Udupi Rajagopalacharya Ananthamurthy (born December 21, 1932) is a contemporary writer and critic in the Kannada language and is considered as one of the pioneers of the Navya movement. He is well known among Indian authors. He is the sixth person among eight recipients of the Jnanpith Award for the Kannada language, the highest literary honor conferred in India. In 1998, he received the Padma Bhushan award from the Government of India.He was the Vice-Chancellor of Mahatma Gandhi University in Kerala during the late 1980s. Ananthamurthy's works have been translated into several Indian and European languages and have been awarded with important literary prizes. His main works include Samskara, Bhava, Bharathi Pura, and Avasthe. He has written numerous short stories as well. Several of his novels and short fictions have been made into movies. Most of his novels are on reaction of individuals to situations that are unusual and artificial. Results of influences of socio-political and economic changes on traditional Hindu societies of India and clashes due to such influences - between a father and a son, husband and wife, father and daughter and finally, the fine love that flows beneath all such clashes are portrayed by Ananthamurthy in his works. This is evident in his stories like Sooryana Kudure (The Grasshopper), Mowni (Silent Man), Karthika' etc. It does not mean that Ananthamurthy is just clinging to portraying only such somewhat standard subjects of Indian literature of his period. His novelette "Bara" (Drought) portrays the dynamics of a drought-striken district of Karnataka and the challenges and dilemmas a bureaucrat may face in such situations. The central figure of the novel Sooryana Kudure - Venkata is shunned by his son and wife for his easy-going attitude that does not take him anywhere. Venkata is a non-achiever who could not achieve any material or monetary success in his life. However, he is a simpleton that does not take life's suffering to his heart too much. He likes to see life as living in the love of Amma (or mother-goddess). In all sufferings of life, he has the child-like curiosity about the smallest things in life - like a grasshopper (Sooryana Kudure). The evening after his son revolts and leaves the house, he would be engrossed in a sight in his yard - a grasshopper shining in the sun's light. Samskara :
The word Samskara means ritual in the Kannada language. The film was based on sensitive caste issues and was hence controversial. It was initially banned by the censor board for portraying caste-based politics but after being released, it went on to win the President's Gold Medal for the Best Indian Feature Film of 1971. The story is set in a street in a small village called Durvasapura in the Western Ghats of Karnataka. Majority of the people who live in the street belong to the community of Madhwas (a Brahmin community). The people who stay here have a traditional mindset and strictly follow the rules defined by their religion. Two of the main characters in the story are Praneshacharya (Girish Karnad) and Naranappa. Praneshacharya is a devout Brahmin who has completed his Vedic education at Varanasi and has returned to Duravasapura and is considered as the leader of the Brahmin community of his village and also of the surrounding villages. His main goal is to attain liberation or moksha and he is willing to go to any length to achieve it. In order to remain focussed on his goal and as an act of self-sacrifice, he marries an invalid woman and hence remains celibate. The other main character is that of Naranappa, himself a Brahmin by birth but one who has rejected the set rules of Brahminism by eating meat and by keeping the company of a prostitute named Chandri. Once Naranappa along with his friends catches the sacred fish in the temple tank, cooks and eats them. This causes the Brahmins in the villages to rise up against him and they approach Praneshacharya to throw him out of...
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