Prof. Bh. Krishnamurti passes away

(Message received from Prof. Udaya Narayana Singh, Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan)


With profound grief, I regret to inform you that my senior colleague and perhaps the greatest South Asian linguist of our times, Professor Bhadriraju Krishnamurti has passed away this morning at around 2.30 am (Aug 11, 2012), leaving a void in the arena of Indian languages and linguistics. Please join us in offering homage for him in our own ways. After my other hero, Prof S.K.Chatterji, "Bh.K." was the only Indian linguist to have been offered fellowship from the Linguistic Society of America in 1985. Besides that, he was offered the Sahitya Akademi's prestigeous fellowship in 2004. Earlier than that, he was elected as a Corresponding Fellow of the prestigious Royal Soceity of Edinburgh (2004). The honorary doctoral degrees came in from SVU and Dravidian University (both in 1998). The TANA in its 15th Meeting in Detroit awarded him the Gidugu Ramamurti Award in 2005. He was also the first recipient of the Telugu Bhaarati Award instituted by C.P.Brown Academy, Hyderabad (2008) and a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 10th ATA (American Telugu Association), New Jersey, USA. We from the Linguistic Society of India presented a Festschrift through IL, Vol. 70 on his completion of 80th year in 2009.


I had enjoyed a special relationship with him - almost as a friend and equal serving on so many committees together - from the Classical Languages Committee to the 8th Schedule Committee, and traveling to so many destinations together. He was also published in the 8-volume SAGE series on LAD (language and Development) which Probal Dasgupta and I had edited. He was kind enough to have read all my works in Linguistics and discuss them as we stayed together in many cities. In building the internationally known CALTS (Centre for Applied Linguistics and Translation Studies) at the University of Hyderabad, he had invited me to take the chair in Linguistics as the Vice-Chancellor of that young and budding university then. Many colleagues and well-wishers had warned me in Delhi University asking me not to move to Hyderabad because he would apparently disallow me from functioning independently. But I must say that Bh.K. had never never interfered in my plans and faculty recruitment or course design at any time. The respect he had shown to a much younger scholar is unforgettable. It was a joy having worked with him when he was the Vice-Chancellor of HCU at a crucial time in the life of that university. We went together - he as the VC and myself as the Dean Students' Welfare - through a series of student agitation, and emerged successful. The roar of the tiger can still be heard, and his magical voice will always reverberate within myself. 

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