Kannada Sahitya Parishat, 106, will soon have her own mobile app that citizens can use to order books, Mahesh Joshi, president-elect of the leading literary body, said on Wednesday.
Such adoption of digital medium to promote literature will help increase the reach of Kannada books, Joshi said.
Joshi will officially take office on Friday as chairman of Parishat, a post he will hold for five years. After winning it with more than 46,000 votes in advance, Joshi replaces retired IAS officer Manu Baligar who was elected in 2016.
Talk to DH, Joshi said his effort was to amplify the dissemination of Kannada literature. “A person does not need to spend hundreds of rupees to travel to buy a Rs 100 book. We will ensure that the books can be purchased through an exclusive app created for Parishat,” he said. .
It will be the same for memberships. The process will be made transparent and carried out through an app, he added.
Joshi plans to integrate one crore of members into the literary body which currently has around 3.10 lakhs enrolled. During his election campaign, Joshi had promised to reduce the lifetime membership fee to Rs 250 from the current Rs 500.
Describing his plan to launch a door-to-door campaign for a membership drive, Joshi said special discounts would be given to students. Membership will be free for military and paramilitary personnel, he said.
Joshi, a retired additional general manager of public broadcaster Doordarshan, is taking the helm amid much criticism.
The BJP and RSS are believed to have supported his candidacy, angering various sections, including literati. However, Joshi stressed that he is apolitical. “During three decades of my media career, I have worked with ministers from different political parties. I was RL Jalappa’s private secretary when HD Deve Gowda was Prime Minister. Recently, I have been the main adviser to Prakash Javadekar, ”he said.
“I am neither on the left nor on the right; the only ideology I am aligned with is that of promoting kannada, ”he said.
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