4 reasons why R.K. Narayan deserves a memorial

15, Vivekananda Road, Yadavagiri, Mysore 570020: the home R.K. Narayan built in 1952 and lived in for nearly half a century

K.C. BELLIAPPA writes: R.K. Narayan is in the news again thanks to the objections raised to a memorial for him by a host of Kannada writers. The fact that many of them are giants in the Kannada literary scene made me sit up and read their press release with utmost care.

Let me respond to their objections.

The first objection is that R.K.Narayan is not a Kannadiga. This is stating the obvious but we should remember that Narayan is first and foremost an English writer. He did not write in any other Indian language. They are unhappy that Narayan while he translated Kamban’s Ramayana into English did not introduce any Kannada literary work to the outside world like A.K. Ramanujan.

To draw a comparison between Narayan and Ramanujan is manifestly unfair.

While Ramanujan was an acclaimed translator who had inwardness with three languages — Tamil, Kannada and English — Narayan was not a translator in the real sense of the term but what he managed to do was to render a free translation of Kamban, generally regarded as a work of inspiration.

Narayan had neither the competence nor the talent to translate Kannada works into English. Hence, this is not a legitimate complaint.


The Kannada writers are unhappy that Narayan sold his manuscripts to an American University and did not donate it to any University in Karnataka. They regard this as injustice to Kannada readers who know English.

I honestly fail to understand their specious logic.

Let me now give the real reason behind this decision. During one of my visits to Narayan’s house in Yadavagiri with Prof C.D. Narasimhaiah, he held forth eloquently on his reason for giving the manuscripts of his novels to Boston University library.

He said:

“CD, if I had given my manuscripts to the government archives, they would have dumped it in some corner where it would have been lying gathering dust and I would have got an acknowledgement on a buff paper. In Boston, they are preserved in air conditioned lockers.”

Of course, he added that he was paid $5,000 for each manuscript. In a manner of speaking, Narayan was a professional writer and looked at his writings wholly from a commercial perspective. I am not too sure whether we can question this premise of his.


They further argue that Narayan did not know Kannada well enough except for four or five sentences which he spoke with a mixture of Tamil. I think his Kannada was much better than that and this accusation has to be seen in the context of their opposition to the memorial.

Finally, they are of the view that Narayan’s relatives are selling the house just as Narayan did his manuscripts solely for money. The major burden of their argument is that Narayan as a non-Kannadiga does not deserve a memorial in Mysore and the government of Karnataka should not spend any money over it.

To be honest, I read the press release repeatedly to make sure that they meant what they had said.

I cannot understand how writers, eminent ones at that, could take such a stance.


Literature at its basic level teaches us to transcend all differences, be it linguistic, religious, cultural or any other for that matter. If they were genuinely concerned about memorials for other famous Kannada writers, they ought to have raised this issue dispassionately without questioning the decision of the government of Karnataka to build a memorial for Narayan.

R.K. Narayan by virtue of his being a writer in English is a pan-Indian literary figure of international acclaim. He is an eminent Indian English novelist who along with Mulk Raj Anand and Raja Rao was responsible for putting Indian Writing in English on the map of world literature.

He is possibly the most widely translated Indian writer.

I suspect that he was also the bestselling author among Indian writers and should rank as one of the richest among them. Narayan will reign supreme in world literature as far as readability is concerned.

There is a larger question whether governments should spend money on building such memorials for writers. England, for instance, has preserved the house of every writer, for that matter of all artists irrespective of their being considered major or minor in importance.

For the lover of arts, it is bound to be a memorable visit wherein he feels the ambience and the spirit of the place.

Depending on one’s familiarity with the artist, memories will come rushing in and result in an aesthetically satisfying experience. As a matter of fact, this is the nearest that one can come to experiencing the real thing. Surely, there is no substitute for this.

I would like to add that all such houses of writers should be seen as slices of literary heritage and not as pieces of real estate.

Here, I am reminded of what a friend from the fourth estate told me. Apparently, the heirs of a well-known politician of Karnataka demanded a fancy price for the house of their ancestor. When the officer concerned demanded that they offer the house free to the government, they refused. It was clear that they were more interested in the money part of it rather than the desire to perpetuate the memory of their illustrious forefather.

