Karnataka government announced a three-day state mourning and holiday on Saturday for its offices and educational institutions as a mark of respect to Ananthamurthy, one of the seven Kannada writers to get the coveted the Jnanpith honour.
The final ceremonies would be conducted with full state honours in consultation with his family.Ananthamurthy is considered one of the pioneers of the "Navya (new) movement" in the Kannada literary world. His most famous literary work "Samskara" (ritual) was made into a film, that was considered a pioneering venture in parallel cinema movement in Kannada.
He has written five novels, one play, eight short-story collections, three collections of poetry and eight more of essays with his works translated into Indian and European languages.
Known for socialist leanings, Ananthamurthy often courted controversies for his vociferous "anti-BJP, anti-Sangh Parivar" stance.
His remark in the run-up to Lok Sabha poll that he would not live in India if Narendra Modi were to be elected Prime Minister had stirred up a huge controversy but he later did a U-turn, saying it was made out of emotion.
Earlier, Ballal said Ananthamurthy was on multiple support system including dialysis, support for blood pressure, antibiotics for his infection, and other measures. "...Anantha Murthy has been unwell for while, he had multiple problems including kidney disease for which he had been on dialysis for the last few years...," Ballal said.
Inspite of his illness, Murthy was very active both physically and mentally including extensive travelling and lot of assignments but in the last 10 to 15 days his condition worsened "to some extent" and was hospitalised, he said.