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
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.