S.M. Krishna revives Churumuri’s RKN campaign

The minister for external affairs, Somanahalli Mallaiah Krishna, may be creating news for all the wrong reasons in the year of the lord 2011. But he has struck the right PR note by reviving churumuri.com‘s acclaimed campaign for recognition for India’s original English writer, R.K. Narayan, in his hometown, Mysore.

When churumuri.com was launched in 2006, we made an all-out effort to get Narayan his due place in the landscape of Mysore, where he spent almost all his life and from where he gave the world, Malgudi.

A churumuri delegation comprising the photographer T.S. Satyan, the historian Ramachandra Guha, and the writer Sunaad Raghuram even made a representation to the then governor of Karnataka, T.N. Chaturvedi, armed with reader suggestions on how Narayan’s memory could be perpetuated.

After all the usual noises from the usual quarters, the campaign died a slow death.

Now, S. M. Krishna, a close friend of  RKN’s brother, R.K. Laxman, has given the campaign a fresh lease life in this, the 10th year of Narayan’s passing away. He has written to prime minister Manmohan Singh and railway minister Dinesh Trivedi to name a train between Mysore and Bangalore as Malgudi Express, and urged communications minister Kapil Sibal to release a stamp.

It might be too early to hail this attempt, but at least for trying, Krishna deserves some plaudits.

Also read: All the stories in R.K. Narayan campaign

T.S. SATYAN: The R.K. Narayan only I knews

T.S. NAGARAJAN: The R.K. Narayan only I knew

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16 Responses to “S.M. Krishna revives Churumuri’s RKN campaign”

  1. Deepak Says:

    Yes, its a good effort by Krishna. Hope it bears fruit.

    Also good to know that he sent the letter to the right person and didn’t send it to Mamta by mistake!!

  2. Karthik Bharadwaj (@kbharada) Says:

    Train and a Stamp whom are you kidding ?? Malgudi is a beautiful imaginary town let be that way. naming Train which will eventually face bad maintenance and curse of common people should not be named Malgudi and with the stamp who really uses stamps in the era of Facebook and twitter!!!

    Encouraging private players to open a theme restaurant or amusement park based on Malgudi theme is more apt according to me.

  3. M Says:

    Looks like churmuri.com and Outlook magazine were arm twisting SMK by making a mountain out of mole smear campaign over small flips. I guess churmuri will also be allotted a Delhi Development Authority (DDA) apartment/site out of turn because of merit !

  4. Vijay Says:

    An ITV ( one of UK TV companies) crew visited Narayan early 1980s for a programme about him. He took them to the Chamarajapuram Raliway Station and said that “Malgudi” was born there. I watched this programme then. It is silly to call any train Malgudi Express between Mysore-Bangalore. Instead create an endowed Chair in his name in the English Department at Gangothri/call the road in Lakshmipuram where he lived as RK Narayan Road/ buy his house in Yadavagiri and convert that in a kind of “Keats House”-“Narayan’s House”.

  5. Paduvarahalli Pandava Says:

    Infact Mysore-Shimoga(Intercity express) should be named as Malgudi express, since Malgudi days was shot in Agumbe. There’s no point of naming a Bangalore – Mysore train as Malgudi express. I have seen a sect of ppl who were so attached to “Malgudi days” serial, visiting that big bunglow in Agumbe and enjoying the sunset and pleasant malenadu climate of Shimoga. RK Narayanan, Shankar Nag and the Agumbe’s bunglow deserves credit for Malgudi days.

  6. Dr ramesh Says:

    Smk is desperately trying to divert attention of people from his abysmal poor performance as moef if at all train should be named it should be k r wodeyar or dr rajkumar express

  7. Anthony Balraj Says:

    I would love to see a setup somewhere near Maddur (at least 10 kms) off the main B’lore – Mysore road which could be built with all features as written by RKN’s about Malgudi and it’s surroundings. The main features of every famous RKN story should be present there. I guess it could become a nice tourist attraction. The train should be a steam engine one with those old brick red coaches on metre guage from Mysore to this village and back. Can the GoK’s culture and tourism ministry envisage this and implement something like this?
    A normal train between Mysore & B’lore being called Malgudi express would not be a good idea for the memories of the actual train and the railway station setup of those times.

  8. Pulikeshi the Last Says:

    Good old Maisuru, good old RKN, and good old Kitta. Rama, Rama.

  9. Pulikeshi the Last Says:

    Yet again.

  10. mounaprasad Says:

    I wonder RKN considered himself a kannadiga any time in his life…from what I have read about him, that is not the case…so what is this tamasha of naming things after RKN by Somanhalli Kitta

  11. Pulikeshi the Last Says:

    mprasad–

    I know of no evidence that illustrates Narayan’s interest in Karnataka and Kannadigas anymore than something similar on the part of M.A.M. Ramasamy, Yenkayya Naidu, Hemamalini, R. Chandrashekhar and all of the rest the MP’s representing us in that institution destined to fall apart sooner or later.

    We need a Kannada Hazare to wake us up.

  12. mounaprasad Says:

    Pulakeshi,

    You hit the nail on the head…I would rather name any street in Mysuru after Na.Kasturi, who was a Malayali and a converted Kannadiga so to speak who has penned numerous short stories in Kannada, which are very humorous….but nobody wants that….because he wrote in Kannada and not in queens english. In fact RKN’s brother RKL can be called a nominal kannadiga grudginly though

  13. Pulikeshi the Last Says:

    moumaprasad:

    Kasthuri is one of my favorites, too. I rank him right next to Rashi and Gorur Ramaswamy Iyengar. The list of distinguished Kannadigas whose home language was not Kannada is a long one. To name just a few: Maasthi, Bendre, Karnad, Sir MV, Tarasu, Vaasudevachaarya, Veena Doreswamy, TPK, Manjeshwara Pai, Panje Mangesh Rao, G. P. Rajarathnam . . .. The trouble with Narayana was that he was lost in his self serving promotion of a mythical India that never existed; his loyalty to the power drunk Delhi prabhus bought him his Padmas and a seat in the Rajyasabha. What he did for us there is anybody’s guess. .Did he have anything to say about the imposiition of emergency rule by Indiramma as our Karanth did? Kannada did not matter to him. How I wish I had the nerve to say, “Hegiddeeri swami? ” on the one occasion I happened to be in his presence and wait for his reaction.

    How about renaming Ramaswamy Circle for Kasthuri?

  14. Not A Witty Nick Says:

    Oye! Don’t touch Ramaswamy Circle’s name!

    Isn’t AkashavaNi Circle’s named after ta.ra.su./na. kasturi!?

    Again, if the road behind Ramakrishna Ashrama has no name(one that leads to Corner House now), it can be named after Na. Kasturi! IIRC, he used to lived there for a long time.

  15. Pulikeshi the Last Says:

    RKL is OK. He drew for the Koravanji.

    Nick–

    Isn’t Ramaswamy circle named for the Mudaliar with that first name? What’s our investment in that?

  16. Amrit Yegnanarayan Says:

    His house is being demolished. I am very saddened. In addition to breaking down what could have become a lovely memorial to the man, apartments are going to come up in its place – one more nail in the coffin of Yadavagiri. RIP.

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