Thursday, March 7, 2013

Sir M Vishweshwariah

The story of  Bangalore is incomplete without some discussion about Sir M Vishweshwariah . Some time back I had the opportunity of  visiting KSDL  Karnataka Soaps and Detergents ltd in Yeshwantpur and happened to see many dozens of photographs of Sir MV along with many dignitaries of his times including JRD Tata. I hope someday to instill these photographs on this site and would be a rare collection for many to see. I had also seen a bust of  Sir MV in the lobby of KPCL.. Karnataka Power Corporation Limited. I used to meet Mr. Nelliappan who was head of personnel here and also the MD Mr K Jairaj an IAS officer. 

There was a time in Bangalore when a child was asked what he would like to become when he grew up ans some would say ..he wanted to become like Sir MV ..what a lofty goal of an idealistic era..things must have changed now but to the credit of the people of the Karnataka state and more so the Mysore kingdom this person is still revered and held in veneration.

Sir MV was Diwan of the Mysore kingdom between 1912 and 1918 may not be a large span in time and more than anything also has the credit of mentoring many successive Diwans like Mirza Ismail and also initiating many developmental projects. He was a successful civil servant from an Engineering background to sum things up ans one of his projects was the KRS dam. Apparently the KRS was built for two reasons in my view point. Firstly to act as a reservoir for agricultural needs and secondly to control the flow of water into the Shivanasamudra Power generation set-up. The second factor being more demanding than the first. Shivanasamudra was the only power generation set-up for this part of the world and supplied power to a large belt for many years and conserving water at an higher elevation meant perennial power generation.

What makes Sir MV special . He is an Engineering person blessed with sound wisdom more than anything else who used his Engineering background  for public good and ran even non-engineering activities with an Engineering mind-set. This casts him into a special mode and note that he was an initiator of Banking institutions like the State Bank of Mysore. He understood well at a strategic level a wide variety of social and technical issues with a spontaneous insight and acumen and was largely selfless in his approach to the tasks he undertook. The pride of Mysore ..its pomp...and above anything else the strong confidence of the future in large measure comes fro the relentless contribution of this man to a large extent in my view point. It also bears credit to the Engineering institution he studied and the many who mentored him here and gave him the lethal confidence to develop and motivate things in this part of the world. Mysore minus Sir MV according to me would have been like any undeveloped belt in the world.

Some time back I had visited the REC at Nagpur and to my satisfaction found it to be named over  Sir MV and I appreciate the state of Maharashtra for having taken such an unprecedented step. There is a relationship between Maharashtra and Sir MV for he studied Engineering at the COEP (College of Engineering Pune) one of the few engineering colleges established in Asia in the 1850's.

I am  told the 15th of September every year is observed as Engineers Day in many parts of India and I would definitely enjoin every single engineering  institution of India from the elite one's downwards to observe this day as 'Engineers Day" and no engineering institution in the country is worth the salt if it calls itself so and does not spend some time in veneration for a lad from Kolar with a not so amicable background traveled all the way to Pune to study and come back and serve his home ground and contribute to Engineering progress and above all used the principles of Engineering in diverse situations to emerge a transformer and a revolutionizer of communities and people who never imagined such leaps were ever possible.

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