Kannada poet Shivarudrappa dead

Bangalore: Eminent Kannada poet G.S. Shivarudrappa passed away Monday here after prolonged illness. He was 87.

The Karnataka government declared two-day mourning as a mark of respect to Shivarudrappa and declared a public holiday Tuesday for its offices, schools and colleges across the state.

The poet is survived by wife, two sons and a daughter.

"Shivarudrappa has been ailing for some time with old-age related health issues and breathed last at his residence here," a family member told IANS.

The distinguished litterateur was the third Kannada poet to be awarded the prestigious title of Rashtrakavi (national poet) by the state government in 2006 after K.V. Puttappa (Kuvempu) and Manjeswara Govinda Pai.

Born Feb 7, 1926 at Shikaripura in Shimoga district, about 300km from here, Shivarudrappa began his career as a Kannada lecturer in Maharaja College at Mysore and later became head of the Kannada department in Osmania University at Hyderabad and subsequently in Bangalore University.

He published 13 anthologies of poems, a dozen prose and research works and four travelogues and wrote extensively on art and social issues. Among his popular works were "Samagana" and "Vykathamadhya", a collection of poems and essays.

The poet was also honoured with a number of awards, including the prestigious Soviet Land Nehru award, Pampa Prashasti and Sahitya Akademi award for his literary contribution.

Shivarudrappa served as president of Karnataka Sahitya Academy from 1987-1990.

State Chief Minister Siddaramaiah mourned the poet`s death and expressed condolence to his family members.

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