Through this mega cultural and literary event (being held here 25 years after hosting the first World Kannada Conclave in the city of palaces, Mysore, in 1985) Karnataka responded to those trying to rake up border dispute between it and Maharastra by declaring that Belgaum belongs to it.
"Belgaum is an integral part of Karnataka. There need not be any doubt in the minds of anyone. After holding legislature sessions every year here away from Bangalore, the Government has been staging World Kannada Conference to assert its stand on Belgaum," Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa said addressing a massive crowd that had gathered to mark the occasion.
Shrugging off the controversy over the government inviting Infosys founder NR Narayanamurthy to inaugurate the event, the software icon launched the event by exhorting Kannadigas to turn entreprenuers, work hard and with sincerity to lead the state onto the path of progress and eradication of poverty.
Without joining issue with critics opposed to his opening the event, Murthy, born in Sidhlaghatta in Kolar district said "by heart, I am always a Kannadiga. I always like to express my feelings in Kannada. My language at home is Kannada. But I use English as a language for my business".
North Karnataka is not alien to me. I am the son-in-law of North Karnataka," he said. Murthy's wife Sudha hails from Hubli, which is part of North Karnataka.
He touched on the strides made by Bangalore, the state's capital in the IT sector, saying it won't be a surprise if ''Bangalored'' gets into the English dictionary in a short time.