Bangalore: Well-known Kannada writer, poet and playwright Chandrashekhara Kambara, who received the Jnanpith award for 2009, said he is happy after receiving the honour and that his closeness to common people helped him in writing literature deep rooted to "our soil".
"I am extremely happy with this recognition. I always wrote what I considered right and in the way I thought it is best to reach out to people. I have always been part of the society. I never lived in an ivory tower which enabled me to write literature which is deep rooted in our soil," Kambara told reporters.
The 74-year-old won the award Sunday and became the eighth Kannada writer to get the prestigious literary award after Kuvempu, Da Raa Bendhre, Shivaram Karanth, Masti Venkatesh Iyengar, Vi. Kru. Gokak, U.R. Ananthamurthy, and Girish Karnad.
Kambara has written several collections of poems, plays, novels, short stories and many books on literary research and his work represents the rich culture of Northern Karnataka.
Kannada and culture minister Govind Karjol described Kambara as a writer who remained closer to his roots, but at the same time took his writing to greater heights with his creative genius.
"He clearly showed that folk culture cannot be ignored. He always kept in touch with the social fabric of the society and responded positively to developments. The Jnanpith award to him has is in a way brought Kannada literature to limelight again," said Karjol.
Several of Kambara`s works have been made into films including the national award winning "Singaarevva Maththu Aramane", which was directed by Nagabharana.
Kambara himself directed three films - "Karmaayi", "Kaadu Kudure" and "Sangeetha" - and composed music for "Kaadu Kudure", which won a national award for Singer Shimoga Subbanna for the song "Kaadu Kudure`.
His poem collection "Rishyashrunga" was made into a film by director Prasad and his "G.K. Master Pranaya Prasanga" was made into a television serial.
He has been the vice chancellor of Hampi University, chief of the National School of Drama in Delhi and chairman of Nataka and Janapada Academy.