Kannada, Kannadiga, Kannadigaru, Karnataka,

Kannadigarella ondaagi Kannadavannu ulisona, kalisona and belesona


To Sir MV, with all my love

By Shakuntala

Before marriage, it�s a tradition to visit the girl�s house by the would-be-groom�s side. But I had to meet Sir M Visvesvaraya at his house in Manickyavelu Mansion, where the Balabrooie Guest House is presently located.
I was 17 and he was in his mid-80s. �Can you cook?� was his first question and I was shocked. I was told, his house, which I would move into after marriage had many servants, including cooks. Since I did not answer, he contended, �At least, I hope you know how to eat.� Visvesvaraya had a soft corner for his brother�s son Krishnamurthy, my late husband, because my mother-in-law had died when he was nine months� old, due to plague. Even as a young bride I thought I owed it to him because he was the one who sent my husband abroad and made him a textile engineer.
Sir never left behind any big money because he never made any. Yet, even six months after his death, we were giving away cheques to students among his relatives whose education he sponsored. That was his wish in his will. Maybe, influenced by his foreign trips, Sir wrote his will when he was 50 years� old. In his 90s, he made some additions. Sir was fine till his death, five months short of his 103rd birthday. He did not suffer from any health problem, never wore glasses and during his last few years had a college student reading out newspapers to him � Deccan Herald, The Hindu and Times of India. I think he mentally gave up on life after 100. He ate simple food but there had to be something special on Sundays � holige or kadubu.
Although he was surrounded with servants given by the government, he was never rude to any of them. If they made a mistake, he called them into his room, and expressed how he did not approve of their wrongdoing. His clerk served him for 60 years, cook for 36 years, driver 30 years and domestic help for 50 years. Even when he was in Mumbai, a place he went to once every three months, the staff came to work on time.
Sir also kept a book and pen near his pillow to write notes in the night lest he forgot something by the next morning. �Don�t trust your mind,� he would say.
Sir�s first two wives died at childbirth and he was forced to separate from the third because of incompatibility. But he always sent her money and after her death, conducted the last rites.
You could think this as a tragedy but the only sad part of his life that he remembered was poverty during his childhood. It kept coming back to his mind.
An issue he promoted with passion was family planning. To a newly married couple, the first question he would ask to their surprise was, �So, how many children do you plan to have?�
He was against couples having any number of children and then believing that God will take care of them. �God will not,� he would warn, worried alongside about the impending population explosion in the years to come.
Shakuntala Krishnamurthy, 75, wife of Sir MV�s nephew, spoke to Roja Kandath.


 The relative side of it
By P M Raghunandan and Satish Shile
DH News Service

Rangarao Road in Basavanagudi takes one down memory lane and Flat Number 101 of Brigade Ratna Apartments speaks of punctuality, efficiency and hard work, by which Sir M Visvesvaraya stood all his life.
It is here that the relatives of Sir M V – Shantha (the grand-daughter of Sir M V�s brother Ramachandra Rao), M S Nanjundaiah (her husband), Aruna and Dr Sandhya (their daughters) – stay and lead their life religiously following the ideals laid down by the �most popular Kannadiga� – Bharath Ratna Sir M V.
Reaction to the poll results was instant and mixed from them. While it was a surprise for Ms Aruna, for Mr Nanjundaiah, it was not. �It is quite obvious going by his immense contribution to the development of almost all fields. This is the reason many families still worship him as God,� he said.
Mr Nanjundaiah, who worked as senior operations advisor for World Bank and retired as a Government of India official in 1970, is proud of the poll results not just because he is a relative. He had a close association with Sir M V with respect to work and even had the opportunity to implement one of the projects that was conceived, planned and approved by him. In fact, Mr Nanjundaiah is a granary of anecdotes, which corroborates that Sri M V is indeed a very popular figure.
One of Mr Nanjundaiah�s memories with Sir M V that he still cherishes is his wedding. Sir M V did not attend Mr Nanjundaiah�s wedding as he was busy preparing a feasibility report on the Ganga railway bridge in Patna. Though Mr Nanjundaiah did not have the honour of Sir M V�s presence at his wedding, it was fate that put him in the team for the implementation of the same project. �When the project was done successfully and more importantly, as had been planned by Sir M V, I got a pat on my shoulder in appreciation of my work,� he said very proudly.
In another instance, Mr Nanjundaiah said, Sir M V summoned all his relatives one day (when he was offered to become the Dewan of the then Mysore State) and took word from each one them that she/he will not ask for any favour from him after he assumes office as Dewan. �Only when all agreed, he accepted the offer,� he recalled.
One may wonder why Sir M V is still relevant, against several other personalities who have a lot of glamour and glitz.
Mr Nanjundaiah said, �He is relevant because his works helped countless people in all spears of life. He is popular even today because he fought for public cause with the greatest integrity.�
It may be the KRS dam that has become a lifeline for lakhs of farmers in the Cauvery belt or Bhadravathi Iron and Steel Works, his initiatives in education sector (he opened innumerable education institutions, include University of Mysore, Jaya Chamarajendra Vocational Training Institute and adult literacy programme), so on and so forth.
�All these made a huge difference in the lives of people. It is because of his initiatives that today Karnataka is a leading destination for education,� he pointed out.

Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya was born on September 15, 1860 at Muddenahalli in Kolar district. He earned his BA from Madras University in 1881 and later acquired graduation in civil engineering at College of Science, Pune. He started his career as an engineer with PWD, Bombay.
He implemented an extremely intricate system of irrigation in the Deccan area. It was Sir M V, as he is popularly called, who designed and patented a system of automatic weir water floodgates, that were first installed at Khadakvasla reservoir near Pune in 1903. The same system has used at Tigra dam in Gwalior and KRS dam in Mandya.
1886: Designed water supply and sanitary system for Sakkur (Sindh province) Nasik, Bombay province
1899: Designed a new system of Automatic Waste Weir Flood Gate
1901: Introduced the Block System of Irrigation
1906: Designed drinking water and sanitary system for British
1908: Usman Sagar and Himayat Sagar Reservoir project across the river Moosi, Hyderabad
1909: Prepared a scheme for Flood Protection work and underground drainage for Hyderabad City
1913: Started the State Bank of Mysore
1914: Started Mechanical Engineering School at Bangalore
1916: Established Mysore University and the State Engineering College in Bangalore
1918: Approved the plan to establish Bhadravathi Iron & Steel Works and a number of other industries
1927: Designed and constructed Krishnarajasagar Reservoir. Public Libraries were established in Bangalore & Mysore
1936: Automobile Industry Plan was prepared.
1937: Mahanadi flood control work in Orissa
1942: Established Sri Jayachamarajendra Polytechnic at Bangalore
1952: Selected proper site for a new railway bridge to river Ganga in Bihar (Mokame). Promoting construction of Sharavathi Hydro-Electric Project. Establishment of Mysore Sandal Wood Oil Factory.
Honours conferred
1904: Honorary Membership of London Institution of Civil Engineers
1911: CIE (Companion of the Indian empire) at Delhi Darbar
1915: KCIE (Knight Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire)
1943: Elected as an Honorary Life Member of the Institution of Engineers
1955: Bharat Ratna
1958: Durga Prasad Khaitan Memorial Gold Medal by the Royal Asiatic Society Council of Bengal
1959: Fellowship of the IISc, Bangalore
Works executed outside Karnataka
*Introduced the block
system of Irrigation
*Designed a new system of systematic water weir floodgate
*Flood protection and drainage for Hyderabad
Outside India
*Aden-water supply and drainage
*Sukur Barage Project Survey



November 27, 2006 - Posted by | Kannada DASA SAHITYA, Kannadigas

1 Comment »

  1. thanks for Shakuntala Krishnamurthy & M Raghunandan and Satish Shile sharing information about our Sir M V…..kindly provide his life struggles if possible…thanks onn behalf of Indians i appericate u for providing information..if possible kindly provide about TP kilasam


    Comment by pradeep | December 22, 2008 | Reply

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