Udupi Rajagopalacharya Ananthmurthy a towering literary figure

Ananthamurthy had said if Modi comes to power it may result in a shift in our civilisation.

By: Press Trust of India | Bangalore | Updated: August 22, 2014 8:07 pm
Ananthamurthy was also the Vice-Chancellor of Mahatma Gandhi University in Kerala during late 1980s. (Express Archive) Ananthamurthy was also the Vice-Chancellor of Mahatma Gandhi University in Kerala during late 1980s. (Express Archive)

A towering figure in the world of letters, Udupi Rajagopalacharya Ananthamurthy, who died on Friday, was modern in his sensibilities and intellectual underpinnings in his literary works questioned many deeply-held beliefs.

Like his literary works, Ananthamurthy’s strong political views were also striking, often landing him in unseemly situations and controversies. A multi-faceted personality and rated as one of the best writers in the country, 82-year old Ananthamurthy has won acclaim from critics and fans alike.

In his literary life, the Kannada writer has won the Padma Bhushan in 1998, Jnanpith award in 1994, the state Rajyothsava award in 1984, while his nomination for the 2013 Man Booker International Prize brought him to the attention of a Western audience. He was also the Vice-Chancellor of Mahatma Gandhi University in Kerala during late 1980s.

A socialist in political belief, he also tried to dabble in politics contesting the Lok Sabha and Rajya elections once each unsuccessfully and courted controversies quite often with his views that generally were against BJP and Sangh Parivar.

At the height of the recent Lok Sabha poll campaign, Ananthamurthy had said he would leave the country if Narendra Modi becomes Prime Minister but later did a U-turn, saying the remark was made when he was overcome by emotion.

“That was too much to say because I can’t go anywhere except India,” he had said but his remarks had raised the hackles of BJP and many others who questioned his “intolerant” attitude and disrespect towards a possible popular mandate in favour of Modi.

Ananthamurthy had said if Modi comes to power it may result in a “shift in our civilisation.” “I have a feeling that we may slowly lose our democratic rights or civil rights when there is a bully. But much more than that when there is a bully we become cowards.”

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  1. C
    cs
    Aug 26, 2014 at 11:35 am
    Let more and more children of india follow such as examples and Models
    Reply
    1. M
      Madhu
      Aug 25, 2014 at 1:41 am
      This also clearly shows thateople should stay in their own known territory of expertise and not comment on things that they are not aware of. His comments on Modi was clearly out of place and put him in low light amounting to trying to influence people's thoughts without any basis. Also goes on to say that high thinking does not necessarily mean that one knows everything.
      Reply
      1. M
        ManninaMagha
        Aug 26, 2014 at 3:33 am
        I am a proud kannadiga and have read Kuvempu, Bendre, putina and BmSri etc., Mr. Murthy's writing is nowhere near their cl. He is no giant, he is but a little man. All his books became por as they were anti brahmin and political for the congr party. No wonder he got the jnynapitha award, as he was good to his masters in Congress. Glad he kept the promise to leave the country when Modi came to power.
        Reply
        1. S
          Shama Rao
          Aug 24, 2014 at 10:47 am
          I call him a learned fool like Ratana.
          Reply