URA's ancestral house in ruins

URA's ancestral house in ruins

The house in Melige village of Thirthahalli taluk in Shimoga district where Jnanapith awardee U R Ananthamurthy was born and brought up, is in a shambles.

 The house, which sprawls over an acre and is more than 100-year old, has not been renovated.

Ananthamurthy was born in this house and he studied in a government school of Melige till fourth standard before shifting to Durvasapura, 10 km from Melige.Gundacharya, the maternal uncle of Ananthamurthy was running a hotel in this house.

 After his demise, the family runs a petty shop here. K S Diwakar Kelakere, a member of Melige gram panchayat said that the litterateur was very fond of Gundachar and he used to visit the house at least once a year. But, he could not make it to the village in the last few years. 

“He used to make it a point to come for Ananthachaturthi festival every year as long as his maternal uncle was alive. Now Rajamma, the wife of Gundachar lives in the house with her family. We had invited him to attend the centenary celebrations of the government primary school where he studied, in 1997. He stayed in the village for two days,” Diwakar recalled. 

He said that the panchayat was keen to convert the house into a memorial or a museum. However, the family members have to give their consent for this plan. The gram panchayat would approach the chief minister seeking his intervention to preserve the house, he added. 

A pall of gloom descended on Melige following the death of Ananthamurthy on Friday.“ We are very proud of him as he reached a greater height despite hailing from a modest background,” Rajamma said.

Diwakar recalled that Ananthamurthy used to converse with villagers as a common man whenever he visited Melige. Speaking to Deccan Herald over phone Seetharamacharya, a relative of Ananthamurthy said that he (URA) did not follow any ritual without knowing the reason for it. 

“He had never accepted anything without questioning. He never tolerated any kind of discrimination among people. He was a true humanist in this aspect,”  he said.

Memorial in B’lore

The State government is said to be considering constructing a memorial for Ananthamurthy in Bangalore. Sources said that Kalagrama, where the final rites were conducted, could be a possible location. 

The government has already promised to construct a memorial for Rashtrakavi G S Shivarudrappa in the vicinity. However, the Cabinet will have to make a final decision.

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