Bangalore Literature Festival: Kannada novel on Vijayanagar empire holds attention

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The Bangalore Literature Festival is back after a two-year hiatus as a capacity crowd turned up at The Lalit Ashok to listen to authors, poets, columnists, journalists, sportspeople, et al.

A session featuring Vasudhendra, a prolific Kannada writer, celebrated the essence of his book Tejo Tungabhadra.

Vasudhendra said, “The novel Tejo Tungabhadra doesn’t just portray the picture of medieval India (the Vijayanagar empire) but also the picture of medieval Portugal. I’ve not glorified the kings of that time but my book marks the lives of common people.” 

Speaking on the controversy about plagiarising from history books, he said: “History cannot be owned by anyone. History remains the same. We cannot change anything there. If you do, it becomes a lie, so I didn’t comment on it, I let it be.”

He added: “I was afraid at first because of the narratives on religion I brought out in the book, but luckily both right-and left-wing leaders lauded my work. If you write the truth, it will be received well.”

Speaking to DH about contemporary Kannada literature, Vasudhendra called it an old-age tree that’s producing new buds but its roots are dying slowly. “Today’s generation needs to love the Kannada language as previous generations did. Kannada readers have to water the tree.”    

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