Chidananda Murthy:Scholar who stood for Kannada history

Chidananda Murthy:Scholar who stood for Kannada history

Noted scholar, researcher and writer Dr Chidananda Murthy. (DH File Photo)

Noted scholar, researcher and writer Dr Chidananda Murthy, popularly known as Chi Mu in the literary circles, passed away in Bengaluru in the wee hours of Saturday. Chi Mu, who was 88, was undergoing treatment for age-related illness for a few days. However, on Saturday early in the morning, Chi Mu was rushed to a private hospital where he breathed his last at around 6:30 am.

Known for his ideological stand regardless of opposition, Chi Mu was hailed as the sentinel of Kannada language, culture, land and water of Karnataka. With his researchful insights on the history of Kannada and Karnataka especially with that of Hampi’s Vijayanagara empire, Chi Mu had always argued in favour of the state whenever these issues were eclipsed by threats.

Born on May 10, 1931, in Channagiri taluk of Davanagere district, Chi Mu was graduated from Mysore University. Under the influence of literary stalwarts at Mysuru University such as Kuvempu, Pu Tee Na, Tee Nam Shri and historian S Srikanta Shastri, Chi Mu established himself as an acclaimed writer and researcher. His doctoral thesis on Kannada Inscriptions is considered to be an important work in Karnataka’s history. Initially serving as professor of Kannada at the famous Yuvaraja college and Kannada department of Mysore University, Chi Mu later joined Bangalore University as the head of the Kannada department.

Chi Mu was at the forefront of the people’s movement to conserve the monuments of the UNESCO World Heritage site - Hampi and played an important role in securing classical language status to Kannada. As a historian, Chi Mu always focussed and insisted on the scientific study of Kannada inscriptions starting from the ancient times and attempted to contextualise the inscriptions and edicts in their socio-cultural set-up.

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