Colour of India

Colour of India

Sunday, September 25, 2011




Today is the Birth anniversary of PANDIT DEENDAYAL UPADHYAY.Hindu Revivalism and Renaissance represented a broad trend in the 19th and 20th century India which sought to revitalise Hinduism after a millennium of political, ideological and psychological subjection to Islamic and Western hegemony.

Unlike Hindu traditionalism, it sought to co-opt modernity in its programme of Hindu Reconstruction, Hindu Revival, and Hindu Resurgence. The concept of Hindu Nationalism or 'Hindutva' was given expression by the Hindu Mahasabha (HMS, 1915) and the family of organisations around the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS, 1925), including the Bharatiya Jan Sangh (BJS, 1951-1977) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP, 1980). Numerically, culturally and ideologically Hindutva became the most important and pronounced tendency within this broad movement of Hindu Renascent Forces.

What is surprising is that the ideological viewpoint, the most penetrating formulations of Hindu Revivalist And Renascent Thought have been provided by remarkably inspired individuals outside these Hindu organisations from the days of Bankimchandra Chatterjee (1838-1894), Swami Vivekananda(1863-1902) and Sri Aurobindo Gosh (1872-1950) to the modern days of Ram Swarup (1920-1998), Sitaram Goel (1921) and their younger friends and comrades today.

Unlike these great men, Deendayal Upadhyay (1916-1968) very much belonged to the RSS and became one of the foremost Ideologues of Hindu Revival or Hindutva in the second half of the 20th century in India. Deendayal Upadhyay was born on 25 September, 1916, in the village of Dhankia in Rajasthan. He lost his father Bhagwati Prasad when he was less than three years old and his mother before he was eight. He was then brought up by his maternal uncle.

Deendayal was outstanding in his studies and stood first in all his examinations. Braving the odds, he passed the intermediate board examination with distinction from Birla College in Pilani. He took his BA Degree from Sanatan Dharma College in Kanpur. Later he took his MA Degree from Agra University. He joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). He dedicated himself to full-time work in the RSS from 1942. Deendayal Upadhyaya was a man of soaring idealism and had a tremendous capacity for organisation. He started a Monthly Rashtra Dharma, a Weekly Panchajanya and a Daily Swadesh.

In 1951, when Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee founded the Bharatiya JANA SANGH, Deendayal became the first General Secretary of its UP branch. Next he was chosen as All-India General Secretary. The acumen and meticulousness shown by Deendayal deeply impressed Dr Mookerjee and elicited his famous remark: 'If I had two Deendayals, I could transform the political face of India.'

After Dr. Shyamaprasad Mookerjee's death in 1953, the entire burden of nurturing the orphaned JANA SANGH and building it up as a nation-wide movement fell on the young shoulders of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay. Deendayalji assumed the reins of leadership of the JANA SANGH PARTY and, after fifteen years of untiring efforts, brought the party to a level where a new set of political pundits began to see it as a distinct alternative to the Congress.

Although the Jana Sangh had a succession of Presidents between 1953 and 1967, as its constitution stipulated that the President’s tenure could be of only one year, everybody knew that Deendayalji, its General Secretary in charge of the organisation, was the mind, heart and soul of the party. As a matter of fact, he was more than the organisational head of the party. He was its philosopher, guide and motivator all rolled into one.

Pandit Deenadayal Upadhyay wrote a book titled “POLITICAL DIARY”. This book was released  at a Public Funstion in Mumbai in 1966. This book was released by Shri Kinhaiyalal Munshi (Shri.K.M.Munshi) under the Presidentship of Guruji Golwalkar

The final triumph of his statesmanship and vision was the historic session of the party in Calicut in 1967. Deendayal was a deep and original thinker. His philosophy of Integral Humanism, which is a synthesis of the material and the spiritual, the individual and the collective, bears eloquent testimony to this. In the field of politics and economics, he was pragmatic and down to earth. He visualised for India a decentralized polity and self-reliant economy with the village as the base.

Deendayal welcomed modern technology but wanted it to be adapted to suit Indian requirements. Deendayal believed in a constructive approach. He exhorted his followers to co-operate with the government when it was right and fearlessly oppose it whenever and wherever it erred. He placed nation's interest above everything else. Unfortunately his very promising political future was tragically cut short in 1968

Inscrutable are the ways of the Almighty. Just when the Jana Sangh had ascended one peak of glory, and was all set to scale further summits of success in the years to come, tragedy struck. The cruel hand of destiny took away Deendayalji’s life within two months of his becoming the party President. He was murdered by unknown assailants while travelling in a night-train from Lucknow to Patna on 11 February 1968. His body was found near the tracks at Mughal Sarai railway station.

The following rousing call given by Deendayal Upadhyay to the thousands of delegates at the Calicut Session in 1967, still continues to reverberate in the ears of all patriotic Bharatvasis who believe in the RULE AND REIGN OF SANATANA DHARMA and subscribe to the political philosophy of HINDUTVA:

“We are pledged to the service not of any particular community or section but of the entire nation. Every countryman is blood of our blood and flesh of our flesh. We shall not rest till we are able to give to every one of them a sense of pride that they are able to give to every one of them a sense of pride that they are children of Bharatmata. We shall make Mother India Sujala, Suphala (overflowing with water and laden with fruits) in the real sense of these words. As Dashapraharana Dharini Durga (Goddess Durga with her 10 weapons) she would be able to vanquish evil; as Lakshmi she would be able to disburse prosperity all over and as Saraswati she would dispel the gloom of ignorance and spread the radiance of knowledge all around her. With faith in ultimate victory, let us dedicate ourselves to this task.”

