Litfest not a political platform for fake secularism, says Ananth Kumar

Nov 28, 2017

 MYSURU: Under attack from writers, BJP leader Ananth Kumar hit back at them on Sunday. The Kannada Sahitya Sammelana is not the platform to discuss politics, bogus secularism and about who should be voted to power. What message is the litfest sending out to Kannadigas across the world? The stage has been maligned by politics taking precedence, he said.

Expressing displeasure over the Kannada literature meet turning out to be a platform for secularism, he said, “The platform is being used to propagate fake secularism, which is a shame.” He said celebrating Afzal Guru, sympathizing with Pakistani terrorists and bringing in a communal angle to the Kashmir issue is not secularism, but treachery. The Kannada Sahitya Sammelana represents 6.5crore Kannadigas, and is not the private property of any political party to push its agenda. Kannada shouldn’t be used as a tool of political propaganda. Kannada is above all this, he rued.

His sharp attack comes two days after litfest president Chandrashekar Patil asked people to vote for a secular party in the ensuing polls, leading to controversy.

Champa found support in Congress leader H K Patil. Speaking after the Union minister, the rural development and panchayat raj minister said: “Champa (Chandrashekar Patil) has been like this, he has never shied away from speaking the truth. He said we should promote secular forces. Is it wrong? Should he have asked people to be communal and casteist? He has asked Kannadigas to fight fundamentalists.”

 Patil said the sammelana is a fora to guide all, including governments and political parties. “I agree that what he said will not be digested by some. But a writer like Champa can only assert his view.”

While Chandrashekar Patil defended himself, saying he is entitled to his view, he also expressed displeasure about jibes from the Union minister. Speaking at the end of the litfest, he said he didn’t accept everything that the minister had said. “I told him I accept 50% of what he said,” he said.


Union minister Ananth Kumar came down heavily on the organizers of the meet for not extending an invitation to the Mysuru royal family. “The Kannada Sahitya Parishat was established by Mysuru maharaja Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar 103 years ago. The royal family worked for the welfare of the state. Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar and Pramoda Devi Wadiyar should have been invited,” he said, adding that the procession was flagged off from Mysuru Palace but they were not invited.