Mangaluru: C H Krishna Shastri Balila (75), author, academic, columnist and thinker, passed away in a private hospital on Sunday, Feb 7 evening.
He is survived by wife, two sons and a daughter. He will be sorely missed by a large number of his past students, admirers and colleagues in the educational field.
He was otherwise in good health and had attended some events that took place in the earlier week. He was suddenly taken ill a few days ago and hospitalized, but he failed to recover.
He hailed from Balila in Sullia taluk. Beginning his career as a teacher, he displayed extraordinary skills and came to be known for his innovative methods of teaching.
Having specialized in English and Social Science, Shastri taught at the Vidyabodhini High School in Balila for long years, finally retiring as the headmaster of the same school. He was also known for his unique way of compering events and rendering running commentary at sports meets.
During the past few years, he had settled down in Bijai in the city. Yet he continued his keen campaign for liberal methods of education. He was staunchly opposed to the ranking system in examination results. Many of his contemporaries and admirers feel that his fund of knowledge was not suitably utilized by the education authorities in tasks like setting the textbooks and syllabi.
Shastri regularly wrote in newspapers on issues of social import and community welfare. His fervent and fearless views on certain sensitive issues and need for transparency in literary and religious institutions may have touched some raw nerves. But he kept airing his thoughts, nevertheless.
On a personal note, this writer having known him from student days, a feeling of personal loss will always be felt. We shared a common matter as our foremost subject of concern – how common errors can be avoided while learning English as a foreign language. He had already written a number of articles on English errors of Indian students.
It was only ten days earlier that we had decided to hold a few one-to-one brainstorming sessions and to put our heads together on ways and means to put this mission into action. But destiny thought otherwise.
Even in death he was different from others. As wished by him, his body was donated to the Kasturba Medical College for medical research. He had taken this decision long back, which his friends and admirers came to know of only after the news of his death was conveyed.