It plans to convert it into a research centre-cum-museum

The University of Mysore proposes to take over the bungalow of renowned novelist R.K. Narayan and convert it into a research centre-cum-museum.

It intends to offer a specialised programme for postgraduate students and research scholars in English and will house Narayan’s collection of works and writings.

Narayan’s bungalow at Yadavgiri in the city with the bay room — where the novelist penned many of his works — was on the verge of being demolished in September 2011, but the Mysore City Corporation stepped in and offered to conserve it as a heritage structure and compensate the family members.

Permission

Vice-Chancellor V.G. Talawar told The Hindu that the issue came up for discussion at the Syndicate meeting on Thursday where it was decided to seek permission from the government to take over the bungalow.

“We will also request the government to help the university to restore the building so that research works in English can be held there. We plan to attach it to the Department of English, which will offer specialised programme for students,” he said. The university’s move gives a new lease of life to the proposed conversion of the bungalow to a heritage site or a memorial.

A section of Kannada writers had opposed it on the grounds that public money could not be spent on acquiring and restoration of the bungalow and the project could be taken up if family members donate it to the authorities.

The corporation, which received a directive from the Urban Development Department to release Rs.2.34 crore for the restoration and conservation of the bungalow, rejected it on the grounds that the cash-strapped institution could take up the project provided the government released special grants.

The idea

The idea to restore the bungalow and convert it to a museum and a research centre was initially conceived in 2006 when a seminar to mark the late writer’s centenary was held here. However, the project never got started. Prof. Talawar said the university would also seek funds for its maintenance and would be modelled after the Oriental Research Institute.

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