M.S. Prabhakara, journalist, academic and author in English and Kannada, passed away at his residence in Kolar on Thursday. He was 87.
He had served as correspondent for The Hindu for many decades in Assam and South Africa.
Born in Kolar in Karnataka in 1936, he had lived for nearly three decades in Assam first as a teacher in Gauhati University and later as a correspondent of The Hindu. He lived for nearly a decade in South Africa, during its most turbulent years. He was The Hindu’s first correspondent in the continent.
Prabhakara held an Honours degree and a Master’s degree in English Language and Literature from Central College, Bengaluru. He taught for four years in Bengaluru (Bangalore) and Dharwad before joining Gauhati University in 1962.
He resigned from Gauhati University in 1975, and joined Economic and Political Weekly. He returned to Guwahati in June 1983 as the Special Correspondent of The Hindu and, later, also Frontline, covering developments in Assam and its neighbourhood in Northeast, travelling widely in the region.
In June 1994, he went to Johannesburg as Special Correspondent and wrote extensively on the turbulent politics of Southern African countries. He returned to Guwahati in April 2002 and retired a month later.
Among his important works is a collection of essays, Words and Ideas, and a collection of his longer analytical essays, Looking Back into the Future: Identity and Insurgency in Northeast India.
In Kannada, three of his books, a collection of short stories and two novels, were published by Manohara Granthamala, Dharwad, Karnataka under his pen name, Kamaroopi. A compilation of all his works has also been published.
As per his wishes, his body has been donated to MS Ramaiah Memorial Hospital.