Renowned Kannada playwright, poet, novelist and Jnanpith award-winning writer Chandrashekhara Kambara was elected as the President of the Sahitya Akademi on February 12, 2018.
Kambara won the election by defeating two other Jnanpith awardees, well-known Marathi writer Bhalchandra Nemade and Oriya writer Pratibha Ray. While Kambara secured 56 votes, Pratibha Ray got 29 votes and the third candidate Nemade just got four votes.
At the new position, he would be succeeding renowned Hindi writer Vishwanath Prasad Tiwari whose term ended on December 31.
Composition of Sahitya Akademi
• The Akademi’s general council comprises 99 members.
• The President and Vice-President of the council are elected for a term of five years.
• Hindi poet Madhav Koushik was elected as the Vice President of the council.
• Sahitya Akademi is considered as the most independent and prestigious body since it has representatives from all 28 states and more than two dozen universities.
About Chandrashekhara Kambara
• Born on January 2, 1937, in Belgaum district of Karnataka, Kambara is a prominent poet, playwright, folklorist and film director in the Kannada language.
• He previously served as a member of Sahitya Akademi’s executive board for more than 10 years and has been its vice-president since 2013.
• He has also been the President of the National School of Drama.
• He was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi award in 1983, Sahitya Academy award in 1991, the Padmashree in 2001 and the Jnanpith Award in 2011.
• He has also been conferred with the Kabir Samman and Kalidas Samman, besides being a nominated member of the Karnataka Legislative Council.
• In 2011, he was made fellow of the Sangeet Natak Akademi.
• He was also the founder Vice-Chancellor of Kannada University in Hampi.
• Kambara is the third Kannada author, after Vinayaka Krishna Gokak and U R Ananthamurthy, to head the institution.