M. M. Kalburgi, writer and academic, died at 76-77

  Dead Famous

Dead. Malleshappa Madivalappa Kalburgi, born in 1938 and died on August 30, 2015, he was an Indian scholar of Vachana sahitya (Vachana literature) and academic who served as the Vice-Chancellor of Kannada University in Hampi.

Kalburgi was awarded the National Sahitya Akademi award in 2006 for Marga 4, a collection of his research articles.

He was also a noted epigraphist of Kannada. He came under criticism in the 1980s from the lingayats community of Karnataka, after he was accused of making “derogatory references” to Basava, a 12th-century philosopher who is revered by the community, Basava’s wife and sister, in his Marga 1, a work on Kannada folklore, religion and culture.

In 2014, Kalburgi had spoken openly against idolatry in Hinduism in support of another Kannada writer U. R. Ananthamurthy.

A rationalist and left ideologue, Kalburgu had run-ins with right wing Hindutva groups over the years.

He was murdered on 30 August 2015 by shooting on his head.

Kalburgi was born in Yaragal village of the erstwhile Bombay Presidency (now in Sindgi taluk of Bijapur district, Karnataka) of British India to Madivalappa and Guramma.

Kalburgi’s received primary and high school education from a school in his village and Sindgi.

Kalburgi received his Bachelor of Arts degree from a college in Bijapur and Master of Arts in Kannada language from the Karnatak University, Dharwar, in 1962.

Having faced death threats previously, Kalburgi had demanded security from the government of Karnataka, but had not been given.

At 8:40 am IST, on 30 August 2015, Kalburgi was shot by an unidentified gunman at the former’s residence in the Kalyan Nagar locality of Dharwad.

Two men claiming to be Kalburgi’s students, knocked at the door of his residence, when his wife answered the door.

As she went inside to fetch coffee for them, one of the men fired two rounds at Kalburgi from a point blank range, while the other waited outside.

Immediately afterwards, they fled on a motorcycle. He was rushed to the District Civil Hospital of Dharwad, where doctors declared he died en route.