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Dept. announces all awards at once

K.N. Venkatasubba Rao

BANGALORE: The Department of Kannada and Culture has created a history of sorts by announcing the winners of all nine annual awards at one go.

Though the department used to announce the winners of only four to six awards in the past, it has announced the winners of all the awards this time without holding a press conference. According to official sources, the department was forced to do so owing to many reasons.

The department has been functioning without a Minister since the formation of the coalition Government. Officials concerned are of the view that convening a press conference at this juncture will lead to embarrassment and problems, the sources said.

However, the department constituted a committee headed by the former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Mysore, D. Javare Gowda, to select candidates for the Karnataka Rathna, Sri Kanaka-Purandara, Danachintamani, Janapada Sri, Gubbi Veeranna, Varanashilpi Venkatappa, Santa Shishunala Sharief, Jakanachari and Pampa awards.

The other members of the committee are M.J. Srinivasa Iyengar, musician; Shailaja Udachana, writer; D. Lingaiah, expert in folk art; B.R. Arshina Godi, stage artiste; S.G. Vasudev, artist; Shyamala Jagirdar, musician; K. Kalachar, sculptor, and Chandrashekhara Kamabara, writer. Each award comprises a cash incentive of Rs. 1 lakh, a shawl, a citation and a memento.

The committee has selected Dharwad (Ron) born Hindustani musician Bhimsen Joshi for the Karnataka Rathna Award. Vasantha Kanakapura, 69, has bagged Sri Kanaka-Purandara Award.

He is an expert in harmonium and assisted the film music director Ravi with his Hindi film, Albela.

He has worked with Akashavani, Dharwad, as a music composer. The Danachintamani Award winner Sunita Shetty of Mumbai has published anthologies in Kannada and Tulu. She is involved in promoting Kannada activities in Mumbai. She is a recipient of the Karnataka Tulu Sahitya Academy Award. Channapa Veerabhadrappa Karadi, 79, is a Karadi Majalu exponent.

He participated in the Republic Day parade in Delhi in 1960 and was honoured by the Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru.

The Gubbi Veeranna Award winner N. Basavaraja Gudigeri of Sri Sangameshwara Natya Sangha is well known in Kannada theatre.

He has 17 plays to his credit and is involved in social work.

Yusuf Arakkal, artist, has been selected for the Varnashilpi Venkatappa Award. H.L. Nage Gowda's is associated with folk-related activities. His novel, Doddamane, is popular.

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