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Know Padma Shri awardees from Karnataka: Dalit poet Siddalingaiah, scientist Ayyappan and others

Dalit activist and poet Siddalingaiah has been honoured with Padma Shri posthumously under the literature category. HR Keshavamurthy, Subbanna Ayyappan, Abdul Khader Nadakattin, and Amai Mahalinga Naik are the other awardees from the state.

By: Express News Service | Bengaluru |
January 26, 2022 5:45:57 pm
Scientist Subbanna Ayyappan (L) and Dalit poet Siddalingaiah. (Photo: Twitter/ICFA)

Five eminent personalities from Karnataka were chosen for Padma Shri as the Union government on Tuesday announced Padma awards ahead of Republic Day.

Dalit activist and poet Siddalingaiah has been honoured with Padma Shri posthumously under the literature category. HR Keshavamurthy, Subbanna Ayyappan, Abdul Khader Nadakattin, and Amai Mahalinga Naik are the other Padma Shri awardees from the state. A brief introduction of the winners.

Prof Siddalingaiah (posthumous) – Literature and education

Kannada poet, playwright and Dalit activist Prof Siddalingaiah (67), who died of Covid-19 in June 2021, has been conferred with Padma Shri posthumously. He is credited with starting the Dalit-Bandaya movement and the genre of Dalit writing in Kannada literature.

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Siddalingaiah was at the forefront of Dalit politics in Karnataka in the 1980s and 1990s. He was one of the founders of the Dalit Sangharsha Samiti – a major voice for Dalit rights. He was also the chairman of the Department of Kannada Studies at Bangalore University for several years and also the director of an Ambedkar Study and Research Centre.

Dr Subbanna Ayyappan – Science and engineering

Dr Subbanna Ayyappan (67) is a crop and environment scientist who has a PhD from Bangalore University and a master’s degree in fish production and management from the College of Fisheries in Mangalore. He has published research papers on fisheries, limnology, and aquatic microbiology. He is a former director of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research and the chancellor of the Central Agricultural University in Imphal.

H R Keshavamurthy – Art

The octogenarian is an exponent of gamaka – a form of storytelling through songs and poems that is part of the literary tradition in Karnataka. Hailing from the Shimoga region, the musician in 2002 received the Karnataka Rajyothsava award.

Abdul Khader Nadakattin – Grassroots innovation

Nadakattin (68) is a social worker and an environmentalist from the Dharwad region of Karnataka who has been an advocate of environment-friendly, low-cost methods of agriculture. He has innovated many agricultural implements and machinery for the Indian farmer over the last four decades. Among the list of farm equipment that has emerged from the Nadakattin stable is a tractor driven automatic sowing machine, a diesel saving pulveriser, a tamarind seed separating machine.

Amai Mahalinga Naik – Agriculture

Naik (70) is a farmworker from the Mangalore region of Karnataka who is credited with turning a barren two-acre property on a hillside into a lush farm with his hard work 40 years ago. He used an ancient method of water harvesting by building tunnels into the hill to tap into groundwater supplies and irrigated his land with sprinkler systems.

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