Deendayal Upadhyay was convinced that we as an independent nation cannot rely upon Western concepts like individualism, democracy, socialism, communism, etc. and he was of the view that the Indian polity after our independence had been raised upon these superficial Western foundations and not rooted in the timeless traditions of our ancient culture raised upon Sanatana Dharma. He was of the view that the Indian intellect was getting suffocated by Western theories and ideologies and consequently there was a big roadblock on the growth and expansion of original Bharathiya thought. He said that there was an urgent public need for a fresh breeze.

As Dr Maheshchandra Sharma has beautifully put it: “The satanic Western imperialist forces continue to overshadow the Bharathiya environment. The native ethos is feeling suffocated for want of a refreshing, rejuvenating and homely breeze. The second-rate academic curriculums constructed on the Westernised agenda has hindered the growth of Bharathiya originality. The unique institutions of Bharat such as family, marriage system, village and community organisations are getting lifeless. The Indian science and talent do not find a congenial environment to grow. We are bereft of the knowledge and traditions of the realisation of 'Ekatma' (integral unity) of 'Vyashti', 'Samashti', 'Srishti' and 'Parameshti' (Individuality, Society, Humanity and Almighty) which was discovered and experienced by the Bharathiya ethos for more than 10,000 years. Individualism, socialism, marketism and consumerism have led the Indian humanity to wander helplessly in the blind alleys. Humanity is calling frantically for the spiritual-life for immediate rescue.”

Swami Vivekananda, Sri Aurobindo, Maharishi Dayananda Sarasvati, Lokamanya Tilak had given the clarion call for such a rescue. This call had a bearing on the struggle for freedom. The Western imperialists cunningly changed the 'eternal urge for freedom' into an arid and lifeless carcass of 'Transfer of Power' on 15 August, 1947. No wonder Western ideology was put on the pedestal on 15 August, 1947 by MAULANA JAWAHARLAL NEHRU and consequently all values and things Western 'divorced from Indian ethos' got a tremendous boost from the Government of India after our independence. Even today, the paradigms and concepts of our leaders in general are West-oriented.

Deendayal Upadhyay gave his 'Moolamantra' of 'Integral Humanism' to our country at Gwalior in 1964. This concept which is attributed to him was not his individual ideal. There is no doubt that as a great patriot and a practicing Hindu, he only gave the term and the definition. It was inherited from the age-old philosophy of Bharathiya tradition. Deendayal Upadhyay himself stated: “The Individual is a Manifestation Unique of his whole society which breathes and fosters all with Nature in perfect amity. Do not draw a line between the two entities. The Integral Man one and all are nothing but One Almighty. Our rishis and seers told us that there is nothing but One Almighty! Be it the individual or society.”

It will thus be clear that Deen Dayal Upadhyay was a great thinker who derived his inspiration from ancient India's cultural heritage and tradition. He made it clear that India cannot adopt the philosophy of Western individualism or of socialism as propounded by Karl Marx. Every particle contains the entire universe and the universe through every particle manifests in every other particle. We have inherited this invaluable integral thinking through our ancient traditions. The Bharathiya philosophy is integral. It uplifts the personality of the individual as well as the all-round prosperity of the society. If we want to reconstruct our national economy, we should do it in the light of 'Integral Humanism'. In line with our ethos, we will have to build up a de-centralised economy. Our great planning based on Western models cannot give work to every hand in India.

Government of India honoured Deendayal Upadhyaya with the Issue of a Commemorative Postage Stamp on 5th of May 1978.

In 1990 DEEN DAYAL UPADHYAYA COLLEGE, affiliated to the University of Delhi, was established.


Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College
Please see the Statue of Deendayal  above

This constituent college of the University of Delhi was established in 1990 in memory of Late Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya, a thinker, philosopher and renowned Social worker. It is a multi-faculty co-educational college having at present approximately 1500 students on its roles in various courses. The main focus of Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College is on the creation of confident, dedicated, honest, upright, spirited and poatriotic individuals who will be an asset to the sacred cause of selfless service of Bharatvarsha.


I had requested my Revered Friend Sadhu Prof. V. Rangarajan, Founder Trustee, Sri Bharatamata Gurukula Ashram Krishnarajapuram, Bangalore who had come into close contact with PANDIT DEENDAYAL UPADHYAYA in the last years of his life to send me the message of his tribute to Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya. He has very kindly and spontaneously sent his message. I deem it a great privilege to publish below the Full Text of His Message.

Sadhu Prof. V. Rangarajan

“Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya was the personification of humility, simple living and high thinking, dedication to the cause of Motherland, discipline, character and other noble virtues of the head and heart. He was a unique political leader of post-independent India for whom service of the nation and its people was a ‘dhyeya sadhana’—intense Tapas—not only for his own spiritual salvation, but for the emancipation of millions of children of the holy land of Bharatavarsha.

“Born on Monday, September 25, 1916, in a family which hailed from Brij region of Uttar Pradesh, Deendayalji lost both his father Bhagwati Prasad and mother Rampyari in his infancy and was brought up by his uncle. He grew up with an austere and tough life, but stood in the forefront in his studies and graduated from Kanpur University. He also qualified himself for ICS, but instead of choosing a lucrative career and life of comfort and pleasure, he dedicated his life for the service of his motherland by walking on the footsteps of his mentors, Dr. K.B. Hedgewar, the founder of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, and Sri Guruji Golwalkar, the second Sarsangchalak of the RSS, and became a pracharak along with his illustrious colleague, Nanaji Deshmukh. He started the Rashtra Dharma Prakashan, a publication wing of the Sangh, and Panchajanya weekly and Swadesh daily to spread the message of Sangh.

