Kalburgi was outspoken, but never hurt anybody

DAMODAR MAUZO, WASHINGTON DC | 01 September 2015 12:36 IST

Though I knew about Basaveshwara's Vachanas, I always thought they were merely religious compositions, until I heard Prof U R Ananthamurthy speaking highly of Vachanas.

When read it, I found Basava to Kannada is what Sant Tukaram to Marathi. Basava criticized casteism and the hypocrisy that prevailed in society.

Prof. Armando Menezes too had translated Basava's Vachanas. Just as my interest in Vachanas was being aroused, I got this request to lead a team of translators to carry 2500 Vachanas into Konkani.

It was this assignment that brought me in close contact with Prof. M M Kalburgi. The book is about to be published.

What an authority Prof Kalburgi was on Basava. Though he had been a Vice Chancellor of Hampi University, he never threw his weight around. He was simplicity personified.

As we worked on the translation project, he would point out the mistakes and also explain the subtleties of Kannada terms.

Prof. Kalburgi's mastery over Kannada and on Basava Vachanas was admirable.


We had been meeting during the last one year. We had met in Panaji to discuss the project. Sunaparant had reported the visit.

Only recently he had conveyed his happiness over the Konkani works.

Besides Dr Geetha Shenoy, Dr L Sunitha Bai from Karnataka, we have from Goa Ramesh Laad, Maya Kharangate, Dr Rajashri Sail, Sudha Kharangate on the board as translators.

The dastardly act of shooting him down to death is really shocking. The loss is tremendous.

Prof Kalburgi disliked disparity and inequality. He was outspoken but never hurt anyone.

Prof Kalburgi's killing clearly indicates the direction taken of extremist actions by the fundamentalists.

It is high time the rationalists from all the communities stand solidly to condemn this dastardly act.

(The writer is a Goa-based renowned Konkani author of India, presently travelling. He sent this small piece on WhatsApp while in Washington DC)

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