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Celebrate, nurture Kannada all year long, says CM Yediyurappa

Celebrating Kannada and its rich cultural, literary heritage should not be restricted to just one day or a month. It should be a year-long celebration and part of our daily lives, said Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa.

He was speaking at the 65th Kannada Rajyotasava celebrations organised by the Department of Education here on Sunday.

The next one year would be observed as ‘Kannada Kayaka Varsha’ and the government is in the process of drawing up programmes to nurture and preserve Kannada in the age of technology, he said. Use of Kannada has been made mandatory in all levels of the administration.

“Kannada has a history of more than 2,000 years, and has a rich cultural, literary heritage,” he said, quoting poets Pampa and Kuvempu. He called upon citizens to not just converse in Kannada, but also encourage children to do the same. He hopes children read the works of literary giants and are better informed about the State’s literary and cultural heritage.

Mr. Yediyurappa said the unification of the State is a story of struggle in which many litterateurs, journalists and other eminent people participated. “Karnataka was formed with regions from Madras, Bombay and Hyderabad presidencies on November 1, 1956. The State was re-named as ‘Karnataka’ on November 1, 1973,” he said.

He stressed that the National Education Policy gives importance to regional languages. This, he maintained, would help education in Kannada medium.

Stating that technology had become an inseparable part of our lives, impacting language and culture, he said several organisations, including Kannada Ganaka Parishath and universities in the State, have been working on ensuring Kannada language matches the pace of technological growth.

“Our government is working hard to make Karnataka a model State in the country and have sought guidance from experts, intellectuals and eminent citizens. We are committed to overall development of the State,” he added.

Across the globe, countries are grappling with COVID-19, and Karnataka is not an exception. Mr. Yediyurappa said the government was ably handling the outbreak that had impacted industries, economy, education and working class people.

“COVID-19, floods, heavy rainfall and drought… the government has come to the aid of people during these testing times, with help from social organisations, philanthropists,” he said.

Minister for Primary and Secondary Education S. Suresh Kumar said that over the past 14 years, the enrolment in government schools has been the highest this year. With many families under financial strain following the outbreak of COVID-19, many children from private schools have been admitted to government schools. According to records, 90,000 students have been admitted in government schools across the State. For the first time, PUC NCERT science textbooks are being made available in Kannada.

The low-key celebrations were attended by local MLA Rizwan Arshad and a few senior officials.

‘Kuvempu Samagra’ released

The comprehensive literary works of Jnanpith awardee and national poet Kuvempu, titled ‘Kuvempu Samagra’, was released in both hard copy and digital formats on the occasion of the 65th Kannada Rajyotsava by Deputy Chief Minister C.N. Ashwath Narayan on Sunday. The books, comprising 12,000 pages, have been published by Prasaranga of Kannada University, Hampi.

“This is an important development to bring literary works of Kuvempu in the digital format. Now, any reader located in any part of the world can enjoy and experience the writings of the literary giant,” said Mr. Narayan.

Kuvempu’s daughter and writer Tarini Chidanandagowda, and former vice chancellor of Kuvempu University Chidanandagowda attended the event virtually.

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