K’buragi airport naming: Nrupathunga or Sri Vijaya?

Clamour for naming K’buragi airport after Nrupathunga, Sri Vijaya

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The Infrastructure development department has directed the district administration to send a list of names with historical background, after whom the new Kalaburagi airport can be named. 

The airport was inaugurated on November 22, 2019. There is a clamour for naming the airport after Rashtrakuta king Amoghavarsha Nrupathunga or poet/scholar Sri Vijaya, who was in Nrupathunga’s court. 

Earlier too, writers from the district had demanded that the airport be named after Nrupathunga, owing to his contribution to Kannada literature. Religious leaders had urged the government to name the airport after heads of their communities.

Writer Vasanth Kustagi said the airport should be named after Nrupathunga. He said many Kannada and Sanskrit scholars prospered during his rule. Amoghavarsha himself was an accomplished poet and scholar. He authored (or co-authored) the Kavirajamarga, the earliest extant literary work in Kannada.

Prof Vikram Visaji of the Kannada department of the Central University of Karnataka is also in favour of naming the airport after Sri Vijaya.

H T Pote, director of the Gulbarga University’s Institute of Kannada Studies, advised to choose the name of Nrupathunga or Sannati, a Buddhist centre.

Sannati has grabbed international attention due to the discovery of Ashoka’s stupas. The airport will get international fame if it is named after Sannati, Pote said.  

Kustagi also proposed that the airport may be named after Swami Ramananda Thirtha, the first MP from Gulbarga, for his contribution to the region. He was among the key persons who contributed in liberating this region from the Hyderabad Nizam.

However, politicians of the district, including the MLAs, are tightlipped over the issue. Sedam MLA Rajkumar Telkur said a unanimous name should be recommended.

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