“When the great patriot and national leader, Dr. Shyam Prasad Mukherji, standing for the total integration of Kashmir with Bharat, came out of the Nehru Cabinet protesting against the policy of Pandit Nehru on Kashmir, and founded the Bharatiya Jan Sangh, Sri Guruji Golwalkar presented this gem of swayamsevak to Dr. Mukherji to help him in founding the political party in 1951. Though Deendayal was least interested in making politics his career, he took up the task given to him with the true dedication and spirit of service of a swayamsevak and played a great role in building up the party not only in northern India, but spread its wings to the southern most province of Kerala. Dr. Mukherji had rightly remarked about Deendayalji: ” If I had two Deendayals, I could transform the political face of India”.

“This writer, as a humble and dedicated full-time worker of RSS, met Pandit Deendayalji in 1967, when the latter came to Tiruchirappally to campaign for this sadhu who was fielded as a candidate of the Bharatiya Jan Sangh for the Tamilnadu Legislative Assembly from Tiruchi-1 constituency. A poor and penniless youth who didn’t have even a third set of clothes to wear, this sadhu was chosen as a candidate to contest against a Congress candidate who was chairman of Tiruchy Municipality and a prominent DMK leader, simply because he was totally dedicated to the cause of the country and the people and also hailed from a family which produced the great patriot and colleague of Veer Savarkar, Dr. T.S.S. Rajan who also belonged to Tiruchy. After inaugurating the election campaign of this sadhu in Tiruchy Medical Association Hall, Pandit Deendayalji gave a piece of wise counselling to this sadhu: “Do not bother about the outcome of this election. We are contesting not for the sake of power and position, but to carry to the masses the highest ideologies of the Jan Sangh and instil the nationalist and patriotic feelings in them”.

“After the elections, this sadhu moved to Delhi, Patna and later to Nagpur as Editor of Hindustan Samachar news agency. In Nagpur, while staying in ‘Dr. Hedgewar Bhavan’, the headquarters of RSS, this sadhu had the opportunity to watch from close quarters the humble, simple, austere and disciplined life of the great leader, Deendayalji. Whenever he came to Nagpur, he used to stay in the Bhavan, though he was a tall national President of a prominent political party. He used to sit in the common dining hall and take food with all of us, the workers of the Sangh, and Sri Guruji, and take bath in the common bathroom. One day, when Deendayalji was washing his clothes in the common bath room, this sadhu and another swayamsevak noticed that his buniyan (inner vest cloth) was torn in the back and he was using it after stitching it with his own hands. After he had hung his clothes for drying in the sun, we clandestinely removed the old buniyan, got a new one of white cloth stitched in the same form and put it on the lines. In the afternoon, when Deendayalji was searching for his buniyan we pointed to the new one and insisted that it was his. Deendayalji understood our game and coolly collected it. Next day, we found the cook of the Karyalaya was wearing it. When we questioned Deendayalji, he coolly replied that he did not need a new buniyan and the old one could serve him for another year. He asked us to return the old one to him.

“On February 11, 1968, sitting in the teleprinter room of Hindustan Samachar, this sadhu received the shocking news that Pandit Deendayal was found dead on the railway track at Mugalsarai Railway Station. We were all shell shocked, because only a few days earlier this sadhu had taken his interview in Nagpur. While giving interview to us, he jovially remarked: “Whenever a politician gives interview to a journalist, he will pamper the journalist with all delicacies and even gifts to get good publicity, but I want you to get me a cup of tea before we go in for the interview”. Accordingly we arranged for a cup of tea from the kitchen of the Karyalaya of the Sangh.Before he left Nagpur, Sri Guruji casually asked him, “When will we meet again?”” Deendayalji’s jovial reply, “We will meet in all births”, did not mean to us at that time that this great Tapasvi, had the premonition of his departure from this world very soon.

“Deendayalji was an ajatasatru, one who was always lovable, soft-spoken and one who never uttered harsh words against his opponents. His fearless expression of patriotic sentiments and ideals of intense nationalism attracted the wrath of unpatriotic and anti-national forces which planned to push him into the clutches of death. However, he will ever remain immortal in the hearts of millions of swayamsevaks and karyakartas for whom he is the ideal of patriotism, dedication and selfless service to the Hindu Rashtra. Vande Mataram! “ 

Thursday, September 15, 2011



Engineering is the discipline, art, skill and profession of acquiring and applying scientific, mathematical, economic, social, and practical knowledge, in order to design and build structures, machines, devices, systems, materials and processes that safely realize improvements to the lives of people. The broad discipline of engineering encompasses a range of more specialized sub-disciplines, each with a more specific emphasis on certain fields of application and particular areas of technology.

In India, Engineer's day is celebrated on September 15 every year. Happily this day also happens to coincide with the Birthday of MOKSHAGUNDAM VISVESVARAYA who was born in 1861. He was a man of many splendours. He was an outstanding engineer, scholar, statesman and served with unsurpassed distinction as the Diwan of Mysore from 1912 to 1919. Visvesvaraya is often hailed as the architect of the all-round development of Karnataka in the 20th Century from 1910 to 1960. Among his most successful projects were the design and construction of the Krishnaraja Sagar dam and its adjoining Brindavan Gardens, modernization of the Bhadravati Iron and Steel Works, setting up of the Mysore Sandalwood Oil Factory and the founding of the Bank of Mysore. Internationally recognised for his genius in harnessing water resources, he was responsible for successful design and construction of several river dams, bridges and implementing irrigation and drinking water schemes all over India in the decade immediately after our independence from 1950 to 1960.

2011 happens to be the 150th Anniversary of the Birth of Visvesvaraya in 1861. This Anniversary is being celebrated on a grand scale in Karnataka State and elsewhere in India. Institutes of Technical Education, Industrial Bodies and Organizations, Commercial Banks, Nationalized Banks, the State Governments and the Government of India have joined hands to pay a fitting tribute to Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya, on the occasion of his 150th Birth Anniversary.

