President Pranab Mukherjee said on Sunday the people of West Bengal and Karnataka share a deep bonding by way of many things, including the literature of the two states. “People of West Bengal and Karnataka share a deep bonding by way of many things, including Kannada and Bengali literature,” he said at the inauguration of the 89th annual conference of Nikhil Bharat Banga Sahitya Sammelan here. Tracing the roots of Bengali literature, he said it has a rich heritage and is a part of India’s culture.
Bengali-speaking people are spread across the country, he said. “Language binds the people of society and it is the basic foundation of unity in diversity. One should rise above the boundaries of language to contribute and enrich culture,” he said.
Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said Kannada and Bengali literatures have a history of long connect as eminent Kannada poets Kuvempu and Da Ra Bendra were deeply influenced by the concept of Rabindranath Tagore’s cosmic consciousness. “Eminent Kannada poets Kuvempu and Da Ra Bendra were deeply influenced by the concept of Gurudev’s cosmic consciousness. There are 28 translations in Kannada of the magnum opus of Gurudev, Gitanjali,” he said.
Siddaramaiah said another Jnanpith awardee Dr UR Anantha Murthy, who headed the Tagore Chair till his death, was profoundly impressed by the propagation of the ideal of national integration espoused in Gurudev’s all-time classic. The Chief Minister said that in these times of international strife, both Gurudev and Gandhi advocated the concept of plurality, while denouncing competition and violence in civilised world.