Thousands of people paid their last respects to veteran Kannada writer and former vice chan­cellor of University of Mysore De Jaware Gowda popularly known as De Ja Gow who passed away on Monday night at a private hospital.

On Tuesday, his body was kept at the Vivekanan­da School, Jayalakshmipu­ram, for the public to pay their last respects. People stated making beeline to have a last glimpse of the litterateur since Monday night. Chief Minister Sid­daramaiah, Formers Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, Veerappa Moily, Suttur Seer Sri Shivarathri Deshikendra Swamy, MLA Vasu, Reve­nue and District In-charge Minister V Srinivas Prasad, Cooperation minister H S Mahadeva Prasad paid their respects. A large number oi his followers, Kannada activ­ists, students from the Uni­versity of Mysore also paid their respects.

De Ja Gow was admitted to the hospital on Sunday fol­lowing a cardiac arrest. He developed respiratory prob­lems and was put on ventilator since then. He leaves behind his son Prof J Shashidhar Prasad who was also the for­mer VC of University of My­sore and J Shashikala. His wife Savithramma had passed away on May 30, 2005.

De Ja Gow is one among the few Kannada writers who was very active even in old age. A Padmashri awardee writer, he has also been be­stowed with Karnataka Rat­na, Gorur, Nadoja and Pampa Awards. Having served as the Vice Chancellor of University of Mysore from 1969 to 1975, he has had the privilege of be­ing taught by none other than Rashtrakavi Kuvempu.

He has been synonymous with the struggle demanding classical status for the Kanna­da language, implementation of Sarojini Mahishi report that stressed that a major percent­age of employment in Karna­taka should be reserved to the local people i.e. the Kannadi­gas and his thrust on the use of Kannada as the medium of instruction in schools.

He played a pivotal role in bringing out the Kanna­da encyclopaedia project to the University of Mysore. His struggle demanding classical status for Kannada language was so intense that the writer had not only staged an indef­inite fast but had also threat­ened to return the Padma Shri conferred on him in 2001.

Hailing from Chakkere vil­lage in Channapatna taluk in Ramanagaram, De Ja Gow was born on July 6, 1918 to Devegowda and Chennam­mana. He completed his mas­ter’s degree in Kannada from the University of Mysore and started his career as Kannada lecturer in 1946. He became the university’s vice-chancel­ lor in 1969.

A staunch disciple of Ku­vempu, De Ja Gow wrote sev­eral books including Sahitya Nayasenana Dharmamruta Sangraha, Lakshmishana Jai-mini Bharata, Kanakadasara Nalacharitre, Andayyana Kab­bigara Kavya, Chikkupady­ayana Rukmangada Charitre, Nemichandrana Leelavati Prabhanda, Janapada Ad­hyayana, Janapada Sound­arya, Janapada Vahini and Janapada Geetanjali (1983).


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