Knowing MM Kalburgi
Born in Yaragal village in Vijayapura district of north Karnataka in 1938, Dr Kalburgi was a Sahitya Akademi award winning writer of old Kannada literature, academician and researcher. He was also a left ideologue and former vice-chancellor of Hampi University.
Professor stirs up controversy
- In 2007, MM Kalburgi, a renowned Kannada scholar, writer and professor was criticised heavily for having spoken out, calling for a better state anthem.
- Over the years, he had had several run-ins with rightwing Hindu groups who had issues with his writings and speeches and called them anti-Hindu.
- He had also received several threats to his life but had not taken them seriously.
How to annoy Hindu political groups?
- During a seminar in 2014, Kalburgi had criticized idol worship as a meaningless ritual.
- Quoting a passage from Ananthamurthy's 1996 book "Bettale Puje Yake Kadadu", he had said "one can even urinate on idols".
- After this comment, Bajrang Dal and other Hindu groups held statewide protests.
- They had staged one in front of his house where they had thrown bottles and stones at it.
Be careful about what you say
After the comment he had made, a case was registered by a Hindu activist against Kalburgi and the late writer ER Ananthamurthy for hurting religious sentiments. Ever since then, there has been a threat to Kalburgi's life.
Shot dead in broad daylight
- On Sunday morning, at 8.04 am, Professor Kalburgi was shot dead by a youth at his home, in Dharwad, Karnataka.
- Two young men reportedly came to his house on motorbikes; one went up to the house and gained entry after telling Kalburgi's wife that he wanted to meet him.
- As soon as she left them alone, she heard shots fired.
Declared dead on arrival
- Hearing the shots, his wife came running; his son and daughter were also at home when the attack took place.
- The man who shot him then walked out calmly, got onto the motorbike waiting outside and rode away from the scene.
- Hearing shots fired and screams, his neighbour Thigadi came out of his house.
- Kalburgi was rushed to the hospital but he died en-route.
Karnataka CID to investigate Kalburgi murder
- The police have been told by MM Kalburgi's daughter that he was killed for his outspoken comments; they are also looking into a probably property dispute as motive.
- Kalburgi has definitely been a target for Hindu groups ever since 2014.
- The investigation was handed over to the CID of Karnataka police, in an effort to make sure that his killers do not go free.