A Symposium on the occasion of Mirji Annaraya’s birth Centenary Celebration was organized on 27 December 2018 at SDM College Ujire in collaboration with Sahitya Akademi and Department of Kannada SDM College (Autonomous), Ujire.
Dr. Balasaheb Lokapur, Member of Kannada Advisory Committee, Central Sahitya Academy inaugurated the symposium and delivered keynote address. “Sahitya Academy had been working with the intention of remembering the pioneers of Kannada literature and trace their footsteps to transfer them to the next generation. Great thinker, Mirji Annaraya explored and blended life and ethics. He belonged to a small sect in Jainism that practiced farming. He explored successfully the complexities of such families in his writings. Though he knew Marathi and English, he wrote in his regional language Kannada. Exploring the different dimensions of human life, writing with local consciousness, Mirji analyzed the exploitation of women in society in his novel Nisarga. He sketched the absurd questions of life in his writings. He exposed the hypocrisy of some of the rituals and traditions of his own community. Annaraya wrote novels like Nisarga, Ashoka Chakra, Shreyamsa, Rashtra Purusha with deep critical insider’s point of view.
Besides writing 26 stories and 12 novels, he worked ably in fields like biography, children literature, literary criticism, editing books and translation. He has composed books on ethics and analysis of Jaina religion. He has successfully explored the complexities of writers belonging to small communities and the need of transcending them,” he stated.
Dr. B P Sampat Kumar, Head of Kannada Department in his introductory remarks emphasized the responsibility of educational institutions and academies in passing on the legacy of great writers to the next generation. This symposium was organized in the same direction to commemorate the centenary year of Mirji Annaraya.
Prof. T N Keshava, Principal of the college rendered the presidential remarks. “Literature is an integral part of human life. Today’s students have separated themselves from literature and education. In order to bring them back to literature, there is a need to shift the paradigms of education. Sahitya Academies, Sahitya Parishad and other bodies related to Kannada literature should become the part of education. By bringing resource persons inside the classroom and making them share their experiences not only enriches the interests in literature, but also fights the monotony in education.
Dr. Diva Kokada, faculty, Department of Kannada mastered the ceremony. Five paper presentation sessions were held where interactive discussions took place regarding relevant literary contents.
Dr S D Shetty, Director of Ha Ma Na Research Centre in his valedictory address observed that Annaraya was a very dignified writer with brilliant scholarship. He reminisced his association with the writer and concluded that his life is a model to us. Dr K V Nagarajappa, Department of Kannada coordinated the sessions and rendered vote of thanks at the valedictory session.