Bangalore: Dalit poet Siddalingaiah has been selected as the president of the 81st Akhila Bharatha Kannada Sahitya Sammelana scheduled to be held at Shravanabelagola in Hassan district in February, 2015.
President of Kannada Sahitya Parishat (KSP), Pundalika Halambi announced the name of the Siddalingaiah at a press conference held in the city on Friday. Siddalingaiah’s name was suggested by the KSP Executive members at the meeting held on Friday.
He is the first ever dalit writer to preside over the Akhila Bharata Kannada Sahitya Sammelana. Senior Dalit writer Devanooru Mahadeva had turned the request to preside over the event.
Halambi told reporters that Siddalingaiah has been chosen not because of his Dalit background but due to his significant contribution to Kannada literary world and his immense talent.
Siddalingaiah is a prominent Kannada poet and one of the founders of the Dalit Sangharsha Samiti. A former chairman of the Department of Kannada Studies at Bangalore University, he was a nominated member of the Legislative Council for two terms. He is also a former chairman of the Kannada Development Authority and Karnataka Book Authority
Meanwhile, Halambi said the Parishat will not hold Sahitya Sammelana from now on in case the state government fails to impart primary education in Kannada medium mandatorily within the deadline of one year given by KSP.