Sunday, March 29, 2009

Beat a New Path


I hail from Krishnarajanagar, which is on the banks of river kaveri, it is also known as the "rice garner".
My father, a farmer was a man of values, My parents were simple rustic folk, they were unlettered, untutored but highly cultured. I enjoyed a secured childhood with well knitted family. Though we led a simple life, I still have rich memories of my boyhood days

Later on I studied at mysore in institutions like Maharaja's high school, st philomenas and JSS college - moulded me as a leader, my personality abloomed with new dimensions ,my teachers and friends influenced me with their thoughts and actions, my teensy days were busy and productive, I was culturaly very active and I was a student leader who initiated lot of movements.

I was a good orator and had deep conviction to my society, i did my law degree and started my career as an advocate, I wanted to help the downtrodden and oppressed people.
I was impressed by Mrs ghandhi's 20 point programmes, Mr devraj urs magnanimus personality, the watch word of congress and the ideology of the party. Though I was a townie, with the empowerment of education my mental horizon was broad; I was feeling for my folk who were oppressed, uneducated, landless and working as bonded labours. The ideology of congress fascinated me..
It was 1975, I began my journey towards my destiny with congress. It is with and only with congress, people like me could reach new heights,. I was Abcdarian in politics, my first foot in politics was with congress, and I am infact very glad that my association is with a party like congress, where everyone has equal opportunities. My party is not clannish and truly secular, thank god, it is congress, my party.

Politics in India, in recent days is gaining glamour and loosing ethics. When I was a political virgin, I looked at political situations, conspiracies with wide eyes. Over years I learnt that politics is everyday thriller with back biters, back firers, backouts, back slappings , back stage deals, counter plots, one has to be battle wise to survive, and finally becomes a busy idle. It is a king craft and a real craftsman will emerge as a true politician and there is a lot of difference between A statesman, A Leader and A Politician.

When I confronted my First Elections, I and Many other candidates went and met people personally. we never even thought of spending money versus Votes.
We had Cordial relationships with the people. Most of us believed that people aquest wealth and money but a Leader is Aquested by people and friends. But it is very unfortunate that today the word election is almost equated with shelling huge amount of money. The political parties are in search of certs, who are going to win irrespective of their background and personality. Candidates are corrupting public by giving them moneys and gifts.

There is only cash nexus between the candidates and voters and the real bondage between an elected representative and his people are vanishing.

I am a person who always wanted to beat a new path. I was a minister for kannada and culture, for youth services and sports, for forest ministry, for department of public instructions and for co-operation. Worked with officialdom, traveled across karnataka, met people with various cross-sections of society, had brain storming interaction and based on all these experiences took bold decisions. I left my foot mark and was sure footed. Many burning issues which were hot potatoes found a logical end due to my determination and hard work.

Setting up Milestones
As a minister, I allways wanted to do innovative and resourceful programmes, which would benefit people. The department of Kannada and culture did not have a fullfledged Secreteriat. When I was a minister for this department, I took steps to have my own Secreteriat so that I could work more freely and effectively. As a forest minister, I tried my best to protect the lakes of major cities of my state, and initiated lake development authority. The aim was to take care of our lakes and to protect them from land grabbers.

Educating people, oh! what a great task!
The great philosopher - Socretes says "I cannot teach anything to anyone. I can only make people think". I also wanted people to participate and think about the present educational system, when I was an Education minister. Community participation, School adoptions, mid-day meals to thousands of childern accross the state, thought provoking interactions with parents, teachers and childern of our state, establishing School developments and monitering commities for proper functioning of Government Schools, introducing computer education to rural Schools, providing inservice trainings to the teachers were my major contributions which gave me lot of satisfaction.

The major health coverage programme for the farmers of entire state was designerd by me. Under this scheme, the farmers were elligible for medical care, major surgeries in the world class Hospitals of Karnataka, which became a great success later on.

I am highly emotional and not very practical or in other words i am not a hypocrite. Whenever I have expressed myself, my feelings and my thoughts that outflow and outpour has put me in trouble. When I released my autobiography "halli hakki haadu" few contracted minds made it an issue.
The book became a talk throne. I had always observed that most of my statements were misinterpretated and misunderstood .The armchair critics added to this. I never spoke hurting words to anyone though people snubbed and insulted me but my statements gusted billow of criticism. People who are corrupt are never discussed because they speak against there conscious to get claptrap and give cagey reply but my replies are usually candid. So i had to face lot of carping criticism . .I know we are all into ashes and dust one day.
I don’t want "silent gentleman” image. I prefer to put people into thinking.