As a part of the 150th Birthday Celebrations, his birth place in Muddenahalli in Chikkaballapur district is getting a facelift, his old house there has been converted into a well-equipped Museum. The State Bank of Mysore’s Personal Pass Book of  Sir Visvesvaraya, his Civil Engineering Degree Certificate, the Doctrate Certificate he received from Patna University, a 1923 Typewriter  used by him and a Dictionary that was gifted to him as a memento in 1881 by Charles Watters, the then Principal of Central College of Engineering in Poona, are all displayed in this museum.

More importantly, Visvesvaraya’s dream of making use of cost-effective modern technology for accelerated rural development is getting fulfilled and realised in more senses than one.

The Union Government, has announced several new Projects and Programmes to be launched on the birthday of Visvesvarya on September 15, 2011. These include a National Skill Development Programme, an Entrepreneurship Development Programme, a Rural Development & Self-Employment Training Institute (Rudiset), Micro And Medium Enterprises Awareness Programmes as well as a Rural BPO.

An outstanding-engineer, a meticulous administrator, a far-seeing statesman Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya was a visionary and an architect of planning in India. He was born on 15th September 1860 at Muddenahalli village in an ortho­dox lower middle class Brahmin family in Kolar district in Mysore State. Mokshagundam is a village in Kurnool District in Andhra Pradesh from where his ancestors moved to Mysore state about 300 years ago. The prefix Mokshagundam is traceable to this fact of his ancestry in Andhra Pradesh. His father, Srinivasa Sastri was a Sanskrit Scholar and an au­thority on Hindu scriptures. He was also an exponent of Ayurveda. His mother, Venkachamma had a powerful influence in moulding Visvesvaraya’s life and career. His father died in 1876 when he was 16. He had to face many difficulties. He had no house to live in and no money to meet his expenses. Only two things he had in plenty; courage and determination. His maternal uncle Ramiah helped him to get into Central College, Bangalore. He passed the B.A. Degree Examination from that college in 1880 with distinction.

Rangacharalu the Dewan of Mysore of­fered Visvesvaraya a Mysore government scholar­ship for further studies in Engineering Col­lege, Poona. He completed the course again with distinction in 1883. In 1884, he joined the PWD of the Government of Bombay as an Assistant Engineer. He retired of his own accord, as Superintend­ing Engineer in 1908.

 Pandit Nehru with Visvesvaraya

Visvesvaraya’s career in the PWD Department in Bombay Presidency was most distinguished. He was associated with the de­sign, construction or administration of a large number of irrigation schemes in the Bombay Presidency. He played a prominent part in drawing up suitable water supply schemes of several important cities like Dhulia in Khandesh and Sukkur in Sind. During this period, he also designed a new system of automatic waste water flood gates which were installed at Lake Fife which is the Head Works of the Mutha Canal, the source of water supply to Poona city and Cantonment. Gates of the same pattern were subsequently erected on the Rigers Dam in Gwalior and on the Krishnarajasagara Dam across the Cauvery near Mysore. THE DESIGN OF THESE AUTOMATIC GATES WON FOR HIM INTERNATIONAL RECOGNI­TION. HE DEVELOPED A NEW SYSTEM OF IRRIGATION KNOWN AS THE BLOCK SYSTEM IN ORDER TO ENSURE THE ECONOMICAL USE OF CANAL WATERS. The Indian Irrigation Com­mission of 1901-1903 commended the Block System recommended by Dr. M. Visvesvaraya for adoption in the drought prone areas of the Deccan. HIS CAREER AS AN ENGINEER IN THE PWD DEPARTMENT WAS MARKED BY GREAT FERTILITY OF MIND TIRELESS ENERGY AND AN UNSURPASSED SENSE OF PUBLIC DUTY. ON THE SOCIAL FRONT HE WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR STARTING THE DECCAN CLUB AT POONA WITH THE HELP OF HIS FRIENDS, LIKE GOPALA KRISHNA GOKALE, BAL GANGADHAR TILAK AND MAHADEV GOVINDA RANADE--ALL LEADERS OF NATIONAL EMINENCE.

Soon after seeking voluntary retirement from the PWD in the Government of Bombay in 1908, Visvesvaraya went on a world tour. While in Italy, he received an urgent cable from the Nizam's Government requesting him to prepare a scheme to stem the flood havoc caused by the rivers Moosi and Easi in Hyderabad. He undertook a comprehen­sive investigation of the problems involved soon after returning to India and suggested the construction of two dams across the rivers, which were later named Osman Sagar and Himayat Sagar lakes. He be­came Chief Engineer in Mysore State in November 1909 and continued in that position till he became Dewan of Mysore in December 1912. During this term of office he designed and constructed the greater part of a masonary dam across the Cauvery River with a storage capacity of about 48355 million cubic feet, forming the reservoir now know as the Krishnarajasagara. This reservoir was the largest in India ever constructed till that date.

As Dewan of Mysore for seven years (1912-1919) he directed all his energies to the progress of general and technical edu­cation and to the acceleration of the pace of industrial development in the old Mysore State. He founded the University of Mysore in 1916 - the first University to be established in a princely state. He estab­lished a number of industries including the Mysore Iron and Steel Works at Bhadravati, the Sandalwood Soap Factory etc. He expanded and modernised the Railway System in Mysore state. He established the Bank of Mysore in 1913. He established public libraries in major cities. He brought in new measures for the Improvement of administrative efficiency which included a new system of 'efficiency audit'. He ef­fected constitutional and legislative reforms. He introduced new measures for rural reconstruction. In more senses than one, the solid foundation of modern Karnataka were well and truly laid by Dr. M. Visvesvaraya.

In 1925, Visvesvaraya served as Chairman of the Indian Economic Enquiry Committee ap­pointed by the Government of India. He became a Member of the Board of Direc­tors of Tata Iron and Steel Company in 1927 and served in that capacity for 28 years till 1955. He was associated with various financial, industrial and educational committees appointed by several state governments and Government of India from time to time.

