Kannada writer and one of the most acclaimed public intellectuals in the country, U.R. Ananthamurthy passed away at a private hospital here on Friday. He was 82.
Dr. Ananthamurthy, a Jnanpith award winner, had a kidney ailment and had been on dialysis for a long time. He was put on ventilator on Thursday night.
Manipal Hospital director H. Sudarshan Ballal said Dr. Ananthamurthy’s condition worsened on Thursday night. “There was a sudden drop in his blood pressure around 6.30 p.m. on Friday following which his heart stopped functioning. Despite efforts by doctors to resuscitate him, he could not be revived,” he said.
Long illness had never come in the way of Dr. Ananthamurthy’s continued writing, critical thinking and public engagement. He had always been a critic of Hindutva politics and had incurred the wrath of the supporters of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the run-up to the Lok Sabha election for stating that he would not wish to live in a country with Mr. Modi at the helm. He was deeply influenced by Ram Manohar Lohia’s political movement.
Mr. Modi condoled the death, saying it is a loss to Kannada literature. “My condolences to his family. May his soul rest in peace,” he tweeted.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi said the void created by his demise in the Indian literary space and social conscience would be hard to fill.