For much of their despicable history since Independence, those who today call themselves as Left-Liberals used to proudly proclaim that they were “Progressives,” “Comrades” and “Marxists.” History was on their side, they said. They were after all, the proud flag-bearers and soldiers walking the Revolutionary March of History which would surely culminate in a Workers Paradise on earth. They were unstoppable. No less than Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was in their thrall. Just a few years ago, they had gotten Indira Gandhi to gift them Jawaharlal Nehru University, the sprawling real-estate ideological bounty. And they brooked no opposition. Their opponents had only three options: remain silent, get coopted, or be destroyed. Every tactic was fair. After all, Paradise was just around the corner. What did these ignorant opponents know about Revolution and Equality and Justice?
Long story short, there is a PhD-level research project waiting to be written: of the hundreds of careers and lives that these toxic eminences have destroyed in their Jihadi zeal to somehow turn India into a Communist state. These are the same folks who began howling about how India became intolerant after 16 May 2014. Only, the cruel and farcical joke is the fact that they call themselves Liberals and not the despotic Communist ideologues that they really are. Which is why it is essential to constantly remind the country of their long and sordid record of misdeeds in public life and the protracted history of their cultural vandalism.
In that spirit, we present another sample of the manner in which they tried to violently obstruct the literary career of no less a person than Dr. S.L. Bhyrappa.
Here’s the full story.
Two things had occurred in Dr. S.L. Bhyrappa’s life in 1971. He had taken a transfer from NCERT, Delhi to the Regional College of Education in Mysore, his Karma Bhoomi. He had simultaneously begun the groundwork for writing his magnum opus, the modern classic, Parva, which easily stands shoulder-to-shoulder with any classic in world literature. Parva was the magnificent culmination of ten years of solid, meditative work from the time the idea for the novel was seeded in his mind to its final publication in 1979. In the interim, he had authored five more novels.
In 1975, Dr. Bhyrappa returned to Mysore by train after receiving the Sahitya Akademi Award in Delhi for his other classic, Daatu. At the railway station, he was met by two of his close friends who told him that his wife had sent them to pick him up, fearing for his safety if he came home directly. At the time, Dr. Bhyrappa had taken unpaid leave from his college in order to concentrate on writing Parva.
There was a short backstory to this.
While Dr. Bhyrappa was away, a spate of continuous, nightly stone attacks had suddenly been unleashed on his house. Undaunted, Dr. Bhyrappa went home from the station. But the attacks didn’t stop. On the contrary, they intensified and went on for over three months. Here’s how he describes it:
Once at eleven or twelve at night. Again at around two or two-thirty. Then again at three or three-thirty. The stones would come flying with great force and slam the windows and doors. Four or five stones continuously at a time. Windowpanes were shattered. They would alter the timing of the stone-pelting each night so that we couldn’t anticipate it. I couldn’t sleep. Then I understood that the intent of these stealthy attacks was not to harm but to harass. In any case, my concentration and focus in writing Parva was ruined.
Dr. Bhyrappa approached the police who sent a couple of constables for night security. For the four days they were there, nothing happened. Satisfied at some kind of “buffoonish” victory, they withdrew. The attacks resumed right on the fifth night. Dr. Bhyrappa then approached the Mysore Police Superintendent. This time, a Mufti squad was arranged. But the outcome was similarly unsuccessful: the miscreants escaped undetected.
Then Dr. Bhyrappa took a decision. He writes,
If their only intent is to ruin my writing concentration, I should not yield, I should not accept defeat. I’ll swallow a pill and sleep at night. Next morning, my wife should not tell me what had transpired at night. Per my usual routine, I should go to college and sit there and write. My wife complied accordingly. I told her, ‘You too take a pill and sleep. Their intention is not robbery or dacoity.’ But she refused. About four or five years after these attacks, she began to suffer from sleep deprivation and was stricken with terror that at night someone was invading the house, someone was firing with rifle from the window…she went into deep depression.
Eventually, a psychiatrist cured Dr. Bhyrappa’s wife.
But news of these stone-pelting attacks was splashed prominently in all newspapers in Karnataka when G. Narayana, the then chief of the Kannada Sahitya Parishad, mentioned it in a public felicitation ceremony for Dr. S.L. Bhyrappa winning the Sahitya Akademi Award for Daatu. A red-faced Government then directed the Intelligence Bureau to investigate. Two weeks later, a Police Inspector landed up at Dr. Bhyrappa’s house. Here’s what he said, as recounted by Dr. Bhyrappa.
‘We have discovered the root of this mischief. Two litterateurs have provoked some Harijan youth in Ashokapuram and are orchestrating these attacks.’ Ashokapuram was a Harijan-dominated Mohalla located about two furlongs from the house I was living in those days. I was not surprised at this. By this time, I had also heard from my own sources that the older eminence of this litterateur-duo had spread a canard that ‘ghosts and evil spirits were wreaking havoc in Bhyrappa’s house.’
Then the Inspector told Dr. Bhyrappa that there were police records which showed that both litterateurs were heavily involved in political intrigue, and that he would summon both and warn them. Dr. Bhyrappa writes,
Three or four days after this, the stone-pelting reduced. Three more days later, it stopped. Then it stopped completely. Of the two litterateurs, one died in his middle age. The other continues to flourish with his usual artfulness.
Note the year: 1975. About four full decades before the deadly dawn of Kashmiri stone-pelters.
Oh! By the way, the artful litterateur that Dr. S.L. Bhyrappa mentions eventually went on to win the Jnanapith Award.
- Dr. S.L. Bhyrappa: Bhitti. Passages translated by Sandeep Balakrishna. Emphasis added.