Kulakunda Shiva Rao, an Indian novelist

OV Digital Desk

Kulakunda Shiva Rao (15 June 1924 – 13 March 1992), popularly known as Niranjana, was a Kannada playwright, novelist, and freedom fighter.

Early Life

Kulakunda Shiva Rao was born on 15 June 1924. He grew up in poverty. When he was a child, his father left his mom, and his mom struggled a lot with raising him. His childhood hardships shaped his later career as a writer.


The first novel he published was Vimochane (Wait for the moon), in 1953. He also wrote Chirasmarane and Mrityunjaya. In addition, he translated Vishwa Katha Kosha (A Treasury of World Short Stories) into Kannada. Several other works were also translated.

He was an active member of the Communist Party of India in his youth and was attracted to Marxism. After that, he continued writing about oppressed people and raising his voice for them. While at the peak of his writing career, he suffered a stroke in 1971. In 1976, he wrote Mrityunjaya. ‘Chirasmarane’ is based on the Kayyur incident of the 1940s in Kasaragod district when peasants revolted against landlords. A 1986 Malayalam movie based on Chirasmarane was Meenamasathile Sooryan by Lenin Rajendran.

A 25-volume work bringing Kannada stories from around the world, Vishwa Katha Kosha, and the Kannada Jnana Kosha were edited by him.

Over sixty books were written by him. In his various writings, he shows a soft spot for downtrodden people.

He married Venkata Lakshmi, who became a writer (as Anupama Niranjana). The couple have two girls, Seemanthini and Tejaswini. In 1991, his wife died of cancer.


For his contribution to literature, he won the Karnataka Sahitya Academy Award and the Nehru Soviet Land Award.


He died on 13 March 1992, in Andhra Pradesh, India.

Read More; Ganesh Pyne, an Indian painter

Tags: , , , , , , ,