To be fair to Narayan’s relatives, they offered the house for sale as there was no one to stay in it. Only when the demolition of the house began did this become a public issue. Star of Mysore Editor-in-Chief K.B. Ganapathy, an ardent admirer of Narayan’s writings, wrote about the necessity of converting the house into a memorial.

Officials and Ministers responded favourably to this demand and it was officially announced that the government will buy the house and make it into a museum. It is more than a year since this happened and hence it is regrettable that such renowned writers are making an issue of this so belatedly.

(Former vice-chancellor of the Rajiv Gandhi central university in Arunachal Pradesh, Prof K.C. Belliappa is former faculty of the department of English, University of Mysore. This piece originally appeared in Star of Mysore and is republished with kind courtesy)

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61 Responses to “4 reasons why R.K. Narayan deserves a memorial”

  1. Prasad Seshadri Says:

    If a person lives in Karnataka for such a long time and contributes so immensely to International literature as R.K.Narayan did then he needs to honored by Karnataka as a native son. In fact Malgudi is very much a prototype of a village in Karnataka and not Tamil Nadu.

  2. Bk chowla Says:

    I would say,Whenever a politician gets involved in a decision making process,it is eventual mess

  3. walkerjay Says:

    In a state where diligent workers and intellectuals from Northeastern India were recently made to feel unwelcome and another minority, namely Muslims were wrongly blamed for it, is it any surprise that one of the most celebrated of writers should face such indignities? At least he’s not alive to read or hear of it.
    The issue of his belonging to Karnataka and that of spending massive amounts — or siphoning off the funds — on refurbishing a building are separate, of course.

  4. Seeker and her search Says:

    very good piece…

  5. True Kannadiga Says:

    The whole system of awards, memorial building, and naming of institutions/roads/trains etc is ridden with factors like caste, religion , influence ,and dirty politics .With this why one should unnecessarily and unjustifiably create negative impression on a globally acknowledged personality who did not even ask for what these petty people are fighting over.One can see in Mysore , Bangalore and other towns in Karnataka repeated naming of institution, roads, squares and turns on single literary luminary as though there were /are no other luminaries to name after, Why this is not being questioned by these people who are creating rukus over RKN memorial? . Let them not create any physical memory for RKN and reduce him to that entity .He has remained and will remain etched in the hearts and minds of lovers of pure and original literature forever world over.

  6. dr ramesh Says:

    Its a clear cut case of misplaced priorities and insensitiveness to public opinion by the state government.
    RKN was a English novelist of repute who happened to spend a good part of his life in Mysore, but he was in total disconnect with Kannada and Kannada culture. A novelist should have a sensitive mindset, which is always open to new experiences, but sadly though RKN deliberately and disrespectfully refused to associate himself with common kannadigas. So why should karnataka govt waste tax payers money on a memorial for a man who cared less for karnataka. it sends a wrong signal to the society.
    K. S.ASHWATH— great actor, career spanning 5 decades, true mysorean, led a simple austere life, contributed more to karnataka, govt neglects him. ( govt thinks being TAM BRAHM is greater than KAN BRAHM).
    I congratulate people who have raised questions against the memorial.

  7. Deepak Says:

    Well said dr ramesh. RKN was a great man and an amazing writer, but it is on record that he said that he is not a Kannadiga and is a Tamilian. So, why should Karnataka Govt. spend money on his memorial. He is an English writer and a national figure, let the Central Govt. spend funds. There is nothing wrong in the literary greats speaking out.

    The likes of Karnad and Ananthmurthy who call themselves liberals are the greatest fascists. They spare no opportunity to question others freedom to express their views.

    And Govt should not waste money on anyone’s memorial – be it RKN, be it Rajkumar or Vishunuvardhan. Art and Culture should be left to independent bodies, they will do a good job, Govt. should not poke its nose here.

  8. Suresh Narayanan Says:

    Who needs a memorial for RKN in Karnataka ? Not his fans. He lives on in his books and the characters he created. The moment you see a man of letters through a narrow, chauvinistic prism, you reduce yourself in the eyes of the world.

