Freedom of speech? On paper, maybe
India

Freedom of speech? On paper, maybe

1 Sep 2015 | By Shreyashi

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.

Timeline

Fact: 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.

2007: Professor stirs up controversy

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.

9 Jun 2014: 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.

Fact: 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.

30 Aug 2015: Shot dead in broad daylight

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.

30 Aug 2015: 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.

1 Sep 2015: Karnataka CID to investigate Kalburgi murder