Dr. Siddalingaiah was a man of fiery poetry and wry humour
Noted poet Dr. Siddalingaiah, who handed away on Friday, was within the Seventies recognized for his fiery poetry that impressed a technology of not simply Dalit activists, but additionally all these talking up towards the numerous types of oppression. In later years, he employed laughter and irony as types of resistance to nice impact.
His early poetry and his later autobiography Ooru-Keri, which was described by critic D.R. Nagaraj as a work that showcased “the power of poor people’s laughter”, mark these two phases of his literary expression which have been recognised past the Kannada literary circles. Dr. Siddalingaiah maintained that he had modified his technique of expressing anger, although his ideology had not altered.
Dr. Siddalingaiah was not solely a poet, but additionally an activist and public mental all his life. A key determine within the Dalit motion of the Seventies and Nineteen Eighties, he was one of the co-founders of the Dalit Sangharsha Samiti together with one other distinguished author, Devanur Mahadeva, and Prof. B. Krishnappa in 1974. He additionally helped discovered Bandaya Sahitya Sanghatane in 1979. “He was a key person in bringing the Dalit consciousness to an entire generation. He showed us the world in a different way,” stated Mavalli Shankar, a senior DSS chief.
The Dalit motion was fuelled by Dr. Siddalingaiah’s fiery poetry. “I travelled all over Karnataka spreading the cause and the movement. I saw the suffering of the people from close quarters, and as I was an emotional person it flowed out of me as poetry,” he had advised The Puucho throughout an interview in 2019.
“Like the Africans say, Dr. Siddalingaiah seemed to also say that whatever you do, you can’t stop me from singing. His songs captured the imagination of Dalits and oppressed classes,” noticed author and critic Rajendra Chenni.
His early poems “Ikrla oadirla…”, “Nanna janagalu”, “Saviraru nadigalu”, “Yarige bantu, ellige bantu, nalavattelara svatantrya?” have in the present day attained cult standing. They appear to embody the spirit of D.R. Nagaraj’s slogan on the Bandaya literary meet, “Khadgavagali Kavya…” (let poetry be sword).
Writer Baraguru Ramachandrappa, who was Dr. Siddalingaiah’s trainer and later his colleague at Bangalore University, recalled the joy when his first poetry assortment, ‘Holemaadigara Haadu’, was launched in 1975. “It was such a break from poetry as we knew it till then. It was an assertion of the subaltern that captured the imagination of a generation,” he stated. His doctoral thesis, a examine of village deities, based mostly on which he later wrote ‘Avataragalu’, can be a landmark work in subaltern research in Kannada.
His autobiography Ooru-Keri, written in three components with the primary showing in 1997, marked a change in tone for the poet. “Dalit autobiographies in Marathi and Telugu are an unflinching recounting of hard realities. But Ooru-Keri stands apart in Indian Dalit autobiographies for the use of laughter, satire and irony as resistance,” stated Dr. Ramachandrappa, who described Dr. Siddalingaiah as a nice raconteur with an eccentric sense of humour.
However, in later years, Dr. Siddalingaiah was accused of changing into a “part of the system”, as he was nominated as a member of the Karnataka Legislative Council for 2 phrases and occupied various governmental positions. Known for hyperbole, Dr. Siddalingaiah had as soon as described B.S. Yediyurappa as a “modern Basavanna” and Siddaramaiah as a “modern Ambedkar” once they had been Chief Ministers. He made waves when he, as a main Dalit mental, launched a e-book on the optimistic elements of “Manu Smriti”.
Mr. Chenni stated that although many disagreed along with his later positions, Dr. Siddalingaiah remained an vital voice and no one else might have opened up the Dalit world, with it wealthy subaltern cosmology, like him. “Though he leaves behind a complex legacy, he will remain alive in his fiery poetry that is a staple for everyone fighting for their rights,” Dr. Ramachandrappa stated.