ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Understanding Kalaburgi

A tribute to M M Kalaburgi, the eminent scholar of the history of Karnataka and the language of Kannada, who was assassinated in Dharwad on 30 August.

“In an emotion-charged country like India, a researcher’s journey cannot be smooth, because the heirs to the adage ‘utter not the bitter truth’ would not relish the hard truth. So, the researcher will have to face persecution, now and then. On such occasions, the ‘intelligentsia’ would ecstatically exploit the gullible to tarnish the truth-seeker—in fact, the truth itself—and force him to negotiate several burning pits laid on his path. Narrowing this to Karnataka, I may say that the pits dug under my feet by this section were larger than those dug under the feet of my contemporaries. However, it is not the fire burning under my feet, but the truth that was glowing before my eye that mattered to me. This made me grow so far, and so much,”

wrote Kalaburgi in his “Foreword” to the second edition of his collected papers, published in two volumes under the title Marga in 1988, on the occasion of his 50th birthday. Another volume was added to this in 1997, which happened to be his 60th year of birth. He continued to write, crossing now and then such craters of embers, till he raised the total number of volumes of his collected papers to six. Published in 2010, these volumes comprised 633 papers spread over 4,000 pages. On the occasion of releasing them on his bidding in Bangalore, I said that no one in Karnataka had written so much on so many subjects in the past 150 years, and that they were truly encyclopaedic in content and character. I also found in him the master of micro research.

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