Dr Siddalingaiah was ‘a warm and compassionate human being, with a delightful sense of humour,’ said Ramachandra Guha of the poet.
Noted Kannada poet Dr Siddalingaiah passed away aged 67 on 11 June, due to COVID-19 , reports The Hindu. He was reportedly admitted to Manipal Hospital a month ago and had been on ventilator support for weeks.
Born in 1953, Siddalingaiah would go on to become a prominent intellectual and voice of Dalits, writing his debut collection Hole Madigara Hadu in 1975. He was one of the co-founders of the Dalit Sangharsh Samiti, which he reportedly distanced himself from in recent years. He was also integral to the Dalit Bandaya literary movement, reports The News Minute. He wrote a three-part autobiography titled Ooru Keri which was published in 1997. He was also the author of several plays and critical essays.
Siddalingaiah was a professor of Kannada at Bangalore University and was nominated to the state’s legislative assembly. He was the chairman of the Kannada Development Authority in 2006. He served as the chair of the 81st edition of the Akhila Bharatha Kannada Sahitya Sammelana in 2015, making him the first ever Dalit writer to hold this position, reports Deccan Herald.
Dr Siddalingaiah’s death was condoled by many on social media, including author Ramachandra Guha and Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa
Deeply saddened to hear of the passing of the distinguished Kannada poet Siddalingaiah, of Covid-related complications. He was a warm and compassionate human being, with a delightful sense of humour. His autobiography, which is available in English too, is a literary classic.
— Ramachandra Guha (@Ram_Guha) June 11, 2021
Thinker/writer #Siddalingaiah passed away today I’m grateful to both oppose Hindi imposition in Bengaluru Metro & release book on Ambedkar w/ him I’ll never forget how he publicly appreciatd my thoughts on Kannada & Babasaheb His play ‘Ekalavya’ has had a profound impact on me pic.twitter.com/E0iOUIIhEM — Chetan Kumar / ಚೇತನ್ (@ChetanAhimsa) June 11, 2021
ದಲಿತ ಕವಿ ಎಂದೇ ಖ್ಯಾತರಾಗಿದ್ದ ಹಿರಿಯ ಸಾಹಿತಿ ಡಾ.ಸಿದ್ದಲಿಂಗಯ್ಯ ವಿಧಿವಶರಾದ ಸುದ್ದಿ ತಿಳಿದು ಅತೀವ ನೋವುಂಟಾಗಿದೆ. ಕನ್ನಡ ಸಾಹಿತ್ಯದ ಶ್ರೇಷ್ಠ ಸಾಧಕರೊಬ್ಬರು ನಮ್ಮನ್ನು ಅಗಲಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ಅವರ ಆತ್ಮಕ್ಕೆ ಸದ್ಗತಿ ಕೋರುತ್ತಾ, ದೇವರು ಅವರ ಕುಟುಂಬ, ಅಪಾರ ಅಭಿಮಾನಿಗಳಿಗೆ ದುಃಖವನ್ನು ಭರಿಸುವ ಶಕ್ತಿ ನೀಡಲಿ ಎಂದು ಪ್ರಾರ್ಥಿಸುತ್ತೇನೆ. ಓಂ ಶಾಂತಿ
— B.S. Yediyurappa (@BSYBJP) June 11, 2021
Anguished by the demise of distinguished poet, playwright & activist Dr Siddalingaiah. He was a well-known Kannada writer & will always be remembered for his immense contribution to Kannada literature. My thoughts are with his family and admirers in this hour of grief. Om Shanti. — Vice President of India (@VPSecretariat) June 11, 2021
The demise of Dr Siddalingaiah has left a huge void in Kannada literature. An eminent poet, social activist and academician, he became a fierce voice for the poor and marginalized and also enriched public discourse through his writings. My condolences to his family & followers.
— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) June 11, 2021
I am deeply saddened by the demise of Dr #Siddalingaiah, Dalit poet and one of the greatest figures in modern #Kannada literature. #Covid has claimed another precious life. His poems became popular anthems for the democratic and progressive movement in #Karnataka. Om Shanti! pic.twitter.com/XJameJeG4s — Sudheendra Kulkarni (@SudheenKulkarni) June 11, 2021
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