Adiga, Gopalakrishna (1918–1992) By Tharakeshwar, V. B.
Mogeri Gopalakrishna Adiga was the focal point of the modernist movement in Kannada. Hailing from a small village in South Karnataka, he moved to Mysore for his studies and worked in various places, but settled at a later stage of his career in Mysore. He taught English literature in colleges in Mysore and was the principal of a college in Sagar and in Udipi. He seems to have started writing in his twenties, initially imitating old Kannada poetry in his use of prosody. However, he soon shifted to writing in the mode of the Navodaya writers. This is evident in his first two collections of poems—Bhaavataranga (1946) and Kattuvevu Naavu (1948). In these volumes, he shared a new enthusiasm for the anti-colonial struggle and dreamt of an ideal India for the future. He felt that with the transfer of power and the formation of the Indian nation-state, the dreams of his generation were belied. This led to a sense of disillusionment, turning him into a bitter critic of the Congress and of Jawaharlal Nehru. The Jansangh and Ram Manohar Lohia’s Party were the main opposition parties at that time. He translated Lohia’s Wheel of History as Itihasa Chakra (1972). In 1967 he unsuccessfully contested election to the Parliament as a candidate of the Hindu right-wing party Jan Sangh, which earned him several enemies in literary circles.