METRO PLUS

The patriotic sense

PATRIOTIC FERVOUR Members of the Council, apart from discussing civic-related issues, also expressed their concern over political developments in British-ruled India and sympathised with their fellow Indians in their fight against British imperialism PHOTO: PAUL NORONHA  

The patriotic wave surging the whole nation prior to 1947 had its impact on the Bangalore city municipality also. During those days, the members of the Council, apart from discussing civic-related issues, also expressed their concern over political developments in British-ruled India and sympathised with their fellow Indians in their fight against British imperialism.

The majority of councillors, inspired by Gandhian philosophy, used to urge the Government to promote khadi and seek closure of liquor shops in the city. They used to also present civic address to all those nationalist leaders who used to frequent the city and pass resolutions in protest against the arrest of prominent Congress leaders in British-ruled India in spite of the Mysore's Government warning not to import controversial politics in the working of the city municipality.

The Municipal Council also passed condolence resolutions when prominent Indian national leaders such as C.R. Das and Lala Lajpat Rai passed away. In May 1930, the Council passed a resolution in protest against the arrest of Gandhiji, Jawaharlal Nehru and others by the British and adjourned the Council meeting.

On the occasion of the golden jubilee celebration of Indian National Congress (1935), the Council resolved to spend Rs.100 on distributing sweets to children and decorating the municipal market area with flags and buntings, only to have the Government declining to accept the resolution.

When in October 1938, the Government declined to sanction the Council's resolution to present a civic reception to Sarat Chandra Bose, the councillors through their own subscription, collected a sum and proceeded to present the same to Mr. Bose.

In February 1928, as per the request of the secretary of the South Indian Khadi Exhibition Committee, the municipality resolved that hand-spun and hand-woven hhadi manufactured in Mysore State be exempt from the levy of octroi. In March 1932, it resolved that only swadeshi goods be purchased for use in various establishments under municipal control. Municipal workers were given clothes procured from the khadi canter at Badanval. In February 1942, the municipality decided to allot Rs. 5,000 for starting a khadi production centre in Bangalore to provide employment for the poor in the city who were in extreme distress.

On October 27, 1945, the Municipal Council passed a resolution urging the Government of India to withdraw cases against the officers and men of the Indian National Army (of Subash Chandra Bose) and in November 1945 it resolved unanimously that Rs. 500 be contributed out of the municipal funds to the INA Relief Fund. The Government declined to sanction the amount.

The same month, the Municipal Council expressed its concern at the action of Mysore University authorities in prohibiting the singing of "Vande Mataram" song at the University's Union functions and urged the Vice-Chancellor to immediately withdraw the ban. In May 1948, Municipal Councillor G.V. Challam took strong exception to the "Vande Mataram" not being recited after the presentation of civic address to Lord Mountbatten during his visit to Bangalore.

In March 1925, the Council resolved that the building owned by the municipality near Binny Mill, leased to an arrack and toddy shop, not be given further extension from July 1, 1925 after the lease expired. Later, in spite of the pleas of the excise commissioner of Mysore and the deputy commissioner of Bangalore district requesting the municipality to reconsider its decision, the Council stood its ground.

On August 14, 1947, the Municipal Council passed a resolution requesting the State Government to prohibit cow slaughter throughout the State and also order the closure of all toddy, arrack and liquor shops on August 15 to commemorate Independence day. In November the same year, the Council sanctioned Rs. 500 for the maintenance of a cow refuge centre in Bangalore.

S. SRINIVAS