Kannada scholars M. Chidananda Murthy and S. Vidyashankar have appealed to the government to drop its move to set up a Chair in the name of Devara Dasimaiah in Kannada University, Hampi, claiming that he was in no way involved in the Sharana movement.

The scholars told presspersons here on Friday that the Chair should instead be set up in the name of Jedara Dasimaiah, a 12th Century Vachanakara.

“Devara Dasimaiah, who lived in the 11th Century, was a teacher (‘raja guru’) of the Kalyana Chalukya kings. But Jedara Dasimaiah, a weaver by profession, lived in the 12th Century and contributed to the Sharana movement,” Mr. Murthy said. “The government has been misled to believe that Devara Dasimaiah is Jedara Dasimaiah. But the fact is that they are two different personalities. Owing to this wrong notion, the government has instructed the Kannada and Culture Department to set up a Chair in the name of Devara Dasimaiah and also observe his jayanti [birth anniversary]. This is not a right decision and the government should rectify its mistake,” he said.

Mr. Vidyashankar said three years ago when the State government wanted the university to start a Chair in the name of Devara Dasimaiah, writers and research scholars had opposed it. The government had, however, succumbed to pressure from the Devanga community, and again directed the university to set up the Chair, he said.

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