Dharwad: Hailing from Yaragal in Sindhagi taluk of Vijayapura district, Kalburgi was born on November 28, 1938.
His father Madiwalappa and mother Gowramma were agriculturists. Kalburgi had his primary and secondary education in Yaragal and Sindhagi and higher education in Vijayapura and at the Karnatak University, Dharwad (KUD).
After completing his MA in Kannada with a gold medal, he joined Karnatak College, Dharwad as a lecturer and later joined the PG department of Kannada in KUD. He went up the ladder to become the head of the department of Kannada and chairperson of Basaveshwara Peetha in KUD. He had earned his PhD in Kannada for his thesis ‘Kaviraja Margada Parisaradalli Kannada Sahitya’.
An erudite scholar, he was a renowned researcher and an authority on Vachana literature. He was an expert on various subjects like ancient scripture, halegannada, grammar, literature, culture and folk arts. He was the chief editor of Samagra Vachana Samputa published by the State government.
Kalburgi is a recipient of prestigious awards like Pampa award, Vardhamana award, Karnataka Sahitya Academy award and Rajyotsava award for his literary and research works. He was also a member of KUD senate, syndicate and academic council. He was appointed vice-chancellor of Hampi Kannada University to succeed Chandrashekhara Kambara.
Kalburgi had also served as chairman of the Dr Da Ra Bendre National Memorial Trust and had mooted the ‘Baaro Sadhanakerige’ concept that led to beautification of Sadhanakeri Lake opposite Bendre’s house. He had authored 103 books including Neeru Neeradisittu, Sarangarshi, and Kachhittu Kalyan in several realms of literature and research.
However, his main thrust area was research on Kannada language and culture with special focus on the Sharana movement of the 12th century.
The scholar, who was a member of the advisory board to the Kannada Sahitya Academy, was conferred the National Sahitya Akademi award in 2006 for his collection of research articles titled ‘Marga 4’. He had won State Sahitya Akademi Award, Basava Puraskara, Nrupatunga Award, Pampa Award, Yakshagana Award and many others.
As the HoD and vice-chancellor, he was credited with initiating research, editing and publication of several works. He was instrumental in collection, editing and publication of several ancient manuscripts and inscriptions.
He had supervised a project to document the history of small royal families, lesser known ancient poets, kaifiyats, Adilshahi literature, biographies of several persons contributing to the society and other works.
Kalburgi was the editor of the comprehensive volumes of Vachanas and translation of these volumes into 22 languages. It was a project funded by the State government. The number of his research articles is nearly 400.
Probe by CID?
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and his Cabinet colleagues paid their last respects to Kalburagi.
Speaking to mediapersons, Siddaramaiah said the incident was a first of its kind, wherein a research scholar and a writer has been shot dead and the government has taken this incident seriously.
Already directions have been given to the police to study the incident from all angles and nab the culprits at the earliest.
He said, the seers and admirers of Kalburgi have urged the government to hand over this case to CID or CBI. The government will hold a meeting in a couple of days and take a firm stand, he said.
Home Minister K J George, RDPR Minister H K Patil and district incharge Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao paid their last respects.