Poet and Dalit rights activist who used his poetry to boost consciousness about social injustice, Dr Siddalingaiah, succumbed on Friday to Covid-19. He was 67.

Known for his humour and hard-hitting poetry, Siddalingaiah, has additionally been a member of Karnataka’s legislative council twice.

“Dr.Siddalingaiah narrated the pain of Dalits through his writings and awakened them. He endured the pain and his poems gave the required blaze to the Dalit movement. His services to the state and Kannada language as Chairman, Kannada Development Authority and as a two-time MLC are commendable,” BS Yediyurappa, the chief minister stated on Friday.

“In his death, we have lost a great writer with social concern, who strived for the betterment of the under-privileged classes. I pray to Almighty to grant peace to the departed soul and strength to the bereaved family and followers to bear the loss,” the chief minister added.

Siddaramaiah, the Congress’ chief of the opposition stated that Siddalingaiah had made his poetry a weapon by which to take the struggle for social justice ahead.

His poem, Yarige Banthu, ellige bantu, nalvathayelara swatantrya (who obtained it, the place did it come from, (19)47’s independence), propelled him as one of many main voices of the motion, changing the music into an anthem which is used even now in protests and different rallies of backward communities.

The poet was one of the crucial distinguished voices for social justice and was one of many co-founders of the Dalit Sangharsha Samithi.

“Dr. Siddalingaiah will be remembered for his prolific writings, poetry and contributions towards social justice. Saddened by his passing. My thoughts are with his family and many admirers in this hour of sadness. Om Shanti,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated in a submit on Twitter.

“The demise of Dr Siddalingaiah has left a huge void in Kannada literature. An eminent poet, social activist and academician, he became a fierce voice for the poor and marginalized and also enriched public discourse through his writings. My condolences to his family & followers,” Ram Nath Kovind, President of India shared on Twitter.

The Karnataka authorities introduced that his final rites can be carried out with full state honours.

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