Bengaluru, June 11: Kannada poet, politician and activist Dr Siddalingaiah passed away, who had tested positive for covid-19 some time ago, passed away at a private hospital in the city today. He was 67.
Sources said that he was undergoing treatment at Manipal Hospital for post covid illness.
Born in 1954 at Magadi, Bengaluru, Siddalingaiah is credited with starting the Dalit-Bandaya movement in Kannada and with starting the genre of Dalit writing. He is one of the founders of the Dalita Sangharsh Samiti along with B. Krishnappa.
In 1988, at the age of 34, he became a member of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly and, in 2006, chairman of the Kannada Development Authority, a post with Cabinet rank that he held until 2008.
He was head of the Department of Kannada at Bangalore University and a member of the University Syndicate of Kannada University, Hampi. He was acknowledged as a symbol of the Dalit movement and a leading public intellectual and Kannada poet.