Facing flak, Karna Guv approves writer`s name for doctorate
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Last Updated: Monday, February 07, 2011, 21:08
Bangalore: Facing flak from litterateurs, Governor H R Bhardwaj on Friday approved the name of Kannada writer and historian M Chidananda Murthy for award of an honorary doctorate, which he had put on hold for his views on conversion to Christianity.

Bhardwaj's decision to hold back Bangalore University's decision to confer doctorate on Murthy, a well- known researcher, had invited criticism from Jnanpith award winner U R Ananthamurthy and president of the recently-held 77th All India Kannada Literary Conference G Venkatasubbaiah.

Writers and scholars at the Kannada meet had raised their voice against Bhardwaj calling him "communal" for withholding the name of Chidananda Murthy, who has often come out strongly against alleged "forcible" conversions to Christianity.

A Raj Bhavan communique said having regard to the clarification statement issued by Chidananda Murthy himself that he has not justified the attacks on churches and he was against attacks on any place of worship, governor had "no hesitation" in approving his name and added it has been conveyed to the Bangalore University.

The communique said when the recommendation of Bangalore University for awarding Honorary Doctorate to Murthy was submitted to the governor, who is also the Chancellor, press reports attributing certain statements to Murthy were also considered and Bhardwaj had desired to further verify them before giving his approval.

The other two names Nisar Ahamed and B K S Varma had been cleared on the same day for awarding the doctorate. Members of the Bangalore University Syndicate had also represented to the governor to reconsider and accord approval.

"The governor has also taken into account, the views expressed by learned Jnanpith award winner U R Anantha Murthy and other scholars at recently held Kannada Sahithya Sammelana," it said adding Bhardwaj held the intelligentsia of the state in high esteem.

"Due diligence is the rule to perform all functions", the communique said adding the "governor opined that there is no room for controversy on such issues".

Chidananda Murthy's remarks against conversion had come in the wake of a one-man judicial commission recently giving a clean chit to the BJP government and Sangh Parivar groups in the series of attacks on churches in various parts of the state in 2008.


First Published: Monday, February 07, 2011, 21:08

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