Facing flak, Karna Guv approves writer''s name for doctorate

Bangalore, Feb 7 (PTI) Facing flak from litterateurs,Governor H R Bhardwaj today approved the name of Kannadawriter and historian M Chidananda Murthy for award of anhonorary doctorate, which he had put on hold for his views onconversion to Christianity.

Bhardwaj''s decision to hold back BangaloreUniversity''s decision to confer doctorate on Murthy, a well-known researcher, had invited criticism from Jnanpith awardwinner U R Ananthamurthy and president of the recently-held77th All India Kannada Literary Conference G Venkatasubbaiah.

Writers and scholars at the Kannada meet had raisedtheir voice against Bhardwaj calling him "communal" forwithholding the name of Chidananda Murthy, who has often comeout strongly against alleged "forcible" conversions toChristianity.

A Raj Bhavan communique said having regard to theclarification statement issued by Chidananda Murthy himselfthat he has not justified the attacks on churches and he wasagainst attacks on any place of worship, governor had "nohesitation" in approving his name and added it has beenconveyed to the Bangalore University.

The communique said when the recommendation ofBangalore University for awarding Honorary Doctorate to Murthywas submitted to the governor, who is also the Chancellor,press reports attributing certain statements to Murthy werealso considered and Bhardwaj had desired to further verifythem before giving his approval.

The other two names Nisar Ahamed and B K S Varma hadbeen cleared on the same day for awarding the doctorate.

Members of the Bangalore University Syndicate had alsorepresented to the governor to reconsider and accord approval.

"The governor has also taken into account, the viewsexpressed by learned Jnanpith award winner U R Anantha Murthyand other scholars at recently held Kannada SahithyaSammelana," it said adding Bhardwaj held the intelligentsia ofthe state in high esteem.

"Due diligence is the rule to perform all functions",the communique said adding the "governor opined that thereis no room for controversy on such issues".

Chidananda Murthy''s remarks against conversion hadcome in the wake of a one-man judicial commission recentlygiving a clean chit to the BJP government and Sangh Parivargroups in the series of attacks on churches in various partsof the state in 2008.

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