16 May, 2021

'The Educated Have Lost Touch With Their Local Almanac'

The Jnanpith award-winning Kannada writer-critic in a free-wheeling interview

'The Educated Have Lost Touch With Their Local Almanac'
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Once ranked among the 50 most important people in the country by the now-defunct Illustrated Weekly, Kannada writer-critic U.R. Ananthamurthy has worn many hats with aplomb—English teacher, vice-chancellor, Sahitya Akademi chief, National Book Trust president, and environmental activist. He shot into fame with Prashne (The Question), a collection of short stories in Kannada. And, working under the Marxist critics Malcolm Bradbury and Richard Hoggarth in Birmingham, Ananthmaurthy wrote Samskara, whose celluloid version heralded a new trend in the Kannada film industry. Excerpts of an interview with the Jnanpith winner:

How would you define 'Indian'?
I once wrote a poem on being Indian. It goes like this: If somebody asks me in London, who are you?, I would reply I am an Indian. If in Delhi, someone asks who are you?, then I would say I am from Karnataka. In Bangalore, if somebody asks me who are you?, then I would say I am from Shimoga district. In Shimoga, I would say I am from Melige (a village). In...

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