Jain (Deemed-to-be University)'s Department of Languages of School of Sciences organized a one-day symposium 'Ananthamurthy in Retrospect' on 19 August 2017 in the college premises.
The Symposium began with a warm welcome extended by the master of ceremony Ms.Cicilla Cyril – Assistant Professor, Department of English, School of Sciences. Dr.H.N.Prakrithi- Chairperson, Department of English, Jain (Deemed-to-be University) introduced the theme of the symposium which was followed by lighting of the lamp by the dignitaries including Prof.N.Manu Chakravarthy - National Award-winning film critic and Sahitya Academy awardee, Dr.Sandeep Shastri-Pro- Vice Chancellor, Jain (Deemed-to-be University), Dr.Mythili P.Rao – Dean, Languages and Dr.Asha Rajeev – Director, School of Sciences.
Prof.N.Manu Chakravarthy in his talk expressed his concern about realizing and addressing the problem which persists currently among the teaching fraternity in India, in departments of Language and Literature – a problem which, a theoretical way of reading and understanding literary texts has brought in. He said that such reading does not help the reader to be open for creative reading. He further suggested that understanding a literary text should become less theoretical and more metaphorical. This is because, when texts are seen as metaphors, they allow for more creative interpretations. He substantiated his claim by quoting the works of Dr. U.R. Ananthamurthy. He stated that Ananthamurthy's last works became more and more metaphorical than the initial works.
This was followed by Dr.Sandeep Shastri recollecting his experience of working with Dr.Ananthamurthy. Dr.Shastri remembering him fondly also mentioned how deep Dr.Ananthamurthy's love was for Indian regional languages and how his literary accomplishments became one of the doyens of Kannada literature.
Later, talking about the works of Dr. U.R. Ananthamurthy, Prof. Nataraj Huliyar-Cultural Critic and Sahitya Academy Awardee opined that Ananthamurthy appears not to be anti-conservative, the way he is widely read and understood. While Ananthamurthy is known as a rebel against the conservative brahminical society, thereby showing himself to the world as a modernist thinker and writer, Prof. Huliyar said to the gathering, that a close reading of his works would reveal something else altogether. With a close reading, one would realize that Ananthmurthy is not anti-conservative, rather, he only wanted to pull out certain very specific ills of the traditional society, talk about them, so that they are kept at bay. He too substantiated his claim through a range of work of Prof. U.R. Ananthamurthy.
This was followed by a screening of an edited documentary on Dr.U.R.Ananthamurthy in the august presence of Ms.Esther Ananthamurthy (Dr.U.R.Anantamurthy's wife), Mr.Sharath Ananthamurthy (son), Ms.Anuradha (daughter) and Mr.Vivek Shanbhag who is a renowned novelist and playwright. After the screening of the documentary, Ms.Esther Ananthamurthy was felicitated by Dr.H.N.Prakrithi.
The last session of the symposium began with Prof.N.Manu Chakravarthy discussing with Mr.Vivek Shanbhag about the present landscape of Kannada literature and Dr.Ananthamurthy's impact on it. They also discussed the thematic explorations done by Kannada writers in past thirty years.
Responding positively to Jain (Deemed-to-be University)'s request, Dr.Sharath Ananthamurthy announced to have “Dr.U.R.Ananthamurthy Memorial Lecture” every year in collaboration with Jain (Deemed-to-be University). Dr.Manjunatha – Head, Department of Kannada, School of Sciences delivered the vote of thanks which was followed by a group photo.
The symposium was attended by academicians, students and 'word worshippers' from various parts of Karnataka. The symposium was coordinated by Mr.Nikunj P.Trivedi, Dr.Manjunatha, Mr.Harshith Jospeh, Ms.Cicilla Cyril, Ms.Vijayashanthi K Murthy and student volunteers of School of Sciences.