  9. vaidya Says:

    Of course. If you live in Karnataka you should only write in Kannada and contribute only to Kannada literature. Otherwise there is no respect for you. You are an outsider who lived here. English writers should go to England and write there. They can deal with manuscripts and build memorials for you.

    But coming to think of it, they are just jealous. Also, tried googling this, but couldn’t find the press note or who were the ‘writers’ who produced it. Any links?

  10. K Laxminarayana Rao Says:

    We are not building a Kannada memorial to RK. RK should be honored for his work as an Indian and making Kannada places, cultures and life known to International community through English. I cannot understand why these people are making such a big issue. What harm RK has done to Kannada? Is it Kannada means only Kannada language?

  11. satish Says:

    What is beyond dispute is the writings of RKN were unique and entertaining in a sublime manner and deserve the place that they are in.

    About having a memorial for him in Mysore, one should look at the other factors viz. the love and affection and respect that ordinary people of Mysore have for him, what items from his life would you be keeping in the building and do we have them in sufficient numbers, how would its maintenance be funded, can we ensure its proper upkeep etc

    One can have a memorial for him as either an eminent personality who lived in Mysore


    an eminent Indian writer in English, popular in the literary world.

    In the later case we can explore the possibility of receiving funds for the memorial from publishing houses and philanthropists fond of Indian writers in English

    At the end of the day if we go ahead with the project, we should ensure that it is successful and a model for such future projects.

  12. Angry Young Man Says:

    RK Narayan definitely deserves a memorial. I think that the writers who opposed it have shown themselves in a poor light….

  13. raj Says:

    I read in swami and friends in kannada. It had a lasting impact and I as a kannadiga totally object to the charge he was disconnected from local people. his legacy will live on. Controversy is utterly ridiculous.

  14. Rajesh Says:

    If RKN brought laurel’s to India as a nation, shouldn’t the central govt. be picking up the tab instead of state govt.? What am I missing here?

  15. mysore peshva Says:

    the pettiness is astounding…

  16. A R Nagabhushana Says:

    Dr KCB has analysed the issue dispassionately and correctly. I must say that RKN deserves a memorial. Most Kannada writers are short sighted.

  17. Doddi Buddi Says:

    May be somebody from RK Narayan’s family should run this house as a cultural center of sorts. Some endowment and trust can be created and so on…

  18. Suresh Panje Says:

    Let all the fanatic lovers of Kannada language realise the fact that a majority of renowned Kannada literary figures happen to be those whose mother tongue was not Kannada at all.

    Take for instance the glorious saga of Lakshmi Naaranappa, better known as Muddanna (Tulu), Manjeshwar Govind Pai, Panje Mangesh Rao (incidentally my granduncle), Girish Karnad, Hattangadi Narayana Rao, Venkat Gulvadi (Konkani speaking), S G Narasimhachar, Masti Venkatesha Iyengar, T P Kailasam, G P Rajaratnam and Puti Narasimhachar (all speaking Tamil of Mysorean Iyengars), Siddanahalli Krishna Sharma (Telugu), V K Gokak and D R Bendre (Marathi) among others.

    Their mother tongue was not Kannada. Yet they lent a shining hue to the Kannada language over which the fanatic characters in the likes of Vatal Nagaraj et al have literally eclipsed the literary contributions of the above named worthies.

    One fails to understand why so much fuss whether R K Narayan wrote in Kannada language or not. He was a Mysorean by all counts as such we must not make an ethnic issue out of this . For instance, M V Kamath has become a renowned journalist after going to Bombay (oops, Mumbai lest the clan of Thackerays target me) and he hails from South Kanara (Udipi to be precise); the late Ranganath (better known as Ranga) was a renowned cartoonist and he made a name after coming to New Delhi and indeed, he was proud to be referred as a Mysorean, to mean a Kannadiga.

    So let the fanatic minds not create a needless debate out of nothing since it would be futile.

  19. Anonymous Guy Says:

    In his final resting place, he thought:
    “If my descendents give my house to the government to build a memorial, it would eventually gather dust and they would have got an acknowledgement on a buff paper. If they sold it, the new tenants would install an air conditioner and make the place habitable.”

