U R Ananthamurthy
U R Ananthamurthy

Renowned Kannada writer U R Ananthamurthy passes away

NetIndian News Network

Bangalore, August 22, 2014

Renowned Kannada writer and Jnanpith Award winner U R Ananthamurthy passed away in a private hospital here this evening after a prolonged illness.
He was 81. He is survived by his wife Esther, son Sharat and daughter Anuradha.
Sources at the Manipal Hospital said Ananthamurthy was admitted there two weeks ago for treatment of renal problems. He had been under dialysis for some years and had developed cardiac and respiratory complications when he was hospitalised.
His condition deteriorated over the past two days with renal complications and the end came around 6.30 pm today after he suffered a cardiac arrest, they said.
Ananthamurthy was outspoken on many issues and found himself at the centre of a controversy when he said before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections that he would leave the country if Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Narendra Modi won the polls and became the Prime Minister.
Later, he changed his stand and explained that he was emotionally overwhelmed when he had made the statement.
Mr Modi was among those who condoled the passing away of the writer. "Shri U R Ananthamurthy's demise is a loss to Kannada literature. My condolences to his family. May his soul rest in peace," he said.
Udupi Rajagopalacharya Ananthamurthy was born on December 21, 1932 in melige in Shimoga district of Karnataka. He began schooling in a traditional Sanskrit school in Doorvasapura and went on to study in Tirthahalli and Mysore. He comlpleted his M.A. in English from the University of Mysore and went to England on a Commonwealth Scholarship, where he earned a doctorate from the University of Birmingham in 1966.
Ananthamurthy began teaching in the English department of the University of Mysore in 1970 and served as the Vice-Chancellor of the Mahatma Gandhi University in Kottayam, Kerala from 1987 to 1991.
He served as the Chairman of the National Book Trust of India in 1992 and was elected as president of the Sahitya Akademi in the following year. He served as a visiting professor in many Indian and foreign universities, including the Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi, the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen and the University of Iowa in the United States.
He served twice as the Chairman of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune and was the first Chancellor of the Central University of Karnatka.
Ananthamurthy is best known for his novels such as Samskara, Bharathipura, Avasthe, Bhava and Divya and a play, Avahane. His works have been translated in several Indian and European languages and won several important literary prizes. He has written several short stories also. Many of his works have been made into movies.
A staunch critic of the BJP who grew up as a "Gandhian socialist", he had contested unsuccessfuly for the Lok Sabha in the 2004 elections.
The Government had honoured him with the Padma Bhushan in 1998. He had won the Jnanpith Award in 1994.

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