Veteran Kannada scholar M Chidananda Murthy dies

Last Updated 11 January 2020, 04:20 IST

Kannada writer and researcher Chidananda Murthy passed away at his residence at 4 am on Saturday. He was 89.

Murthy, known for his researches and pro-Kannada stance, heralded a new dawn in the field of literary research. He was also equally known for controversies and his stands on religious and political matters were sharply criticised in the literary circle. In the Kannada literary world, he was one of the few writers to have backed Honduras political ideology openly. Murthy, who often hogged the limelight on issues regarding borders of the state, was the first to raise voice against Maharashtra's claim on Belagavi in Karnataka.

A week ago, Murthy had commented on the tension in the border district saying Belagavi would never be a part of Maharashtra.

Many times, he alone staged protests for Kannada cause in front of Vidhana Soudha. As a president of Kannada Shakti Kendra, he had organised protests. For many decades, Murthy either demanded or submitted a memorandum to the government seeking renaming of Hyderabad-Karnataka as Kalyana-Karnataka and Mumbai-Karnataka as Kittur Karnataka. Using historical and literary evidence, he had proved that boundaries of Karnataka had expanded beyond today's Kerala and Maharashtra.

Murthy had a large number of students, who revered him for his teaching skills. He strongly propagated that Veerashaiva-Lingayat are the same and the faith was a part of the Hindu religion.

For the Kannada cause, he had even entered the Tungabhadra river in Hampi to commit suicide. He had a special love for Hampi.

He was born on May 10, 1931, at Hirekogalur, in Channagiri taluk in Shivamogga district. He secured 10th rank to state at inter examinations. He bagged two gold medals in graduation. He served as a Kannada lecturer in Tumakuru, Kolara and Bengaluru. He completed PhD on ancient Kannada poet Pampa.

In 1960, he joined the department of Kannada at University of Mysore. He also served in Bangalore University. He authored more than 25 literary and research works.

Murthy and Prof MM Kalburgi were two giants in Kannada research. With Murthy's death, an era in Kannada research has ended. The demise has also created a void in the discipline.

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy, several cabinet ministers, and a host of other leaders and writers have condoled his death.

(Published 11 January 2020, 01:43 IST)

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