  20. M Says:

    I do not understand all this ruckus when his own descendants have decided to sell the house for monetary gains. RKN was very fond of children in the family, including nieces and nephews. And paid great attention to their welfare. When his own blood isn’t interested in preserving his memory why should the ordinary people be forced to bear the financial burden.

    More than than the role of Govt., I condemn the intention of RKN descendants to sell the property. May such children never be born again.

  21. chidu22 Says:

    RKN and family have been sucking upto the british from day one. There is no doubt RKN produced some of the best works in english.
    The question of who should foot the bill for the memorial is the moot point. All along RKN for their greed, have been selling their works to the west. They lived in Kannada nadu and their contribution to the native land is zero. For their greed, the family was going to sell the property, however, some mysooru navaru,becuase of their misplaced sense of magnanimity,have put pressure on the government to foot the bill for the memorial. To collect the funds for the memorial of an english author shouldn’t be such a difficult task.The entire english speaking Indians and foreigners will definitely do. Surprisingly ,you find more kannadigas chipping in here who would never do so for their own kannada authors. Mr Belliappa and Ganesh Co can themselves start fund collection, and spare the government.

  22. Pulikeshi the Last. Says:

    Haasanadallo, hyderabadinallo namma Rajarayarigondu saNNa gudi katrappa.

  23. the colonel Says:

    One may like to sum up our performance in the 20th century in one sentence. Indians have succeeded in countries ruled by whites, but failed in their own.

    This outcome would have astonished leaders of our independence movement. They declared Indians were kept down by white rule and could flourish only under self-rule. This seemed self-evident The harsh reality today is that Indians are succeeding brilliantly in countries ruled by whites, but failing in India. They are flourishing in the USA and Britain.

    But those that stay in India are pulled down by an outrageous system that fails to reward merit or talent, fails to allow people and businesses to grow, and keeps real power with netas, babus, and assorted manipulators. Once Indians go to white-ruled countries, they soar and conquer summits once occupied only by whites.

  24. GowdaFan Says:

    I fully endorse what hallin daktroo says, we should only honor and build memorials and name roads, towns,universities, dams, pwd projects (and whatever else PWD folks can make money in) in karnataka for only kannadigas, and that too for gowda people. we should restrict ourself and try and be as narrow minded as possible, hallin daaktru should lead this, just like his mentor ex-pm and his great sons.

  25. Suresh Narayanan Says:

    Well said Suresh Panje. I am a Tamil but have been enriched by the glorious literary tradition of Karnataka. Unfortunately I have been able to read only translations but hopefully in the years to come will be able to read these works in their original form. I have been stunned at the clarity of thought in these works and their ability to encompass the whole of humanity. Indeed these writers will be ashamed that their ilk can stoop so low. As for folks that comment on RKN’s greed, the comments are completely gratuitous and made without any knowledge of the man.

  26. ERR Says:

    I have an entirely diffnt. take on this:
    1.When RKN’s house was getting demolished and subsequently stopped, I had a chance to talk to the Asst. commissioner who was in charge of demolition. He told me he had no idea who was R.K. Narayan and what his contribution was! An honest confession. After few years, it is anybody’s guess how it will be maintained!

