Complaints have been filed across the state against the two writers, who are widely considered giants of Kannada literature and scholarship.

news Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - 05:30
Anisha Sheth| The News Minute| June 27, 2014| Yet another complaint has been filed against writers U R Ananthamurthy and former vice chancellor of the Kannada University M M Kalburgi for allegedly “offending religious sentiments”, bringing the total number of complaints against them up to four. Complaints have been filed across the state against the two writers, who are widely considered giants of Kannada literature and scholarship. The spate of complaints started after Kannada news channel TV9 telecast a story about Kalburgi mentioning that Ananthamurthy had urinated on an idol in his childhood in order to prove to himself that nothing would happen. He said this at a public programme on June 9. This generated a huge debate in the state. In the two weeks since, a total of four complaints have been lodged against the two writers. The latest complaint has been filed by Raghavendra Bhat (37), Co-Secretary of the Shimoga district unit of the Vishwa Hindu Parishat. He filed a private complaint with the Judicial Magistrate First Class in Shimoga town, under Sections 295A and 298 of the Indian Penal Code. Bhat, who is a priest at the Satyanarayana Temple in Sagara, said that he was a member of a local Archakara Parishat, and that his complaint had nothing to do with the VHP. Asked what he found offensive, Bhat said that the offensive parts were in paragraph two on page 37, but “would have to read and say what those were”. Writer U R Ananthamurthy told The News Minute on Thursday that he was “saddened” by the developments, but was unaware of the latest complaint. He also said that he would not like to respond, “except to the court”. The first complaint was filed by a Bangalore resident named Jagan Kumar with the 7th Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate under Sections 295A and 298 of the Indian Penal Code. On June 21, Puneet Kottari, the Dakshina Kannada Suraksha Pramukh of the Bajrang Dal lodged a complaint against U R Ananthamurthy and the publishers Vasantha Prakashana Bangalore with the Mangalore North police station. Mangalore City Convenor of the Bajrang Dal, Sharan Pumpwell said that the complaint had been filed in Kottari’s name. Sharan Pumpwell said that after Kalburgi made the statements, he and others had come to know about it and so purchased the book. He said that on pages 71 and 72, Ananthamurhty refers to the bhoota kola (a form of spirit worship in coastal Karnataka) as a form of acting. “He said that they don costumes and dance,” Pumpwell said. He asked: “Why talk about Hindu gods? Why cant he talk abot Christian idols? If he was talking about moodanambike (superstition), it was ok. But why should he talk about moola-nambike (fundamental belief)?” Pumpwell said. Pumpwell said: “Nobody should in an offensive manner about gods. He (Ananthamurhty) said that there are no gods. We never say that about any gods. We never say that there is no Mohammed Paigambar, or Christ. We respect Koran.”
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