Five from diverse fields win Padma Shri from State

KARNATAKA , MANGALURU : 25/01/2022 : Amai Mahaling Naik of Kepu village in Bantwal taluk in Dakshina Kannad who conferd of Padma Shri award. PHOTO: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT 

KARNATAKA , MANGALURU : 25/01/2022 : Amai Mahaling Naik of Kepu village in Bantwal taluk in Dakshina Kannad who conferd of Padma Shri award. PHOTO: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT  | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Dalit poet Siddalingaiah, who passed away in June 2021, has been posthumously awarded the Padma Shri by the Union Government on Tuesday.

He is among the five from Karnataka to figure in the list of Padma awards announced on the eve of Republic Day.

The other awardees are Gamaka exponent H.R. Keshavamurthy, agricultural scientist S. Ayyappan, innovative farmer Abdul Khader Nadakattin and farmer Amai Mahalinga Naika.

Dalit voice

Siddalingaiah emerged as one of the prominent Dalit voices in the State and was one of the co-founders of Dalit Sangharsha Samiti. He was known for his fiery poetry, though the tone of his writing changed to wry humour in later years. He taught Kannada at Bangalore University and was a recipient of Pampa Award, the highest literary award of the state. He lost his battle to COVID-19 in 2021 at 67.

Gamaka exponent H.R. Keshavamurthy, 87, hailing from Hosahalli village, Shivamogga district, has been practising the unique art of rendering classical epics through music for over five decades. With the late Mattur Krishnamurthy, he had given several television programmes as well. Speaking to The Hindu, he said he was happy that the Gamaka art was recognised at the national level. “I have only tried to do what best I could and the rest is all God’s grace. I wish more youngsters learn Gamaka and keep this art alive,” he said.

Research honoured

Agricultural scientist S. Ayyappan, former Director General of Indian Council of Agricultural Research, told The Hindu that the award was a recognition of aquaculture and its contribution to the nation. Hailing from Chamarajnagar, Dr. Ayyappan is an alumnus of University of Agricultural Sciences, Bengaluru. His areas of research have been fisheries, freshwater aquaculture and aquatic microbiology. Joining the Agriculture Research Service of ICAR in 1978, he served in various capacities including as its Director General.

Innovative farmer Abdul Khader Nadakattin from Annigeri in Dharwad district, who spent his entire life designing and producing farm equipment and tools that made farming easy is also among Padma Shri recipients from State. He spent close to five decades in designing farm tools and equipment fighting against odds, and now runs Vishwashanthi Agri Research Centre. Himself a farmer, Mr. Nadakattin says he designed tools based on the difficulties he experienced in various farm activities.

Low-profile farmer

Keeping with the trend of awarding low-profile achievers, the Union Government has recognised the sheer grit and determination of Amai Mahalinga Naika, 76, who single handedly drilled seven tunnels on a hill slope for years and successfully brought water to his field near Mangaluru. An expert in climbing areca and palm trees, he was given two acres of land by a farmer with whom he was working as a labourer. But given the land was a hill slope and had no access to water source, Mr. Naika began drilling tunnels. After decades of working single-handedly and drilling seven tunnels he finally got water to his two acre farm.

Our code of editorial values

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Feb 13, 2022 7:12:29 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/five-from-diverse-fields-win-padma-shri-from-state/article38326742.ece