    2.Swami Vivekananda’s name is known all over the world. He had stayed in Niranjan mutt in Narayan Sastry Road before he went to Chicago for the World Religious Conference. That place was used as a urinal till couple of years back! Swamiji in Ramakrishna Mutt was also sad about this. Subsequently after intervention from Ramakrishna Ashrama, NGOs, Govt etc it is being rebuilt. Only God will know how it will be maintained and for how long in the future.
    3.Shakespeare’s house on Staford-on Avon and Wordsworth’s house have been maintained. Shakespeare’s place is maintained purely by Public money.Receiving no government funding or public subsidies, it is totally dependent upon the public for support, and
    relies on donations and the income generated from visitors.
    4 It will be a dishonor for Great writer like R,K, Narayan or any other writer if we build a memorial now and after sometime due to the usual Govt, apathy, the way we take take care of such memorials, ( naavirode heege swami!) if they become dilapidated or worse becomes a urinal. An example. Few hundred ft. from Jaganmohan Palace, is Parakala Mutt Ashrama. Next to this is a market which is not will maintained. The stink from here reaches the Auditorim and Art gallery.As part of Citizens committee members when Mr. Manivannan was Commissioner and DC, it took lot of efforts to get this place cleaned up.
    5. It will cost lot more as years pass by and where will the money come from?As always, Public and philanthropic contribution will be negligible in India, Govt. apathy will be maximum resulting in humiliating end.Do we want this to happen to our great writers or artistes?
    I feel naming train as ‘Malgudi Express’ due to Churumuri’s efforts, naming a main Road or a park is far better than erecting memorials which for various reasons will be insulting for the famous accomplished people whom we wish to remember. Malgudi express will remain forever. So it is with Taa raa su when they named the circle close to where he lived. Along with English Dept, the Govt. can hold an Annual conference to discuus RKN’s works etc. This is what any writer would love most – be remembered for his works after he was gone than live in insect infected musty building neglected and uncared for.
    For the unalloyed joy they gave us thro’ their writing or songs or painting, we owe it to them that they are remembered better for their works stay in our heart.
    Rather longish comment, I must confess..! sorry!

  27. DailyBread Says:

    1. Mysore should build a Malgudi theme park with an Imax running Shankar Nag’s Malgudi Days continuously.

    2.A museum in palace for all its great sons & daughters like writers/poets/painters/singers/artists/yoga teachers/Magazine Editors, etc.

    3. Dance, Drama, Music concerts, book reading sessions, etc. on the Mysore palace grounds every evening.

  28. dr ramesh Says:

    Dr rajkumar — world renowned thespian, cultural icon, spent good part of his life in Chennai, he did not act in Tamil movies but only in Kannada movies, Tamil nadu govt should have built a memorial in Chennai, because he was a erstwhile resident, ——- did Tamils ask for it? No way.
    Yashwant chittala, vyasaraya ballala—– renowned Kannada writers, spent many years in Mumbai, Mumbai life is etched in their works, did Maharashtra govt build memorials to recognize their contributions, NO.
    HUNDREDS OF HISTORICAL BUILDINGS IN BASAVANAGUDI AND CHAMRAJPET, which were given by Mysore kings to dewans and other citizens for their yoeman services, were demolished giving way to malls and tech companies, where was the govt and where were these people concerned about heritage?
    Puttaraja Gawai, c ashwath, kalinga rao, ananthswamy ,kere mane shambu hegde etc.——– no memorials or museums for their commemoration , kannadigas should analyse this fact.

  29. A Journalist Says:

    R K Narayan and R K Laxman both deserve state honours. They have made Mysore World famous. Most of RKN’s characters are from old-Mysore region. He is one the greatest English writers of the 20th century. One of the World’s best. He brought international recognition to India. Lets not forget that English is one of the 15 national languages of India. Karnataka is not an independent country only for the Kannada speakers/writers. It is also a part of India.

    Arguements by people like Champa etc are stupid, immature and unacceptable.

    RKN will not lose anything. We will lose. Lets not forget that.

  30. chidu22 Says:

    A brilliant author is no excuse to be greedy. To all the folks who are arguing otherwise, please enlighten me about the RKN and family’s genorosity and charity if any,I will stand corrected.The fans of RKN can build and maintain the memorial.

  31. Nastika Says:

    Q) Should RKN have a memorial in Mysore.?
    Oh yes. It has potential to be a tourist attraction, also help publicize literary works.

    Q) Should Govt fund this memorial or other memorials, say for Dr Rajkumar?
    Thats debatable.

    @dr ramesh,
    I wish there is a memorial for K.S.Ashwath and also for RKN. Each one is great in their one terms.


  32. oneworld Says:

    Kannadigas are very racial. Tagging a person who had been a representation of whole nation as non-Kannadiga is like spitting on self…
    Say for ex. in Tamil Nadu.
    MGR, Ajith, lot of actors – Keralite
    Jayalalitha, Nagesh, Padmini, Saroja Devi, Prakash Raj (& many many more) all Kannadigas
    Rajini – Maharashtrian and many more
    Can you name a state with such an opportunity for other state people.