He founded the All India Manufacturers' Organisation (AIMO) in 1941 and functioned as its Founder President for 12 years from 1941 to 1953. Dr. M. Visvesvaraya, as its Founder President gave the inspiring message of 'Prosperity Through Industry' to the nation. Apart from several technical reports, his important publications were the following: a) 'Reconstructing India' (1920), b) 'Planned Economy for India' (1934), c) 'Memories of my working life' (1952). He also wrote several pamphlets on indus­tries issued through the All India Manufac­turers' Association, Bombay, such as: 1. 'Prosperity through Industry', 2. 'District Industrialisation Drive', 3. 'Village Industri­alisation' 4. 'Development of Heavy Indus­tries in India'.

Visvesvaraya was obsessed with the dream of an industrialised India, a vision he shared with Jameshedji Tata. Visvesvaraya and Mahatma Gandhi were great friends and were in intimate correspondence with each other. Though they differed widely on industrial matters, yet Gandhiji had a high regard for him. Gandhiji wrote to him: "In spite of the strength of my convictions I entertain a great regard for your fine abilities and love of the country, and that shall be unabated whether I have the good fortune to secure your cooperation or face your honest opposi­tion".

When the Bharata Ratna, the highest title of honour, was to be awarded to him in 1955, he sent word to Jawaharlal Nehru: "If you feel that by giving this title I will praise your Government, you will be disappointed I am a fact finding man". Nehru appreciated his view and requested him to accept the Award. Is it not a matter of shame for all of us that such a thing cannot happen in the India of today where all governments compete with one another in making a very subtle distinction between freedom of speech and freedom after speech? Shameless and servile flattery of thieves, dacoits, robbers, looters, illicit distillers, land grabbers—in short UPA II Union Ministers---has become the Order of the Day!!

Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya passed away peacefully on the 14th of April 1962. Thus born during the Viceroyalty of Lord Canning in 1860, he passed away during the Prime Ministership of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. His was a long and many splendoured life, marked by timeless and mag­nificent achievements. Dr. M. Visvesvaraya was one of those rare human beings who practised in personal life what he preached in public. The three signal quali­ties which made him what he was were courage, industry and faith: dauntless courage, unflagging industry, an indomitable faith which was part of his fibre - these were the levers with which he moved the world. His exqui­site urbanity was one of his most conspicu­ous graces. I would like to allude to that grave, old world courtesy, which gave so much distinction to his private life: for his sweetness of manner went far beyond demeanour. Success left him calm, he had had so much of it; nor did failures greatly depress him. The next morning found him once more facing the world with serene and undaunted brow.

                                                                                                                                   15th Sep 1960
Dr. M.Visvesvaraya - Birth Centenary

 Awards and Honours

The Bharat Ratna medal

Visvesvaraya was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire (CIE) in 1911. In 1915, while he was the Diwan of Mysore, Visvesvaraya was knighted as a Knight Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire (KCIE) by the British for his myriad contributions to the public good. After India attained independence, Sir M. Visvesvaraya was given the nation's highest honour, the Bharat Ratna, in 1955.

 The Knight Commander of The Indian Empire medal

Sir M.V. was honoured with honorary membership of the international Institution of Civil Engineers (based in London) and a fellowship of the Indian Institute of Science (based in Bangalore). He was awarded several honorary doctoral degrees like D.Sc., LL.D., D.Litt. from eight universities in India. He was president of the 1923 Session of the Indian Science Congress. Sir M.V. was awarded honorary Membership of London Institution of Civil Engineers for an unbroken 50 years.


"Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya bequeathed a pure standard of life, a record of lofty ambition for the public good as he understood it, a monument of life-long labour. Such lives speak for themselves, they need no special statues or monuments, they face the future with the confidence of high purpose and noble endeavour. They bid us to be conscious of our trust, mindful of our duty, scornful of opposition to principle and faith. They summon us to account for time and opportunity; they embody an inspiring tradition. They are time-defying milestones in the life of a nation".

Wednesday, August 10, 2011



13th August 2011 happens to be the 78th SMRITIDIN of the firebrand revolutionary Madam Bhikaji Cama. She was an unsurpassed patriot who first unfurled India's flag at an international assembly. 


From the early years of the 20th century, groups of Indians established centres for revolutionary activities in Europe, America and Asia. They carried on propaganda for India's independence among Indians living abroad and mobilized them for revolutionary activities. Aglow with the lamp of liberty and aflame with the fire of freedom, they maintained contacts with revolutionary groups in India and supplied them with revolutionary literature and even firearms. During 1907 and 1914, Paris became the most important centre of Indian revolutionaries in Europe. One of the greatest revolutionaries of this period in Europe from India was Madame Bhikaji Cama. She brought out the Journal BANDE MATARAM. She and colleague S R Rana, another great freedom fighter, were in touch with other great revolutionaries like Shyamaji Krishnavarma, Veer Savarkar, V V S Iyer, Bhai Paramanand, Ajith Singh, Chambakaraman Pillai and others.

Madame Cama was born on September 24, 1861 in a well-to-do Parsi family in Bombay. Her father was Framji Sorabji Patel, a businessman of Bombay. She studied at the Alexandra Parsee Girl's school in Bombay and was married to Shri K. R. Cama, a leading solicitor. From an early age she took keen interest in social and political work. One of Madame Cama's first great opportunities for doing public work was during Bombay's great plague in 1897. Without any concern for her life, Madame Cama tirelessly nursed the people stricken with deathly bubonic plague back to health, and gained the esteem and appreciation of the common people. Under the inspiration of Bal Gangadhar Tilak, she succeeded in converting many common people to fight for the cause of Indian independence. Her tireless exertions in plague relief work resulted in her falling sick herself. Taking note of her rapidly declining health, her friends and family sent her to London in 1902 for recuperation. 

