Bangalore(DHNS) : The mortal remains of Jnanpith awardee and noted Kannada writer U R Ananthamurthy were consigned to flames at Indira Gandhi National Kalagrama on Jnanabharathi campus on Saturday evening.
The writer’s son Sharath Murthy lit the funeral pyre at 4.10 pm. One of the prominent writers of Indian literature, Udupi Rajagopalacharya Ananthamurthy, was laid to rest amidst chanting of Sanskrit hymns in the presence of his wife Esther, daughter-in-law Jyothsna, daughter Anuradha, son-in-law Vivek Shanbhag, brother Dr Anil Kumar and a host of relatives.
BJP national vice-president B S Yeddyurappa, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and his Cabinet colleagues – M H Ambareesh, H C Mahadevappa, Umashree, U T Khader and T B Jayachandra – were among the prominent political leaders who attended the funeral. Thousands of people, including Ananthamurthy’s students, fans, family friends and close associates, also took part.
The mortal remains of the literary stalwart were wrapped in Tricolour. The police offered gun salute. The rituals were performed in accordance with the Madhwa Brahmin sect. A team of 15 priests led by Suryanarayana Shastri led the rituals as per Vedic tradition, which lasted for almost an hour.
Special arrangements were made near Kuvempu Bhasha Bharathi Pradhikara where the writer was laid to rest amidst full state honours.
Two trucks of firewood, 50 kg of sandalwood pieces, 75 kg of ghee and five kg of camphor were used for the final rites.
Rituals were conducted as per Brahminical traditions earlier in the day at his residence at Dollars Colony. Christian and Muslim prayers were also held as he was known for upholding secular values.
The funeral procession began in a flower-bedecked vehicle from Ravindra Kalakshetra at 2 pm.
The police had ensured zero traffic at all major junctions and traffic signals. Thousands of people stood on roadsides and paid tributes. They raised slogans “Ananthamurthy Amaravagali” (let Ananthamurthy be immortal).
The police had made massive security arrangements at Kalagrama to ensure smooth conduct of the final rites.
The entry to the place where the body was kept was highly restricted.
The police only permitted family friends, relatives and a handful of close associates.
The seating arrangement was made at a distance of 50 metres away from the place where the final rites were conducted. Proper shelter was provided as it was likely to rain.
The police had deployed additional forces to guide the people.