Udupi; September 2, 2015: Members of the district unit of the Karnataka Komu Sauharda Vedike and other like-minded organisations held an open public meeting in front of the Clock Tower here on Tuesday to condole the death of writer and scholar M.M. Kalburgi, who was shot dead in Dharwad on August 30.
Speaking on the occasion, Jyoti Guruprasad, writer, said the killing of Kalburgi was a direct attack on freedom of expression. This incident was a blot on the entire society. A thorough and impartial probe should be ordered and the guilty should be punished, she said.
Balakrishna Shetty, secretary of the district unit of Communist Party of India (Marxist), said that the death of Kalburgi had shocked the people of the State. Kalburgi was not just a scholar, but also a historian, a litterateur and an expert on linguistics. The death of Kalburgi was similar to the death of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar two years ago, he pointed out.
Kalburgi had spoken against superstition and communalism. When IAS officer D.K. Ravi was found dead in mysterious circumstances, there were massive protests. “But those who protested then are not to be seen now. Kalburgi has died, but his thoughts and principles are and will remain alive,” he said.
Shashidhar Hemmady, convener of Sahamata organisation, said it was a matter of shame that some persons owing allegiance to Sangh Parivar had celebrated the death of Kalburgi on the social media. None of the progressive organisations had celebrated anyone’s death. “We believe in debate and try to change people through debate and discussion,” he said.
G. Rajashekhar, president of district unit of the vedike, said that by handing over the probe of Kalburgi’s death to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the State government had washed its hands of the matter.
The CBI had not been able to solve the D.K. Ravi case and the case of a death of 17-year-old girl near Ujire.
“The Bantwal youth, who supported the death of Kalburgi might not have read a single sentence written by the scholar. But the forces that brainwashed him, leading to his social media post on Kalburgi, are more dangerous,” he said.
T. Murugeshi, president of the Udupi History Lecturers Federation; Shyamraj Birti, Convener of Dalit Sangharsha Samiti; K. Phaniraj, Hussain Kodibengre, Cyril Mathias, Hayavadana Moodusagri, Manjunath Giliyar, Jayan Malpe, and leaders of various progressive groups, were present.