Madame Cama's brief but meteoric political career started in London in 1902. There, she became Dadabhai Naoroji's private secretary. He was an important Indian dignitary at that time, having been the first Indian to get elected to the British House of Commons. Through his influence, Madame Cama allied herself with many fiery patriots like Shyamaji Krishnavarma, and Veer Savarkar and began her revolutionary political career by speaking against the atrocities of British Rule in India.

Madame Cama became so famous and influential, that the British Government concocted an assassination or murder plot against her! When Madame Cama caught wind of this plot, she secretly escaped across the English Channel to France! She turned her French home into a secret hideaway for revolutionaries worldwide. She made friends by sending pistols disguised as Christmas gifts to Irish and Russian nationalists. As the British saw her influence abroad increase, they begged France to send her back to India. When the French government refused, the English exiled her from her motherland and seized her inheritance.

The portrait was donated by the Parsi Pragati Mandal, Surat.
The portrait of Madame Cama was unveiled by the then Vice-President of India, Dr. Shanker Dayal Sharma on 2 August 1989.

An outstanding lady of great courage, fearlessness, integrity and passion for freedom, Madame Bhikhaji Cama was a pioneer amongst those who worked for the freedom of the country from abroad.  Madame Cama's intense love for the nation made her sacrifice her family life and work tirelessly for the cause of liberty, equality and fraternity.  Right from her early years, she cultivated a well-defined social outlook and clear political vision.  It was her motto to serve humanity with utmost love and affection and to raise her voice against any exploitation of fellow beings.

India 1907 National Flag
designed by Madame Gama.


Madame Cama and other freedom fighters in Europe also established contacts with socialists in France, Germany, England and America. Madame Cama participated in the CONGRESS OF THE SECOND INTERNATIONAL at Stuttgart in 1907. At this international socialist conference, Madame Cama unfurled the tricolor National Flag of India which she and her friends had designed in 1905 bearing the immortal words of Bankim Chandra Chaterjee, BANDE MATARAM. It was thus no mean achievement of Madam Cama, when she unfurled the first National Flag at the International Socialist Conference in Stuttgart (Germany) in 1907. A thousand representatives from several countries were attending. An Indian lady in a colourful sari was arare phenomena in those days and Madame Cama's majestic appearance and brave and clear words made everybody think that she was a Maharani or at least a princess from a native state. There, she held up the flag and declared in a bold voice, “This flag is of Indian Independence. Behold, it is born!...I call upon you, gentle men, to rise.. .I appeal to lovers of freedom all over the world to cooperate with this flag. Hail Bande Mataram !. Hail Bande Mataram!!”
Front page of the first issue (October 1, 1876) of Vorwärts

Madame Cama’s passionate speech made against the British tyranny in India at the International Socialist Conference in Stuttgart (Germany) in 1907 was published at the end of August in the German Socialist paper Vorwärts.

Front page of the first issue (October 1, 1876) of Vorwärts

Madame Cama’s passionate speech made against the British tyranny in India at the International Socialist Conference in Stuttgart (Germany) in 1907 was published at the end of August in the German Socialist paper Vorwärts.

Madan Lal Dhingra (1887 - 1909), a 22 year old engineering student studying in England, assassinated Sir Curzan Wyllie, political Aide-de-Camp to the Secretary of State for India, Lord Morley in London in 1909. He was hanged at Pentonville Prison, London, on 17 August, 1909. Before going to the gallows on that day, Madan Lal Dhingra, spoke the following inspiring words: 'I believe that a nation held down by foreign bayonets is in a perpetual state of war. Since open battle is rendered impossible to a disarmed race, I attacked by surprise. Since guns were denied to me I drew forth my pistol and fired. Poor in health and intellect, a son like myself has nothing else to offer to the mother but his own blood. And so I have sacrificed the same on her altar. The only lesson required in India at present is to learn how to die, and the only way to teach it is by dying ourselves. My only prayer to God is that I may be re-born of the same mother and I may re-die in the same sacred cause till the cause is successful. Hail Bande Matram! Hail Bande Matram!' Madan lal Dingra was greatly inspired by the indomitable courage and saga of self sacrifice of Madame Cama.

When the First World War broke out in 1914, Madame Cama and S R Rana were interned in France, Indian revolutionaries like Cama, Rana and Shyamaji Krishnavarma tired to secure the help of Turkey and Germany, Britain's enemies in that war, for overthrowing the British rule from India. Berlin became their most important centre in Europe. After 1909 Madame Cama started 2 journals in Geneva, namely VANDE MATARAM and MADAN’S TELWAR. Both these journals were edited by Virendranath Chattopadhyaya.

Madame Cama had borrowed the name, Vande Mataram, from Bengal, where a magazine by the same name started by Aurobindo Ghosh was suppressed by the Government. Look at the irony. What was permissible in England was suppressed by the British rulers in their own colony. Freedom of expression was a reality in England. To prove it further, she was allowed to publish another magazine with impunity. It was called Madan's Talwar to commemorate the name of the first Indian martyr Madan Lal Dhingra on British soil. Her two magazines found their way even to India through Mandayam Sriniwas Chari, Editor of The India Magazine in Pondicherry, which was a French possession and, therefore, safer than British India.

