Garbage around the house of Mandara Keshava Bhat at Mandara on Mangaluru outskirts.

Literary enthusiasts on Monday urged the state government to earmark land and to construct a memorial in the name of well-known writer Mandara Keshava Bhat.

Bhat is the author of ‘Mandara Ramayana’ written in Tulu language. He was the first writer to win the Bhasha Samman award and was well-versed in Kannada, Tulu and Marathi languages. The writer was always engaged in literary activities. His book ‘Mandara Ramayana’ is a milestone in the Tulu literary world. 

During the previous monsoon, a huge amount of garbage from Pacchanady landfill slid and damaged the 100-year-old house of Bhat.

It is not possible to rebuild the century-old heritage house at Mandara due to the garbage surrounding it, Yakshagana exponent Dr M Prabhakar Joshi said while interacting with reporters.

Instead, the government should initiate measures to relocate the house and develop it as a memorial.

Writers said the incident of garbage sliding from the landfill site took place at a time when a group of literary enthusiasts and his family members were preparing to celebrate the birth anniversary of the writer in 2019.

In fact, 2019 is also the centenary year of the house, which was also constructed in 1919.

Joshi said, “The century-old house with traditional architectural interiors is known for its Vastu principles of Tulu Nadu. The house was also ‘Dharmachavadi’ for the Daivas of the area during Kola and other religious rituals associated with the Tulu Nadu.”

“The garbage sliding had damaged houses of Mandara, Daivastana, Nagabana along with 12 acres of farmland and 27 houses in the surroundings. There is a need to rebuild the house and instil the traditional beliefs associated with it,” he demanded.

The memorial should be built on the model of Kavimane of Kuppalli and Bendre Bhavana in Dharwad.

“Mandara Keshava Bhat is a pride of Tulu Nadu. The district administration and government can not neglect the well known writer,” said writer Chandrakala Nandavara.

Prof Bhaskar Rai Kukkuvalli said, “Mandara Ramayana narrates Ramayana with Tulunadu context. It is unfortunate that the house of writer and Yakshagana Arthadhari is in ruins.”

Pramod Sapre, the grandson of Mandara Keshava Bhat, said, “We have already made representations to the state government through elected representatives to earmark land for constructing a memorial. At least one acre of land should be earmarked for the purpose.”

Stressing on the need to remember the eminent writer, Kannada Sahitya Parishat DK unit president Pradeep Kumar Kalkura said, “The funds under Smart City Mission can be diverted to build a memorial in the name of Mandara Keshava Bhat and continue to support literary activities in the memorial.”

(Deccan Herald)

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