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Freedom fighters get together for `Mysore chalo' anniversary

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PAST HEROES: Freedom fighters who celebrated the 59th anniversary of `Mysore Chalo' agitation in Mysore on Tuesday. PHOTO: M.A. SRIRAM
PAST HEROES: Freedom fighters who celebrated the 59th anniversary of `Mysore Chalo' agitation in Mysore on Tuesday. PHOTO: M.A. SRIRAM

Special Correspondent

Congress called for `Mysore Chalo' movement three weeks after Independence

MYSORE: It is a unique saga not well known to the new generation.

Although India attained Independence on August 15, 1947, the "struggle for independence" continued in Mysore for a few more weeks and the "Mysore Chalo" agitation marked the last phase of the freedom movement in the State.

Mysore District Freedom Fighters' Association on Tuesday commemorated the 59th anniversary of the "Mysore Chalo" agitation. Mysore was late in joining the freedom struggle, thanks to the benevolent governance of the Maharajas, which made it a model State for others.

The Wadiyars of Mysore, especially Chamaraja Wadiyar and Nalvudi Krishnaraja Wadiyar, supported by brilliant Dewans like Seshadri Iyer, Sir M.Visvesvaraya, Sir Mirza Ismail ushered in reforms and administrative measures that had far reaching impact on society.

Introduction of railway, encouragement to the Representative Assembly, introduction of Mysore Civil Service Examination, construction of the Krishnaraja Sagar, Shivanasamudra hydroelectric project, introduction of the reservation system in Government services to the backward classes, setting up of industries, founding of the Mysore Chamber of Commerce and Industries, founding of the Mysore University, encouragement to technical education by starting many engineering colleges, Kannada Sahitya Parishat, and starting of City Improvement Trust Board (now called Mysore Urban Development Authority), which was the first institution for town planning to be established in Asia, were the highlights of the administrative measures introduced by the Mysore royalty.

Patriotic fervour

People in old Mysore were cushioned from the insensitive nature of the foreign rule but the patriotic fervour did not extinguish till a representative Government was in place. This was the last phase of the freedom struggle and was organised to force the Maharaja to establish a responsible Government.

The Congress gave a call to the volunteers from all parts of the princely State to take out rallies, processions and jathas and converge in Mysore in large numbers from September 4, 1947.

Thousands of people courted arrest and students, workers, and railway employees took out processions.

A high school student, Ramaswamy, was killed when police fired at a procession and another boy, Chandrashekar, managed to climb atop the Maharaja's Palace and hoist the National Flag. When the public pressure intensified and snowballed into a massive movement, the Maharaja relented and K.C. Reddy became the first Chief Minister of the Mysore State and was in the post from October 25, 1947 to March 30, 1952.

The members of the Mysore District Freedom Fighters Association organised a simple ceremony to mark the occasion and its secretary Y.C. Revanna welcomed the gathering.

Association vice-president M.P. Krishnamurthy presided over the function.

Freedom fighters Krishnarao, Ram Seshaiah, M.N. Jois, Venkatachaliah, and Achyuta recalled the events.

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