These two journals were smuggled into India through Pondicherry. Virendranath Chattopadhyaya, who was editing MADAN’S TALWAR, was joined by Bhupendranath Dutt, Barkatulla, Champakaraman Pillai and others. They formed what is called the BERLIN COMMITTEE. Simultaneously, across the Atlantic, a powerful organization of Indian revolutionaries called the Ghadar Party had come into existence in North America. The Ghadar Movement in America was started by Lala Hardayal, another great Punjabi leader. This Ghadar Party and the Berlin Committee, taking advantage of the I World War, organized anti-British uprisings in India during the First World War. All these revolutionaries were proud of singing the song of BANDE MATARAM, quite unlike the mean, petty, sordid, treacherous and politically anti-national men in the disgraceful UPA Government today.

According to the History Sheet of the Criminal Intelligence Office of the Home Department (Political) of the Government of India in 1913, 'Madame Cama was at that time one of the recognised leaders of the revolutionary movement in Paris, and was said to be regarded by the Hindus as a reincarnation of some deity, presumably Kali'. The truth of this assertion aside, she was sympathetic to the most radical expressions of the Indian national movement.

In 1910 the British Government requested France for Madam Cama’s extradition. When this was refused, her property in India was confiscated. Several Parsi women came under her influence and were kept under political surveillance. With the outbreak of World War I, she was interred in a camp in France, and her political activities came to an end. Madame Cama's battle cry on her heroic march to freedom was: 'MARCH FORWARD! WE ARE FOR INDIA. INDIA IS FOR INDIANS! HAIL AND SING BANDE MATARAM!!'

Madame Cama was a powerful orator who travelled all over the world, including the US, speaking on behalf of India's freedom under the flag and banner of Bande Mataram. She rallied foreign support for the cause of our freedom from many nations. In my view, another great achievement was that she taught Indians to make bombs, and also sent weapons secretly to India for being deployed against the alien rulers. Whatever might be thought of her extremism it had the effect of putting across the Indian message with a force and clarity it had never had before. Conviction, courage, and integrity were her foremost characteristics which won for her the respect and admiration of a widening circle of people and beyond this the attention the Indian cause so desperately needed at that time. All who came into contact with her felt the impact of her unquenchable spirit of Independence from British rule.

Madame Cama returned to Bombay in 1931 when she was 70. She passed away in Bombay on August 13, 1936, eleven years before the birth of our freedom. A lifetime of unparalleled adventure and influence for a woman, Madame Cama demonstrated a woman's true place in a man's world. As she, herself, declared, 'Do not forget the role of women which is also important in building a nation.'

Government of India issued a Postage Stamp in her honour on Republic Day in 1962 (26-1-1962). I am presenting below the copy of the First Day Cover and Postage Stamp below.

Sunday, August 7, 2011



Recently I met Shri.B.Kannan, son of Late Shri V.Balakrishnan a Great Documentary Film Producer and photographer who passed away at Chennai on 20th July 2007. He was my very dear friend for more than three decades. Shri V.Balakrishnan was a staunch devotee of Paramacharya, the sage of Kanchi for a life time.


Beginning from August 1976 at Kutralam in the then unbifurcated Tirunelveli District where I was serving as District Collector, my friendship with Balakrishnan grew steadily and ripened over the years. I can say with nostalgia and affection that I basked in the sunshine of his warm friendship. By friendship I mean the greatest love, the greatest usefulness, the most open communication, the noblest sufferings, the severest truth, the heartiest counsel of which the greatest union of minds brave men and women are capable. As a friend he was one in whose understanding and virtue I could easily confide and whose opinion I valued at once for its justness and sincerity. I have always viewed my long and true friendship with Balakrishnan as the gift of God, believing that HE —HE only and HE alone --who made hearts can unite them.

Meenakshi Subrahmanyam and K.Subrahmanyam

Balakrishnan was the eldest son of the eminent and pioneering film director K Subrahmanyam (1904-1971) and Meenakshi Subrahmanyam, both of whom hailed from Thanjavur District—a centre of great culture and civilization — from times immemorial. After graduating from the Law College in Madras, Balakrishnan started assisting his father in the film industry. He was fortunate to receive his exceptional training in film production and direction from his father who was a creative genius. It will not be too much to say that K Subrahmanyam was to film industry in South India in the first half of the 20th century, what Columbus was to the discovery of America in the 15th century. From his distinguished father, Balakrishnan inherited the conviction that, in a developing country like India, film has a very vital and responsible role to play as a powerful and constructive medium of mass communication. This working philosophy drew him into the documentary film movement which had just started in South India in the early fifties.

When I assumed charge as the First Chairman of Tuticorin Port after duly completing all the works relating to the Tuticorin harbour Project on 1st April 1979, I had invited his sister, the distinguished dancer of international repute, Dr.Padma Subrahmanyam, to give a dance performance at Tuticorin. In those days, Smt Shyamala Balakrishnan, wife of Balakrishnan, used to provide splendid musical support to Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam. Shyamala Balakrishnan was a very fine singer with a very melodious voice. Dr Padma Subrahmanyam's perfor­mance at Tuticorin was indeed outstanding. Both Dr Padma Subrahmanyam and Shyamala Balakrishnan, rose to supreme heights during the course of that performance which had been organised by me to commemorate the inauguration of Tuticorin Port Trust on 1 April, 1979.

Padma Subrahmanyam's dancing and Shyamala Balakrishnan's singing on the stage were always like warp and woof of a splendid Dacca Muslin fabric. I can still recall the tribute that Kausalya Santhanam paid to the musical versatility of Shyamala Balakrishnan when she passed away in January 1997: Achyuta   ...   Achyuta   ...'   As Shyamala Balakrishnan softly enunciated Rukmini's address to Lord Krishna, Padma Subrahmanyam's face mirrored the expressions of Bhakti, love and surren­der. Or was it the other way around - of the singer re­flecting the emotions of the dancer?

It was difficult to tell as the song and dance each appeared to flow from the other, enveloping the au­dience in a total, felt expe­rience. The syllables and the steps, the words and the gestures, the lyrics and the movements were in perfect unison. The un­derstanding between the dancer and singer was intuitive and total--a rapport that made Shyamala and Padma such a winning combination.


