P. Lankesh

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P. Lankesh
Born Palyada Lankeshappa
(1935-03-08)8 March 1935
Kongavalli, British India (now Shimoga district, Karnataka, India)
Died 25 January 2000(2000-01-25) (aged 64)
Bangalore, Karnataka, India
Nationality Indian
Occupation Writer, editor, filmmaker, poet, playwright, teacher
Notable work Kereya Nerannu Kerege Chelli (1960)
Mussanjeya Katha Prasanga (1978)
Kallu Karaguva Samaya (1990)
Spouse(s) Indira Lankesh
Children Gauri Lankesh, Kavitha Lankesh, Indrajit Lankesh
Awards Sahitya Akademi Award (1993)

P. Lankesh (Kannada: ಪಿ. ಲಂಕೇಶ್, 8 March 1935 – 25 January 2000), was an Indian poet, fiction writer, playwright, translator, screenplay writer and journalist who wrote in the Kannada language. He was also an award-winning film director.

Early life and career[edit]

Lankesh was born in the small village of Konagavalli in Shimoga, Karnataka. After graduating with an honours degree in English from Central College at Bengaluru, Lankesh completed his Master of Arts degree in English from Maharaja's College, Mysore.[1]

Lankesh's first work was the collection of short stories Kereya Neeranu Kerege Chelli (1963). His other important works include the novels Biruku ("The Fissure"), Mussanjeya Kathaprasanga (A Story at Dusk), Akka (Sister); the plays T. Prasannana Grihastashrama ("The Householder-hood of T.Prasanna"), Sankranti ("Revolution") and Gunamukha ("Convalescence"); the short story collections, Umapatiya Scholarship Yatre ("Umapati's Scholarship Trip"), Kallu Karaguva Samaya (When the Stone Melts; winner of the 1993 Sahitya Akademi Award), Paapada Hoogalu, the translation of Charles Baudelaire's Les Fleurs du Mal and Dore Oedipus mattu Antigone, translation of Sophocles' Antigone and Oedipus Rex.

Lankesh quit his job as an assistant professor in English at Bangalore University in 1980 and started Lankesh Patrike, the first Kannada tabloid, which went on to have an enormous impact on Kannada culture and politics.[2]

Only two of his books are available in English translation. One is When Stone Melts and Other Stories (translation of Kallu Karaguva Samaya). The other is his seminal play "Sankranti" (transl. by H. S. Komalesha, Calcutta 2010). His works have also been translated into Tamil and Hindi.[citation needed]

Lankesh Patrike[edit]

Lankesh was the Editor of Lankesh Patrike from 1980 until his death in 2000. A staunch socialist and Lohiaite he was known for his secular, anti-caste and anti-Hindutva views. Before starting Lankesh Patrike, he along with his socialist friends Ramdass and Tejaswi, had toured the length and breath of Karnataka, mobilising people to vote for their new socialist party. This trip, he recounted in one of his editorials, which took him to the remotest parts of Karnataka opened his eyes to the plight of the poor, the Dalits and the Muslims and made him realise his responsibility as a writer and an intellectual towards the society. After his death Lankesh Patrike was split into two, one edited by his daughter Gauri Lankesh and the other managed by his son Indrajit Lankesh. Lankesh's other daughter is the award-winning film director Kavita Lankesh. The impact of Lankesh Patrike on Karnataka politics and culture gave birth many popular but decidedly less sophisticated tabloids like Hai Bangalore and Agni which concentrated more on crime and political scandals.


Lankesh died in his bed on 25 January 2000 of a heart attack. He was 65 years old.[citation needed]


Short story collections[edit]

  • Kereya Nirannu Kerege Chelli (1963)
  • Nanalla (1970)
  • Umapathiya Scholarship Yatre (1973)
  • Kallu Karaguva Samaya (1990) (Sahitya Akademi award-winning short story collection)
  • Ullanghane (1996)
  • Manju Kavida Sanje (2001)


  • Biruku (1967)
  • Mussanjeya Katha Prasanga (1978)
  • Akka (1991)


  • T. Prasannana Gruhasthashrama (1962)
  • Nanna Thangigondu Gandu Kodi (1963)
  • Polisariddare, Eccharike! (1964)
  • Teregalu (1964)
  • Kranti Bantu, Karanti (1965)
  • Giliyu Panjaradolilla (1966)
  • Siddhate (1970)
  • Biruku (1973)
  • Sankranti (1971)
  • Gunamukha (1993)

Translated Plays[edit]

Poetry collections[edit]

  • Talemaaru (1973)
  • Akshara Hosa Kavya(collected and edited) (1970)
  • Paapada Hoogalu (1974) (a translation of Charles Baudelaire's Les Fleurs du Mal)
  • Chitra Samooha (1999)


  • Hulimavina Mara (1997)

Critical and other essay collections[edit]

  • Prasthutha (1970)
  • Kandaddu Kanda Haage (1975)
  • Teeke-Tippani, volumes 1 and 2 (1997)
  • Teeke-Tippani, volume 3 (1998)

Posthumous publications[edit]

  • Neelu Kavya (vols 1, 2, and 3) (2007, 2009, 2010)
  • Sahitya Vimarshe (2008)
  • Mareyuva munna collected vol 1 (2009)
  • Mareyuva munna collected vol 2 (2010)



  1. ^ Manake Karanjiya Sparsha. Compiled by Gauri Lankesh.Lankesh Prakashana.Bengaluru(2010) page i
  2. ^ Manake Karanjiya Sparsha. Compiled by Gauri Lankesh. Lankesh Prakashana.Bengaluru(2010) page i

External links[edit]