Is the tide turning?

Three Karnataka intellectuals who have disagreed with Bhagwans statements
news Saturday, October 03, 2015 - 17:07

After a person on Twitter made Kannada writer KS Bhagwan ‘next’ on the hit-list of rationalists to be killed, the scholar has continued to be in the news for one reason or another.

Earlier this week, several writers have expressed their disagreement with Bhagwan’s statements reported in the media, although some of them have said that they still stand by him.

Some of the most prominent Kannada writers and intellectuals such as authors S G Siddaramaiah, author and former journalist Abdul Rasheed, professor of Kuvempu University Rajendra Chenni and media adviser to the government of Karnataka Dinesh Amin Mattu have expressed their views on the remarks made by Bhagwan at recent public events.

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Rasheed remains the only one perhaps, to be entirely critical of Bhagwan, while the others have more nuanced criticisms of Bhagwan’s recent conduct and have stood by his right to freely express his opinions.

Mattu wrote a blog critcising Rasheed’s stance in an article on his blog. Mattu starts out by saying that he objects to Bhagwan’s recent statements in the media, not his writing, which he says serves as historical record.

Mysuru-based professor Bhagwan was recently awarded the honorary lifetime achievement award of the Karnataka Sahitya Akademi. Despite threats from Hindutva groups and opposition from the BJP, the Akademi has refused to retract the announcement, and has maintained that Bhagwan was chosen as his research and contribution to Kannada literature merited it the award.

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