Indian Rationalist MM Kalburgi Shot Dead by Hindutva Extremists

MM Kalburgi

Karnataka: Kannada scholar Dr Malleshappa M Kalburgi was shot dead by two unidentified men on Sunday, 30 August, at his home in Dharwad district of Karnataka.

According to sources, two unidentified persons came in a motorcycle to his residence in Kalyan Nagar. While one person stood outside, the other went to Kalburgi’s house, knocked on the door and shot him when he opened the door. His daughter Rupadarshi stated that when she came out hearing the gunshot, she found him lying in a pool of blood.

He had recently requested the police to withdraw armed guards deployed at his house. The police are looking into the role of Hindutva terror outfits in the incident as several local saffron fronts had reportedly threatened him over his remarks on idol worship in June last year. A case was registered on the basis of a complaint by a

Hindutva activist against professor Kalburgi and (now deceased) writer U R Ananthamurthy for hurting religious sentiments. The case was filed after professor Kalburgi made a public statement on June 9, 2014 where he criticized idol worship by quoting a section from Ananthamurthy's 1996 book 'Bettale Puje Yake Kadadu' - Why offering prayers in the nude is wrong'.

Malleshappa Madivalappa Kalburgi (1938 – 30 August 2015) was an Indian scholar of Vachana sahitya (Vachana literature) and academic who served as the Vice-Chancellor of Kannada University in Hampi. He was awarded the National Sahitya Akademi award in 2006 for Marga 4, a collection that included hundreds 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, in his Marga–One, a work on Kannada folklore, religion and culture.

Photo Credits: India Today

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