Kasaragod: Author, Poet and veteran freedom fighter, Kayyar Kinhanna Rai, passed away at the age of 100 at his residence at Badiadka here on August 9.
Kayyar Kinhanna Rai was born on June 8, 1915 to Duggappa and Deyyakka Rai. His given name is unique since it includes the Kannada alphabet which is used very rarely in written Kannada of today and is absent in the English alphabet which often leads to various other transliterations of his given name such as Kinyanna and Kinnanna. Rai published his first handwritten journal, Susheela, at the age of 12. He was influenced by Mahatma Gandhi and also participated in the freedom movement of India. During this period he married Unyakka and is a father to eight children.
Kayyar Kinhanna Rai celebrated his 100th birthday on June 8, 2015. He had recieved various awards and honours such as Karnataka Sahitya Academy award – 1969, National Award for Best Teacher – 1969, Honorary Fellowship by Manipal Academy of Higher Education (1970), President of 67th Akhila Bharatha Kannada Sahitya Sammelana held in Mangalore in 1998, Pejawar Award in literature – 2004, Alva’s Nudisri Award – 2005, Adarsha Ratna Award – 2006, Nadoja (Teacher of the State) Award – 2006, Karnataka Ekikarana (Unification) Award – 2007, Honorary Fellowship by the Kannada Sahitya Parishat – 2009 and the 1st Karnataka Gadinada Ratna Award.
Rai has been a campaigner for the merger of Kasaragod district into Karnataka. One of his main goals is to seek the implementation of the Mahajan Committee Report, which urged the inclusion of the northern part of Kasaragod district into Karnataka. He founded the Kasargod Merger Action Council (Kasaragod Vileeneekarana Kriya Samithi) in 2002 to work towards this goal.
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