“We did not deserve to have U.R. Ananthamurthy among us any further. Society mocked him and bought tickets to facilitate his departure from India for his political stance. But he has mocked us back by departing on his own volition. The loss is completely ours,” said noted sarod maestro Pandit Rajeev Taranath, a close associate of Dr. Ananthamurthy, who passed away on Friday.
Speaking to The Hindu , he said: “In the present state of affairs, a man like Ananthamurthy was not only very rare, but a necessary presence. He was a lonely voice who reminded us of our own best and to what heights we rose under the influence of Gandhi and Lohia.” He added that he had his differences with him, but could always talk and argue over it.
Dr. Ananthamurthy completed his BA (Honours) and MA in English from the Maharaja’s College and went on to teach at the University of Mysore.
Reminiscing about his close association with Dr. Ananthamurthy during those days, the sarod maestro said: “Both of us were subject scholars for securing the highest marks, and were employed by the university on the same day, August 1, 1955.” Pt. Taranath later went onto pursue music, but Dr. Ananthamurthy continued in the university.
It was when he returned to Mysore to study MA at the behest of his teacher C.D. Narasimhaiah, the renowned English scholar, that they grew close. “He introduced me to ‘Navya’ Kannada and with it the world of literature,” said Pt. Taranath.