Former Chief Minister and Congress leader S.M. Krishna rued that the contribution of Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar in building KRS dam was “underplayed,” while that of the Dewan, M. Visvesvaraya, was highlighted.

Speaking after presenting the Shantaveri Gopala Gowda Award to Kannada activist A.T. Ranganath here on Friday, he said that the Maharaja of the erstwhile princely State of Mysore had even mortgaged palace jewellery to complete work on the dam.

“Villages and towns in Mandya district have statues of Visvesvaraya, but not that of the Maharaja, under whose patronage it was built,” he said. Mr. Krishna also recalled that the late Visvesvaraya and the king had fallen out on the question of reservation to backward classes. The Dewan had resigned opposing it when Mysore State had ushered in reservation, he added.

Recalling the contributions of the late Gopala Gowda to the State’s socialist heritage, Mr. Krishna described him as a “determined fighter.” He had once held a demonstration in Mysore against the tradition of Jamboo Savari during Dasara, calling it a royal legacy that was not democratic in spirit. “He was beaten up by the police and the people, and yet he held a black flag demonstration,” he recalled.

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