council and Syndicate respectively, and others were present.