BANGALORE: A number of Kannada writers on Thursday met Jnanpith awardee U R Ananthamurthy at his residence and extended their support to him.
Ananthamurthy is allegedly getting threat calls, letters and e-mails from radical right-wing activists after his comments about leaving the country if BJP’s Narendra Modi becomes the Prime Minister, which he had withdrawn later.
Speaking to Express, writer Marulasiddappa, who was among the 30 writers who visited the writer, said every one has freedom of speech and expression. “Prof Ananthamurhty has the freedom to express his views. Whatever he said, one should see his concern behind the statement and should not take the literal meaning,” he said. He said that those who are saying that Ananthamurthy should leave the country must understand that India is not their private property. Critic G K Govinda Rao and President of Karnataka Lekhakiyara Sangha Dr Vasundhara Bhupathi were present. Meanwhile, Chief Minister’s media advisor Dinesh Amin Mattu who also visited Ananthamurthy said that he was not part of the writers’ group which staged a protest outside his home. “It was a coincidence that the writers were also there when I visited. It was my personal visit,” he said. The CM, Mattu said, has insisted the writer to take police security for some more days. Chairman of Kannada Book Authority Banjagere Jayprakash said, “A writer speaks a different language. One should understand the meaning behind a writer’s statement and not its literal meaning. Modi will be our PM now, we will congratulate him. But in future, if his policies threaten the integrity of our country, we shall stand up and fight,” he added.
When contacted, BJP state president Prahlad Joshi said Ananthamurthy had made this statement before the polls, for which they have replied. “His statement was non-constitutional,” he said. When asked about some section of writers alleging that there is RSS involvement in the issue, Joshi said that is nothing to do with BJP or RSS. “They (writers) are doing it for the sake of publicity,” he said.