Belagavi: Yalagi, a MA (Marathi literature) graduate was Chief Reporter of Tarun Bharath a premier Marathi daily. Before joining Tarun Bharath he had launched Avaliya a weekly but it did not survive long. The entire family of Yalagi is famous for freedom struggle, Goa liberation agitation and also border dispute agitations. A few persons of this family were born in jail as the women of the family were also jailed because they participated in the freedom struggle.
Ashok Yalagi though a strong supporter of pro-Maharashtra had a lot of Kannada friends. During 80’s the Marathi and Kannada journalists were moving together and were to attend functions and press meets to gather. Yalagi wrote several special reports which created havoc in political circles as well as in social fields. His style of writing was explosive and that made him a household name in Belagavi. His friendship in the literary circle was also vast. Usually, Marathi writers from Maharashtra who were to visit Belagavi were to meet him as they were all his friends.
In those days I, he, N G Patil of Deccan Herald and Prajavani, Raghavendra Joshi (editor Nadoja), Sharad Desai ( now editor Loka Darshana), Topannavar ( Editor Kannadamma ) Subhash Purohit of Maharashtra times, Ashok Deshpande of Pudhari were moving together in search of news. Kiran Thakur now editor of Tarun Bharath was also in the group and interestingly Kannada journalists were to write in favour of Karnataka and Marathi journalists were to write in favour of Maharashtra sitting around one table!
Yalagi after retirement joined Lokamanya society launched by Kiran and was in charge of its cultural wing. He started the Lokamanya library and was to conduct literacy functions regularly. He was also President of Belgaum press club and President of Ajantha film society. He also started Moudya nivarana Samiti ( committee for eradication of blind beliefs). He is survived by wife, a son and a daughter. His last rites were performed at Sadashiv Nagar graveyard on Thursday.
Inputs from Dr Sarjoo Katkar

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