The 82nd edition of the Akhila Bharata Kannada Sahitya Sammelan, scheduled to begin from Friday here, has plunged the city into a festive mood. Colourful paintings adorn every compound wall, while all monuments are illuminated. Roads and pavements — which are usually in a pathetic condition — are looking paved and clean. People have decorated their homes too, as if preparing for a festival. Raichur is hosting the literary festival for thethird time after 60 years. The city had first hosted the 20th edition in 1934. Veteran Kannada writer Panje Mangesh Rao was president of the sammelan then. It hosted the 38th edition in 1956, when senior writer Sriranga was the president.
Since the event is being held in the backward Hyderabad Karnataka region, issues of regional imbalance in particular and the implementation of Article 371 J of the Constitution are likely to be in focus. An exclusive session on this issue is on the anvil. Some objections were raised over the selection of speakers for the session, with many demanding inclusion of subject experts such as Vaijanath Patil, who led a movement against regional imbalances and played an instrumental role in realising the demand for special status to Hyderabad Karnataka. Issues specific to border districts will also find special focus during the session. Elaborative security arrangements have been made to ensure a smooth and peaceful event. Superintendent of Police Chetan Singh Rathor and Deputy Superintendent of Police S.B. Patil are overseeing security arrangements.