    And for a person who represented common man of the whole country – whole India, you Kannadigas are opposing. Right, point noted

  33. KFi365 Says:

    The worst part of the story is that his family people (maybe grandchildren) had sold away the property to some builder!! Hence the builder was destroying the building. And some concerned people stopped the demolition and the present story.

    Can anyone make some reflections on the greedy american grandchildren of Indian parents? Someone should throw light on how RKN’s house passed into the hands of greedy family members.

    While the whole world respects RKN, his greedy family members were blind to the value of his home!

    Taxpayers money? Yes, why not! RKN too was a taxpayer here. TAM BRAHMS still live in Karnataka and pay taxes. So why not?

  34. nags Says:

    @oneworld – ask each one of them you’ve mentioned whether they are still NON-TAMILIANS and the answer will be resounding NO!. You are defn a tamilian who at the very mention of kannada spews venom as history has recorded it. By your own standards, teach tamilians also to respect the land they live in and the culture, people etc. While none of the kannadigas have questioned RKN’s feeling that he remained a tamilian in spite of spending decades in Mysore as his home, it is only the blind-faith Lingua Chauvinists like you who are questioning the rationale for oppsition to use local taxpayers’ money in preserving the building. If you are so much interested, convince RKN’s heirs to donate the building!

  35. the colonel Says:

    will someone explain what is this respect, respect, respect, respect, respect, respect, respect, respect, respect, respect, respect,????

    will someone also explain what is this insult, insult, insult, insult, insult, insult, insult, insult, insult, insult, insult, insult, insult, insult, insult,?????????????????????????????

    just not understood as i am just an indian, if you just dont mind please.

  36. Deepak Says:

    If Kannadigas are racial, then Tamilians are communal!! C’mon boss, use logic, don’t use the word racial without understanding its meaning. Please see a dictionary to understand the meaning of racial.

    If you want to throw mud at Kannadigas, there will be Kannadigas waiting to throw cement at you. So, don’t start a mud slinging, it won’t benefit anyone.

  37. chidu22 Says:


    Indian is not Hindi,konga or bonga only. If you can’t respect the native language and culture you have no place in this part of India. So don’t mind please!

  38. ram Says:

    satish: “about having a memorial for him in Mysore, one should look at the other factors viz. the love and affection and respect that ordinary people of Mysore have for him, what items from his life would you be keeping in the building and do we have them in sufficient numbers, how would its maintenance be funded, can we ensure its proper upkeep etc”

    do you uphold all the above if RKN was a kannadiga?

  39. PCI Says:

    I don’t think any Kannadiga would have objected if the memorial was for Maasti, Gorur or Kailasam.. its not matter of being Kannadiga or outsider.. I have not come across any Kannada character or cultural reference in any of the RKN stories.. Moreover he doesn’t need a memorial, his books will remind everyone about his genius..

  40. shiv Says:

    A Journalist Says:
    26 September 2012 at 11:59 am – Well said whoever you are but can you change narrowmindedness? i doubt.It is a fashion to be a racist,chauvinist and narrow minded.You can find them in plenty in India.Karnataka and kannadigas are no exception.

  41. chetan Says:

    @suresh panje
    all of the first generation kannada writers were non-kannadigas by birth because mysore kings invited tamil and telugu brahmins to write in kannada. this info i got from janasri channel interview with dr. kalburgi a year ago. He said he wrote a book about how mysore kings patronised tamil/ telugu writers over kannada writers. Then he said kuvempu was a 2nd generation kannada writer. he severely criticized mysore kings.

  42. satish Says:

    Ram: Certainly yes. More so because Kannada is my mother tongue. The accent is on being positive.

    We Kannadigas are hugely fortunate in that we have a great treasure in our literature, arts, poetry and view of life. Remember Kuvempu’s words “Jaya Bharata jananiya tanujaate..” & his concept of “vishwa manava”, I am not aware if such sentiments have been reflected in any other language. In how many languages do we have poets their poems set to memorable music and sung by dedicated singers? So too is “Govina Haadu” it is indeed unique.

    Fostering and propagating our heritage is very important in this increasingly commercialized world.

