Mangalore, September 26: The programme ‘Remembering URA,’ was organised by the English Association and Kannada Sangha of University College at Ravindra Kala Bhavan on September 25th, URA’s daughter Anuradha Ananthamurthy responding to a question raised at an interaction with U R Anathamurthy’s family, said that, late U R Ananthamurthy the Jnanpith awardee and Litterateur was deeply hurt at the ways in which he was personally attacked on his political and religious comments during the past one year. Although the derogatory remarks had not affected him very much, some-times he appeared to be disturbed and helpless.
She said, “Criticism was not new to him or to his family. But then, attacks were on an intellectual ground in the past which he readily accepted, where as it descended into to a personal level in the recent years. Whenever we used to insist to stop commenting, he would justify hoping that young people who swear at him will gradually change”.
Anuradha revealed that even after Ananthamurthy‘s death, the family has been receiving letters and emails abusing him. “We have received several abusive letters from people of Dakshina Kannada too,” she added.
URA’s wife Esther Ananthamurthy responding to a query justified his statement on Narendra Modi becoming the PM and said, “URA did not say that he will leave India if Modi becomes the prime minister, but he had stated that he does not wish to live in the country if Modi is elected as the PM. As a citizen of this country he was free to express his opinion on Modi or others too”.
Recalling the good old days, Esther said that marrying Ananthamurthy had opened a new world to her. “The house was filled with his students, friends and guests all the time. It helped me to evolve as a person. It was worthwhile spending my life with him,” she said.
Anuradha portrayed some of the lesser known traits of her father said that, Ananthamurthy used to shut himself and write whenever he was working on a novel or stories. People in his inner circle were all youngsters and he always wished to stay connected to them. Despite aging, he had a thirst of learning the modern technology and learnt to operate computer and latest phones with a child like enthusiasm. “He was not just a father to me and my brother, but to several other youngsters around,” she added.
Anuradha on reacting to the criticisms about Ananthamurthy’s last rites which was carried out in Madhwa Brahmin tradition said that it was purely the family’s choice. “He was never a non-religious man, rather he respected all religions”. “He had respect towards Vaidik system though he criticised some of the superstitions. There was no confusion in his beliefs. He was clear in his thought and was spiritual in nature. We conducted his last rites in the way which would have made him happy and as he would have wanted”.
Journalist Deepa Ganesh who has translated several works of URA, said that sifting through the layers of emotions of his works was the toughest part of the translation.