Noted Kannada poet Siddalingaiah died on Friday due to COVID-19 related ailments, sources close to him said.
Popularly known as "Dalita Kavi" (Dalit Poet), he was 67. He is survived by wife, a son and a daughter.
According to the sources, he was admitted to a private hospital for over a month and had been on ventilator support for some time now.
His wife too was infected by COVID-19 and has recovered.
Siddalingaiah was poet, playwright, essayist and a Dalit activist, and was one of the founders of the Dalita Sangharsh Samiti.
His notable works include Holemadigara Haadu, Saaviraaru Nadigalu, Kappu Kaadina Haadu and Meravanige, among others.
He had written plays like Panchama, Ekalavya, and one of his popular essays was Gramadevathegalu.
Several of his works have been translated into English and other languages and his Ooru Keri- an autobiography had won him the Sahitya Akademi Award.
Siddalingaiah is also a recipient of Pampa Award- the highest literary award in Kannada, presented by the State government, Nadoja Award by Hampi University and Rajyostava Award, among others.
He had also chaired the 81st Kannada Sahitya Sammelana (a premier gathering of Kannada literature) held in Shravanabelagola.
He had also served as the member of the Karnataka Legislative Council and Chairman of the Kannada Development Authority, a post with Cabinet rank, and had taught Kannada at Bangalore University. Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa has condoled the death of Siddalingaiah.
"In his death, we have lost a great writer with social concern, who strove for the upliftment of the depressed classes," the Chief Minister said in his condolence message.
Former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda, several of Mr Yediyurappa's Cabinet colleagues and Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah, JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy, among others, have express grief over Siddalingaiah's death.