    If setting up a memorial for any of the great sons of Karnataka can provide us such an opportunity, why not grab it.

    The important thing is that we should do an outstanding job of it

  43. Prakash Says:

    Dear Churmuri readers, I have a simple question to you all… If you had lived in Mysore for 5 decades (50 years), if you have studied in Maharaja’s college, still won’t you learn Kannada language and can’t speak Kannada?? if your answer is ‘yes’ then why this was not possible for RK Narayan? When he could write books in a foreign language and become famous. I can understand that RKN had a inferiority complex to learn and use Kannada language. For such type of person, is there a need for memorial ? Please think and answer…..Prakash

  44. Gundaa Says:

    I just purchased R.K Narayan’s novel to read before I can even think of voicing my opinion. I hope everybody voicing an opinion in this blog has read at least one novel by R.K Narayan in their post adult life.

  45. SP Says:

    ref. to above comments, Dr. Ramesh, Mr.Suresh panje has rightly expressed the views why RKN memorial has to be opposed. If a man says “he is not related to Kannada” then it is the right way to oppose his memorial. His work will continue to cherish small English Speaking/understanding world. (thanks to Shankara Nag who made his work to reach many more people). Let Malgudi Days dubbed in Kannada with these funds, which will gain some respect to RKN (& to all those who think Karnataka as just ‘Dharmachatra’ of India!!)

  46. ram Says:

    Deepak> I can counter argue as well. go first check the meaning of communal, your common sense and logical thinking is at stake bro. chill

  47. ram Says:

    Dr. ramesh> come on doctor, please try to be reasonable atleast once in a lifetime. why would tamil nadu govt build a memorial for dr.raj. Just because he spent time in tamil nadu, unlike narayan who spent almost his entire life in mysore with great contributions to the literary world.

  48. Prakash Says:

    Mr. Ram, Tamilnadu will not build any memorial to any non tamil people. They have got buried themselves in Tamil emotions and they cant love non Tamils. Dr. Rajkumar has won so many national awards including the highest award for Cinema world in India, Dada Saheb Phalke Award. Since he lived in Chennai for more than 30 years, Tamilnadu must feel proud of him and build a great memorial in his honour. Dr. Raj enthralled more than 6 crore people of this country. Where as RKN must have not even reached 1% of people of India. I am not hopeful that people like you may agree with me because of your self centricity & ignorant about other parts of India. The entire India knows how people of T.nadu behave with others ….

  49. Pulikeshi the Last Says:

    Like Devegowda’s petrol bunk, a bookstore in honor of R. K. Nani should settle the issue.

  50. Deepak Says:

    @ram – you didnt understand what I said. I said ‘if’ Kannadigas are racist, then Tamilians are communal – both are false!!!!

  51. ram Says:

    Prakash -> you seem to be brother of Dr. ramesh. Memorial for Dr.raj in chennai, biggest joke and offensive as well. Dr.raj has been the forerunner in anti-tamil riots, famous for his provocative speech on any contentious issue with tamils be it cauvery issue or whatever. Dr.raj lived in tamil nadu for 30 years and was hell against tamil nadu. Come on you expect a memorial for him in fact Tamils feel sick about him.

    “Where as RKN must have not even reached 1% of people of India.” –> Ok dude, BUT RKN never had any political leanings, neither had any disrespect towards kannada. Unlike you Dr.raj who neither had any statesmanship qualities nor any diplomacy inspite of being such a popular personality.

    “I am not hopeful that people like you may agree with me because of your self centricity & ignorant about other parts of India.” –> I am completely baffled by your profound knowledge dude.

  52. dinesh Pandian Says:

    Dr Ramesh:T nadu Govt should build a memorial for Rajkumar, not in Chennai, at Gajanur, Erode district,Tamilnadu. TN govt should be proud that a person from Gajanur went to great heights who hailed from erstwhile Coimbatore district

  53. kfi365 Says:

    We are looking at this issue as a “one time situation” of RK Narayan. As citizens, we need to look at such issues in long term basis also.

