Mysore of the past has hosted many eminent citizens commanding unbounded respect if society which has endured to this day both in articles written about the city’s glorious history and in speeches by noted public speakers on various celebratory occasions from different platforms before the city’s discerning literati. The eminent personalities have left their lasting imprint in fields of human pursuit as diverse as literature, music, philosophy, education, sculpture, wrestling, sports, oratory, engineering, agriculture, nation’s defences, photography, painting, mentoring, culinary, building construction and what have you. The unstinted patronage and generous support the citizens excelling in all the aforementioned pursuits received from the royalty of the erstwhile princely State of Mysore cannot be expressed in words. Mysore’s renowned citizens and the royalty, in a synergy, took the city in particular and the State in general to its high pinnacle culturally.
The stunning galaxy of names of the city’s luminaries in different fields mentioned above should not stump other unnamed citizens as well as rustics who have been the face of Mysore’s star status, particularly the teachers and social activists who laid the foundation of the spiritual and worldly life of people of their times.
The city that has been portrayed by many expressions such as heritage city, pensioners’ paradise, glorified village, City of Palaces, citizenry with a laid-back outlook, hub of education, cradle of classical Karnatak music and so on now has witnessed a change in its name to Mysuru. The change, marked by the force of sentiment in the minds of the likes of those who have been writing in the dailies under the caption “Why I love Mysore”, may trigger thoughts among the present generation about taking the city to its high cultural perch of the bygone days. The big question one is prompted to ask is: Does the change in the name of the city from Mysore (of the British rule) to Mysuru (of the self-rule) trigger such highly desired mindset?
The mosaic of Mysuru’s social fabric that nurtured its rich culture in times past, until the end of first half of 20th century, has undergone a virtual metamorphosis. People reacting angrily and aggressively on being hinted about their uncivil conduct in public with an appeal to correct themselves is common sight in the city’s streets. Mysuru may be culturally high in one sense, but what it is like nowadays doesn’t need elaboration.