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Poetry from the courtyard

REVIVAL The Mane Mane Kavigoshti forum in Hassan has been working quietly towards preserving the literary heritage of the region



For posterity The eight-year-old organisation had its 100th programme recently

The Mane Mane Kavigoshti, a literary forum which is actively involved in preserving the literary heritage of Hassan district, is now eight-years-old and is all set to organise its 100th programme. This is a record of sorts, for, literary forums don't even get to see their first anniversary.

Hassan is known for its contribution to Kannada literature. The earliest stone inscription in Kannada dates back to 450 A.D., found in Halmidi, a small village in Belur taluk.

During the latter part of the 10th century, great writers such as Chavundaraya (Chavundaraya Purana in halegannada) and Nagavarma I (Karnataka Kadambari) flourished under the patronage of the Ganga kings. During the Hoysalas, Kannada literature progressed further.

During the 19th century, Gorur village produced scholars such as Srinivasa, who wrote Archavatara Vilasa and Narasimhachar whose works include Vishwagunadarsha, Cauvery Purana and Kannada Brathruhari. Ashthana Vidwan Karibasappa Shastry who hailed from Kerlapura of Arkalgud taluk, was a noted playwright who wrote Abhinava Shakunthala.

There are others like the 20th century Harikatha Vidwan, Belur Keshavadasa, Lakshminarasimha Shastry of Nidigere, and S.V. Ranganna, professor in English from Salagaame. Gorur Ramaswamy Iyengar, L. Gundappa, A.N. Krishna Rao (popularly known as Aanakru), S.L. Bhyrappa, Raja Rao, whose works include Kanthapura and Serpent and the Rope, folklorist, Matigatta Krishnamurthy and critic M.G. Krishna Murthy are also from the district.

However, this literary heritage headed into oblivion with an upsurge in the political culture, and Mane Mane Kavigoshti, a recent literary organisation is trying to reverse the trend.

H.R. Chandrashekar, convener of the forum, recalls how Vasantha Kumar Perla, the then in-charge Director of AIR, Hassan, took the initiative. Owing to his efforts, Mane Mane Kavighoshti took shape in December 1996 with the first poetry reading session of the forum held at his residence.

Noted writers including Doddarange Gowda, Dr. C.R. Chandrashekar, Dr. Kaale Gowda Nagavara, C.G. Purushottam, Ki.Ram. Nagaraj, Subbaraya Chokkadi, noted theatre personality, Master Hirannayya participated in the literary discussions, poetry reading and story telling sessions in the houses of few interested people in Hassan. After Dr. Perla, it was Chandrashekar became the convenor and he started organising literary meets on the first Sunday of every month.

They even brought out Maneyinda Manege, a collection of poems in 2000.

According to noted writer Bhanu Mushtaq, the forum has achieved what literary organisations haven't been able to. Editor of the local daily Janata Madhyama, R.P. Venkatesha Murthy, observed that the forum has provided platform to many youngsters who wanted to take writing seriously.

The forum, which is working silently without seeking any publicity, has become a platform for many budding poets. The Mane-Mane Kavigoshti has lots of promises for the future.

MURALIDHARA KHAJANE

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