    This was an emergency and somehow we need to preserve his house. For the future, we need to have an uniform policy from the Government regarding the houses of great men (and women of course):

    1. One department of the government should be given the responsibility of such matters.
    2. The heirs of such personalities should first appeal to this department stating whether the government is interested in preserving the house or not. They should wait for a month before the house is sold.
    3. Such list of appeals should be displayed on the department’s website where anyone can view the list.
    4. The department should be given annual budget for preserving such houses. If the department runs out of budget, it should clearly indicate its inability to maintain and be open to public donations.
    5. Public / fans / Institutions / universities can chip in and donate money for this purpose.
    6. If in one month, there is no sufficient donation or no budget for preserving the house, the heir of the personality should be free to sell the house.
    7. But if the heirs did not inform the government and offered it, then nobody should care about such houses.

    People on the either side of the debate are speaking on taxpayers money. What we need urgently is uniform policy on spending such taxpayers money. People on both sides of the debate should engage in meaningful work of persuading the government to come out with uniform policy for preserving such heritage houses. Be it of Kannadiga or Tamil or Any language person. If he/she is worth for humanity, they should be given that respect.

  54. Doddi Buddi Says:

    Four reasons why RKN deserves a memorial according to me:

    1. RKN memorial honors the man
    2. Yadavagiri remains unspoiled; else there will be a horrid apartment complex in the same site.
    3. Can house a small library, gift shop selling Malgudi Mugs for mugs who visit the place; may be a cafe serving RKN’s favorite dishes (south Indian TamBram food); and if we dare a small bar catering to the needy and thirsty (for the likes of DB, Belliappa, Ganapathy, et al)
    4. Should enable other writers to dream of such memorials

  55. Shridharaswamy Says:

    By honoring RKN, one can connect to Malgudi Days, which is actually Old Mysore days. But then Mysore has changed very little.

    Maybe his mother did not approve of him learning Kannada, but T.P. Kailasam and others have made significant contributions to Karnataka, Let alone Tam-Brahms other Tamil communities have made a lot of contribution.

    Tirupathi Venkateswara temple is etched with Tamil names on all its columns.

    Karnataka is very lucky that it got culturally benefitted from Shankaracharya, Ramanucharaya, and Madhvacharya and Dattatreya avatars from North Karnatka and MAharastra.

    All southern rivers flow from West to East except for one or so, parallely. States must have been made like Latitutudes in the south.

    A Million years is just a femto-second in Cosmic Time scale, who knows what happens a hundred years from now.

  56. dr ramesh Says:

    Forget RKN memorial,
    karnataka govt should name the BANGALORE-MYSORE HIGHWAY as —— SREE MAADHE GOWDA highway.
    I admire the great spirit, Kannada abhimaana, pro farmer attitude of the man. Its unfortunate that maadhegowda did not become CM of karnataka. He would have revolutionised irrigation system and agriculture in karnataka.
    Keep going gowdre—- kannadigas are with u.

  57. N.narayanan Says:

    super comments I am in chennai at chrompet

  58. Deepak Says:

    @drramesh – You are joking sir!! What has Made gowda done other than block traffic annually and call for a bundh? His much-vaunted efforts have not resulted in anything positive at all for the state. Year after year Karnataka continues to be discriminated against, despite Made Gowda’s protests.

  59. Doddi Buddi Says:

    Dr Ramesappa
    How about renaming Bangalore itself as Devegowda Halli? We admire the secular spirit, ‘xyz’ abhimaana, and pro-reform attitude of the great man! His name alone will sell a billion T-shirts, numerous coffee mugs. Of course he has already revolutionized Bangalore Metro, Karnataka Legislature, Packet Biriyani (through his sons HDK and HDR), other sundry dealings.

  60. Arun Murthy Says:

    On the face of it, the attempt by the Kannada writers looks parochial. But, I feel it would be prudent to seek clarifications from them on why they are against RKN or a memorial for him. After all, people like GSS, GV, LSS, … are more learned and have more stature than all commentators put together here, including KCB.

  61. D.V. Raghavan Says:

    In literary world, particularly in India, however great is a writer or
    his stature, still not free from professional jealousy or from narrow
    mindedness. The great debate for and against RKN memorial will only kick more dust than spread perfume. D.V. Raghavan

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