For the total investment of Rs.22.52 lakhs on the dream project ‘Kannada Chalanachitra Ithihasa’ with prominent professionals in the Editorial Board there are as many as countless mistakes. Mistakes do happen. But, that is not the question here.
This is the story of Kannada Chalanachitra Itihasa which is published brought in two " Illustrious ' volumes. Unfortunately it has gathered more heat and dust. This is the talk of town in karnataka today.
See for yourself : One of the members of Editorial team of Chalachitra Ithihasa Mr Gangadhara Mudaliar of ‘Prajavani’ has protested the manner in which the entire project was handled. He protested and resigned one and half years back. Mr Gangadhar Mudaliar a senior Journalist has pointed glaring mistakes in the volume in the columns of ‘Prajavani’ two days back. The mistakes he traced in the Volume are :
Gossips, settling old scores, teasing and passing judgments which are obviously prejudised. The strong protests for such glaring mistakes the Kannada Hampi University recalling the ‘Kannada Chalanachitra Ithihasa’ book of two volumes of 1800 pages has itself entered in to the annals of modern day kannada film history. The sufferer in this case is the government exchequer, those who bought the book and, above all the prestige has come down to the lowest ebb at the National scene. And now the Editorial board has to take the onus and pronounce explanation for giving room to such an ignonimous situation in the history of Karnataka and Kannada cinema. The stalwarts who took charge of bringing out the ‘Chalanachitra Ithihasa’ have not even submitted the accounts to the Government of Karnataka says an official on conditions of annonymity. The Chalanachitra Ithihasa book was released on 21st January 2002. On 22nd January the Government in a letter (2000-01:2113-14) asked the Vice Chancellor of Kannada Hampi University to give the expenditure details.
Prior to the publication of ‘Chalanachitra Ithihasa’ the Hampi Kannada University has asked for Government aid for publication. In a letter addressed to the Karnataka Government Rs.10 lakhs was sought. It was declared that 1000 copies of 1800 pages would be brought out. But Government sanctioned only Rs.7 lakhs – Govt order Va Pra U: 98 CIF:2000 Bangalore dt. 7.12.2000.
Karnataka Governments investment was Rs.7 lakhs. Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce invested Rs.8.52 lakhs. And the publisher Hampi Kannada University contributed Rs.7 lakhs towards the cost of the project.
So the total of Rs.22.52 lakhs was collected for the ‘Kannada Chalanachitra Ithihasa’.
Now there is confusion all over. Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce members thought that the Chamber will get Rs.7 lakhs. Oopps ! That was a government aid they assumed so. Hence the Chamber parted with Rs.8.52 lakhs towards the proposed publication project. For such an occasion spending Rs.1.52 lakhs is worthwhile felt the Chamber members. But in the last executive council meeting of Film Chamber noted director S.V.Rajendra Singh Babu raised the issue of Chamber getting Rs.7 lakhs grant for Chalanachitra Ithihasa. At this point of time South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce President K.C.N.Chandra sekhar cleared the doubt by telling that film Chamber would get a meager sum of Rs.2.25 lakhs. This is based on the agreement with Vice Chancellor of Kannada Hampi University Mr. Lakkappa Gowda. Provided all the copies are sold at the rate of Rs.1000 per copy.
15% of 1000 copies if sold at Rs.1000 per copy would fetche Rs.1.50 lakhs. How can it be Rs.2.25 lakhs? But Chamber sold the copy for Rs 800 to many.
Let us look the fate of poor buyers of this ‘Chalanachitra Ithisa’. 66 copies of the book were given to the editorial team. The Film Chamber kept 230 copies for its sale. About 100 have paid Rs.400 in advance and booked the copies. Now the Ithihasa book has been recalled the Chamber has to return what it has taken as advance.
In yet another case of major lapse the production cost for bringing out the publication of 1800 pages is estimated at Rs.2.30 lakhs. But most of the text and photographs contributors to the publications have not yet received a single paisa so far. Who gobbled the Government money? When Government work is Devara Kelasa what respect we have to give to the Government money? Can anyone in the Editorial committee answer this question, please !!
All said and done the adage ‘Nirinalli Homa Madidha Haage’ comes to memory. Yes it is true. The Government money, Film Chamber money and the tax payers money spent for an ambitious cause by Hampi Kannada University is squandered.
Better sense prevailed ! Hampi University now has recalled the Edition. If it has to be reprinted then the cost of produsing 1000 copies will attract a further investment of equal amount of Sum, 24 lakhs. Already 200 copies have been sold in the market. Can the authorities give back the money to those who return two volumes since the book has been taken away from the public eye ?