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Govt. to recommend Hirannaiah's name for Padma award

By Our Special Correspondent

BANGALORE, JAN. 9. The State Government will recommend to the Centre the name of the Master Hirannaiah, well-known Kannada stage artiste, for a Padma award.

The Chief Minister, N. Dharam Singh, who is at times the butt of the actor's ridicule like several other political leaders, made the announcement before a gathering of Master Hirannaiah's admirers who had assembled to felicitate him on the occasion of his 70th birthday.

"It will be the pleasure of the Government to recommend him for the national honour," Mr. Singh said. He announced a personal gift of Rs 1 lakh to Master Hirannaiah. The felicitation committee earlier gifted the actor with a similar purse.

Mr. Singh said it was the first time that he was meeting Master Hirannaiah in person, despite all his preoccupations, only to have a direct interaction with him.

"I had only heard about him and his wit and humour all these years," he said.

Permission for plays

Earlier, "Mukhya Mantri" Chandru, MLC, urged the Chief Minister to grant permission through a single agency or official for staging Kannada plays at the taluk, district and State levels.

Among others who spoke on the occasion were the Deputy Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah, noted playwright and actor Girish Karnad, Jnanapith award winner U.R. Ananthamurthy, Kannada playwright and MLC Chandrashekar Kambar and the former Minister V.S. Krishna Iyer.

As part of the felicitation programme, two seminars were conducted with a focus on Hirannaiah's "Lanchaavatara," a popular satire on corruption in public life, which captures audience interest despite being staged for many years.

Narasimhamurthy in real life, Hirannaiah adopted the name of his equally famous father who died in 1953 after regaling Kannada audiences with plays such as "Devadasi" and "Makmal Topi."

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