Mysore/Mysuru: Social activist and crusader P. Mallesh (89), popularly known as Pa. Mallesh, passed away at a private Hospital here on Thursday.
Mallesh, who was a close associate of Opposition Leader and former Chief Minister Siddharamaiah, was a resident of Ramakrishnanagar in city.
Mallesh who returned to his home after visiting Nrupatunga Kannada School run by him in Ramakrishnanagar yesterday afternoon, complained of uneasiness, following which he was rushed to Apollo BGS Hospital, where the doctors declared him brought dead, according to family sources.
He is survived by three daughters, a son and a host of relatives and friends. His wife Sarvamangala had predeceased him two years ago.
Profile: Born in Guddada Rangappanahalli in Chitradurga district, Mallesh did his graduation from Maharaja’s College in Mysuru and was among the first batch of students who completed their Master’s Degree in Kannada from Manasagangothri. Even as a student, Mallesh took to writing besides plunging into various agitations involving social issues.
He took part in Sampoorna Kranthi (Total Revolution) Movement advocated by Jayaprakash Narayan (JP), in which he was associated with late activist Prof. K. Ramdas, also of Mysuru and the two were instrumental in inviting JP to tour the State.
Influenced by the ideologies of Mahatma Gandhi and Ram Manohar Lohia, Mallesh was a staunch advocate of socialist views.
Mallesh also spearheaded the Pro-Kannada Gokak Movement in Mysuru and used to be in the forefront of all agitations to uphold interests of the State in respect of land, language and water. He had also headed the Gandhi Vichara Parishat and had played a very active role in Chamalapura agitation, which was against a Thermal Plant.
A close aide of former CM Siddharamaiah, Mallesh also took to politics and contested the 1989 Lok Sabha polls from Mysuru as a Janata Dal candidate, in which he came third bagging over 1.3 lakh votes. Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar won from the seat then on a Congress ticket. Apart from Siddharamaiah, Mallesh also maintained good contact with other political leaders such as Dr. H. C. Mahadevappa and A. H. Vishwanath and leaders of various Kannada, Dalit and farmer organisations. He had also formed and headed Kannada Kriya Samithi for over three decades and published ‘Manava,’ a monthly magazine.
Condoling Mallesh’s death, Siddharamaiah said his demise was a great personal loss for him and an irreparable loss to the State.
Mallesh’s body was kept at Ramakrishnanagar’s Nrupatunga School for some time this morning for the public to pay their last respects.
Last rites will be conducted later in the day, according to family sources.