The Nobel Prize Committee was quite impressed by the popularity of Kannada literature. It even had suggested to constitute a Committee of Kannada Litterateurs headed by Prof VK Gokak to nominate a person for the coveted prize who had excelled in the fields of poetry, novels, dramas, epics, essays and critical analysis. Dr Prabhu Shankar was speaking at the valedictory programme of the national seminar on 'Sri Ramayana Darshanam,' the magnum opus of Kuvempu, at Kuvempu Institute of Kannada Studies (KIKS).
A consensus opinion had emerged that literature stalwarts existed in individual fields and none covering all the fields. Committee Chairman Prof Gokak after pondering had suggested the name of Kuvempu.
All the works of Kuvempu were supposed to be translated into English and taken to Delhi. A terrible catastrophe occured at that stage, explained Prof Prabhu Shankar.
Carrying the translated versions of Kuvempu, Dr Prabhu Shankar boarded a train to Delhi. But the Central Nobel Committee had not even reserved a seat for him.
Not just that, a North Indian even threw the precious works of Kuvempu to a corner like garbage. With no place to sit, Prof Prabhu Shankar managed to reach Delhi with great difficulty.
The Committee there paid no heed to the excellence of Kuvempu and eventually deprived the great litterateur of the Nobel Prize, recalled Dr Prabhu. "That was a true sad story which had not been disclosed so far. I still feel very bad reminiscing that incident. The callous behaviour of a person snatched the coveted Prize from Kuvempu" he regretted.