Veteran journalist, writer and former Rajya Sabha member Patil Puttappa passed away at the age of 99 in Hubbali on Monday night. He is survived by son Ashok and daughters Manjula and Shailaja.
He was admitted to Karnataka Institute of Medical Science owing to age-related ailments. A team of doctors conducted a successful surgery and removed blood clots in the brain about two weeks ago.
Patil Puttappa was fondly referred to as “PaPu”. He was the founder-editor of weekly “Prapancha” and edited “Navayuga”. Puttappa also wrote columns in various dailies.
Patil Puttappa was born on January 14, 1921 at Kurabagond village, Haveri Taluk, Dharwad district.
He completed primary and secondary education at Halageri, Byadagi and Haveri and higher education at Dharwad and Belagavi. In 1942, he was rusticated from Karnataka College, Dharwad for participating in freedom movement.
In 1943, he obtained a degree in law and in 1945 he got married to Indumati. Indumati was a writer and publisher. She passed away in October 2013. Patil always termed Indumati as his inspiration for his writing. He also said that she was his strength during his early years of journalism.
In 1949, he obtained a master’s degree in journalism from California State University.
Patil was in the forefront of the agitation in the late 1940s and 1950s demanding the unification of areas where Kannadigas were in a majority. He was the president of the Dharwad-based Karnataka Vidyavardhaka Sangha for over 30 years.
Puttappa represented the State in the Rajya Sabha for two terms between 1962 to 1974. In 1952, he drew the attention of entire Karnataka by providing leadership to Gokak Movement. He was also the first president of the Kannada Watchdog Committee that was later renamed as the Kannada Development Authority.
In 1953, he edited weekly magazines ‘Vishala Karnataka’ and ‘Navayuga’. On March 10, 1954, he launched ‘Prapancha’ and brought out the first digest in Kannada ‘Sangama’ in August,1956.
Later in 1959, he launched daily newspaper ‘Vishwavani’. Puttappa was the President of the 70th Kannada Sahitya Sammelana, Belagavi, in 2003.
Patil Puttappa authored around 50 books and was the recipient of the Rajyotsava award, TSR award, Nadoja award, Basavashree award, Nrupatunga Award among other awards.