By Apoorva Murthy
The discussion dove straight into the emergence of e-books and e-readers that are rapidly replacing conventional books. Prakash was optimistic about the advent of e-books and found its positive reception natural. Conventional forms have to adapt to keep pace. Maya too echoed his sentiments as she felt it was evolving the literary scene and not a threat by any means.
From e-books, the panel swiftly moved to discussing the pros and cons of audio books. While Mohammed felt that Kannada audio books still had a long way to go given the nascency of text-to-speech technology for Kannada. Prakash shared his experience interacting with the blind and how they found audio books very helpful.
Is technology a threat to Kannada literature or does the language itself face a risk of extinction?
Lamenting the lack of will to learn the language, the panel unilaterally agreed that far more than technology, the biggest threat to Kannada was its poor adoption, especially among youth. With Kannada currently not being taught in quite a number of schools and colleges, they felt Kannada might as well be declared a minority language. It faces a serious threat of extinction, they felt. The session itself was poorly attended, further corroborating the threat from within.