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U R Ananthamurthy: For being one of our greatest writers

'The quality of writing is always better when one writes in the regional language'

August 20, 2008

U R Ananthamurthy, one of India's greatest writers, on the beauty of the mother tongue.

I always believed that I should write in Kannada. If I had written in English then I would have been a discontinuity between me and my past.

Even during my days in England in the 1960s, I wrote only in Kannada as it brought me closer to my culture. I agree that there is more publicity if one writes in English, but the fact is that the quality of writing is always better when one writes in the regional language as we are more connected.

India, 61: The icons that make India

Over the years I have witnessed that several persons including women and the rich have started to write. Over the past 61 years, I see that there is a varied experience that has come into literature.

However, a concern is that today there is a lot of talent that is being taken away from cultural concerns and the world is becoming more commercialised. I feel that I should fight this.

Udupi Rajagopalacharya Ananthamurthy is the winner of the Jnanpith award, India's highest literary honour. He has also been conferred with the Padma Bhushan. He spoke to Vicky Nanjappa. Photograph: John Macdougall/AFP/Getty Images

Also read: 'All these great writers are situated in the Indian bhasha'

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