Just as Padma and Shyamala were made for each other for the dance stage, Shyamala and Balakrishnan were made for each other for the wider and larger Stage and Arena of Life. Both Shyamala and Balakrishnan were great devotees of Paramacharya of Kanchi. Their’s was a unique form of companionship founded on mutual trust and bound­less love for each other. They were indivisibly united in their common search for the truth, the good and the beautiful. Both Shyamala and Balakrishnan were our great friends and I can say with conviction that their’s was a beautiful association where the independence was equal, the dependence mutual and obliga­tion reciprocal.



As a splendid couple, they led a life of creative fulfilment, a life of unique service through-the medium of music and art, guided by knowledge and wisdom.

V Balakrishnan was a versatile cinematographer. He learnt the art of cinematography at the feet of his Guru T K Venkat who was an avant garde and veteran cinematographer dating back to the days of silent mov­ies. In the late forties and early fifties, Balakrishnan rendered honorary service, under his father's supervi­sion, for many projects such as Newsreel coverage of the first Inde­pendence Day Celebrations at Ma­dras and periodic tours of Prime Min­ister Jawaharlal Nehru in South In­dia; Tamil dubbing of the Hindi pro­ductions of the newly formed Children's Film Society etc; audio recordings of some great classical musicians of South India for the newly formed Tamilnadu Sangeeta Nataka Academy for their archives.

Later Balakrishnan worked as Assis­tant Director to his father in the fea­ture films Geetha Gandhi (1948-Tamil), Stree Ratna (1954-Kannada), Pandithevan (1958-Tamil) and Kotha Dhari (I960–Telegu).Under his father’s personal supervision, he directed the film, Kacha Devayani in Kannada (in 1955) which was a remake of the Tamil hit of 1942. But from 1956 his attention was only towards short and documentary films.

For over five decades, Balakrishnan photographed and directed scores of short films on a variety of subjects, including History, Architecture and Sculpture, Culture and Religion, Biography, Dance, Education, Agriculture and Forests, Family Planning, Irrigation, Industries, Power Generation, Rural development etc. involving intensive study extensive travel and getting in touch with a broad galaxy of eminent per­sonalities. Volume of or quantity in work was never his focus or attraction, nor mere monetary considerations.

It was an article of Balakrishnan's faith that a documentary film and all who participate in it are jointly ac­countable to the Indian public for re­spect for the special needs of children, for community responsibility, for the advancement of education and culture, for decency and decorum in production, and for ethical propriety in advertising.

As a documentary film producer and cinematographer, Art for Art's sake was his vital consideration and noth­ing else mattered to him. Perhaps the great poet had Balakrishnan in view when he wrote:

That man is great
And he alone,
Who serves a greatness not his own.
Neither for pelf
Nor for fame,
Content to know
And be unknown.
Single in integrity
And whole in himself.

Balakrishnan's classic documen­tary film titled 'TEMPLES OF TAMILNADU' (Colour - 60 minutes) which he produced in two parts for the Government of Tamilnadu was hailed as a landmark historic thesis on celluloid. It covered over forty five temples in Tamilnadu which are of historic, architectural, sculptural, cul­tural and festive importance. As early as late fifties, he was the peerless pioneer in introducing the dramatic element in documentary films, termed as docudrama.

Following his great father's foot steps who founded the Nrithyodaya in 1942, Balakrishnan took a special interest in the study of Bharatha Natyam. In-more senses than one I can say that his vital role in relation to the evolution, growth and devel­opment of Dr Padma Subrahmanyam as an outstanding dancer was like that of Kalki Sadasivam in relation to the flower­ing of the musical genius of M S Subhaiakshmi.

All the time-defying photographs depicting the KARANAS of Bharatha's Natyashasthra in Dr Padma Subrahmanyam's magnum opus, were creatively taken and produced by Baiakrishnan with spiritual faith and devotion that marched along­side that of his great sister Dr Padma Subrahmanyam. Later Balakrishnan also directed a Documentary film serial (13 segments) titled BHARATIYA NATYA SASTRA' (En­glish), produced by Nrithyodaya for Doordarshan's National Network, based on Dr Padma Subrahmanyam's script. Considered as a 'Magnum Opus' by large sec­tions of people in India and abroad, the core of this film is the underlying cultural unity of our Bharat dating back to the dawn of history.

The crowning moment of Balakrishnan's life was reached in 2002 when he directed the much acclaimed biographical documen­tary film, 'SAGE OF KANCHI' (70 min­utes), depicting the life of the great Centenarian Saint. Pujyasri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati Swamigal, the 68th Sankaracharya of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam. What is poignantly significant is the fact that his wife Shyamala Balakrishnan (Singer and Research Scholar) played a very key role in writing the script for this film which made and continues to make millions of view­ers around the world go into ecstatic raptures.

Both Balakrishnan and his wife Shyamala were great devotees of Kanchi Paramacharya for a life time. They were united in their daily prayer to Paramacharya in these words:

You are the life of our life
O Paramacharya, the heart of my heart,
There is none in ail the three worlds
Whom I call my own but you
You are the peace of my mind
You are the joy of my heart
You are my beauty and my wealth
You  are  my  wisdom  and  my strength; I call you my home, my friend, my king.
My present and future are in your hands;
My scriptures and commands come from you.
Supreme teacher, fountain of wisdom,
You are the path and the goal,
Tender mother and stern father too. You are the creator and protector,
And the pilot who takes me across
The stormy ocean of life.

Shyamala joined Paramacharya in the OCEAN OF ETERNITY in 1997.
Balakrishnan joined them both on 20 July 2007. I offer my humble, affec­tionate and reverential salutations to their sacred memory.