BJP, Ananthamurthy in war of words

Is the NaMo dirty tricks brigade at work again? In moves that echo the shameful manner in which the BJP affiliate organisations ran noted artiste M.F. Husain into exile, acclaimed Kannada writer U.R. Ananthamurthy is being advised to leave the country. And in case he hasn’t got the message, the NaMo brigade is sending him money orders to fund his foreign sojourn.
Angered by the writer’s statement that he does not want to live in a country ruled by Narendra Modi, a Facebook campaign has been launched against him. Leading the brigade is well known entrepreneur from Mangalore, Naresh Shenoy, who sent him a money order of `12 to Dr Ananthamurthy, RMV II stage.
Mr Shenoy said “Mr Modi is sure to be the next Prime Minister of this country. So Dr Murthy has no option but to move out. I am making this small contribution to help him.”
Asserting that he was not after cheap publicity, he added, “All our members will send him MOs because he is being undemocratic. Mr Modi will become Prime Minister only if most Indians support him. Even if Mrs Sonia Gandhi becomes Prime Minister, I will not run away, because I put this country first.”
Not buying his argument, however, several writers have come down hard on the NaMo brigade. “Ananthamurthy is a well known writer and active in public life. He has every right and the freedom to express his views. The NaMo brigade is communalising and politicising the issue,” said Banjagere Jayaprakash.
Another well known Kannada literary figure, K. Maralusiddappa felt it was a shame that some vested interests were targeting Ananthamurthy for his secular views. “We are living in a democracy where everyone has the right to express their opinion. But a cheap campaign is being carried out against Ananthamurthy,” he said.

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