Kannada Champa writer and revolutionary activist dies at 83
Renowned Kannada writer and literary critic Professor Chandrashekar Patil, known as Champa, died on Sunday evening in a private hospital in Bengaluru. He was 83 years old and suffered from age-related illnesses.
Champa was known for his revolutionary literature (Bandaya Sahithya). Born in the village of Hattimattur in the Haveri district in 1939, Champa was known to have participated in several social and literary movements, notably the agitation against the Emergency in 1975, the protest for the application of the Mandal report, the peasant movements and the bustle of Gokak.
Champa also opposed the decision of the state government of Karnataka to introduce English as the language of instruction in public schools in the state, demanding that Kannada be maintained as the language of instruction.
He was professor of English at the University of Karnataka, Dharwad and editor-in-chief of ‘Sankramana’, a Kannada literary publication. He had also been the head of the Kannada Development Authority and Kannada Sahitya Parishat. Recipient of a Pampa Prize, the highest literary distinction of the government of Karnataka, he returned his prize in protest against the assassination of academic MM Kalburgi.
Patil is survived by his wife and two children.
Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, who visited Champa’s house, paid tribute to him and said that the final rites will be carried out with all the honors of the state. He said, “His writings with independent thinking were sharp. He used to mirror the system with his insightful presentation of the issues. “