I have won Elections, I have lost too. I have learnt through victory and also through defeat. When you win an Election no one talks about the way you made it.
People are fascinated by the end result .You become an important person .flushed with victory your sins are forgiven. Fat Cats surround you, flashily dressed men who flatter you come to your doors. You get invitations, fan mails, garlands and what not? But remember you are covered by hallow hearted, opportunists and you may cry for true friendship and love .You may be alone in the Crowd. When you loose the same people who were around you become suddenly busy .This is the human foible. People show fictive sympathy and then turn down meetings with you. Invitations become rare .In solace if you allow your mind to ponder you see your own people in new colors. A politician has to be equanimous at victory and defeat, which is not less than a meditation. Then you need books, music and friends who ensoul you.
You may loose the election but moral victory is more satisfying in the down hill of your life.

It is 2009 Loksabha elections and my party had decided to project me as a candidate from Mysore. In fact I am glad that my leaders find me worthy for this. My emotional bondage with Mysore also makes me feel great about this.

Mysore and Kodagu
Both have very special features in common. They were ruled by royal families there is a rich traditional, cultural heritage to these places. The river Kaveri flows here.
The natural beauty of the land, the greenery, the folklore, the traditional art forms, and the places each one is distinct. As a native of this land, I have a vision for kodagu Mysore. The main focus is:
To make a plan of actions to develop Kodagu and Mysore as spots of tourist attraction. There are many unspotted places in Kodagu which are extremely good. I want to connect Kodagu to the world with good approach roads, hotels and lodging facilities of good standard which would attract national and international tourists with the help of central government.

Mysore was declared as heritage city during sri.S.M.krishna governament. Kodagu Mysore should be well equipped to house good number of tourists so that more localities
can be employed in hospitality services. I would promise to sensitize and involve central governament to this project as a priority. Mysore is known for its perfumeries, sandalwood, silk and many other art forms but the onset of globalization has affected lot of artisans. Setting up an permanent exhibition and providing marketing assistance through a central government assisted network would enable to retain the traditional art of Mysore . to connect mysore to bangalore with a double line railwaytrack,so that people can travel fast with more frequent trains

The divine waters of kaveri is the bounding factor between Mysore Kodagu. Due to various reasons the waters of Kaveri is polluted. She is shrinking.
Too much of sand is lifted for construction. Industrial wastes are let into the river. The reports indicate that Kaveri is going to extinct in few decades.
It is high time that with the association of central government we all have to start a moment to save Kaveri for future generations’. These issues have to be Presented in Parliament to draw the attention of the nation. This is my Vision and mission if I am elected as a Member of Parliament.

All about Inclusive Marriages..
As a social being and specially as a politician, I am compelled to attend innumerable marriages. The pomp and glory of the marriage sometimes puts me into deep thinking about our system. I always believe in low cost and no cost weddings. I feel it is a national waste of money, time and energy to have grand star weddings. My ideology is to have weddings as simple as possible. My children Indira, Amith, and Santosh respected my
ideology and were wedded in samuhik vivah, the mass marriage along with many other couples who entered into the holy wedlock. The samuhik vivah included couples of varios castes, creed and religion. This was again possible with the community participation.

The philosophy of my life
Simple living and high thinking, walking with my fellowmen, helping and sharing their agonies, optimistic yet spiritual, a rebellion yet god fearing, how is it? I am deeply influenced by the works of DVG and Omer Khayam. Whenever I am in grief, these people have ensouled me. My guru DVG says:
  1. Does the bird charter its course before hand? Who invites the wiged visitor to give alms? It eats whatever it gets enroute wherever the willing wings take it. This is the fittest observance for you - Mankutimma.
  2. Be a gracious grass humble unto the hillside. A perfume permeated flower of jasmine on the homefront. Be a rock in the difficulties downpour days pounding mercilessly. Be sugar to the poorest. The loweliest and the lost, merge merrily in the macrocosm- mankutimma.

All photo collages made by Pallavi Prasad, Bangalore.

Please write to me about Vision Kodagu Mysore.