KRS South Gate statue project ruffles feathers
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KRS South Gate statue project ruffles feathers

June 3, 2020

How can Rajarishi Nalwadi’s and Sir M. Visvesvaraya’s statues be treated equally, questions Historian

Mysore/Mysuru: The ongoing project of constructing life-size statues of Rajarishi Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar, the patron and the financier of Krishna Raja Sagar (KRS) Dam and Sir M. Visvesvaraya (Sir MV), Wadiyar’s Dewan and the Chief Engineer who built the Dam at the Southern Gate of the Reservoir, has ruffled the feathers of certain sections of the society who have questioned the logic of placing Nalwadi’s and Sir MV’s statues at the same level.

They have demanded that only Nalwadi’s statue should come up near the Southern Gate prominently while Sir MV’s statue can come up at a different place. They argue that though Sir MV’s contribution to the Dam is invaluable, it cannot be compared with the sacrifices and the vision of Nalwadi who is the single force behind the development of the erstwhile Mysore Kingdom, the fruits of his work of which are being realised and experienced by the present generation.

Voices against equally treating Nalwadi and Sir MV have been raised by a group led by Historian Prof. P.V. Nanjaraj Urs, who has been vocal whenever questions and clarifications about the history of Mysore is raised. Prof. Urs and like-minded individuals met at Jaladarshini Guest House in Mysuru on Monday and discussed about the statue project.

Bone of contention

The State Government has approved the project worth Rs. 9.71 crore where the statues and domes (Mantapas) would be constructed using white marble stones. Both the statues will be of 22X22 metres length and width (22.387 metres X 22.387 metres). They will have a height of 9 feet and will stand on 2 feet pedestals and as per the project, both the statues will be treated equally and both will be accorded equal prominence. This particular point, however, is the bone of contention now.

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“How can one treat Rajarishi Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar, the visionary Statesman and Sir M. Visvesvaraya, the Engineer-Extraordinaire, who planned and executed the Dam, equally? We are not opposed to Sir MV’s statue and we do not hate him. We have tremendous respect for his technical and engineering skills. But we are opposed to the equal treatment meted out to both,” Prof. Nanjaraj Urs reasoned.

Memorable for many generations

Justifying his stand, he said that the contributions of Nalwadi is memorable and beneficial for many generations and it was due to this, people of Mysuru still revere him. “When the idea of a reservoir germinated in his mind in 1911 for drinking water and irrigation requirements, the budget of Mysore Kingdom was Rs. 2.50 crore while Rs. 2 crore was needed to build the Dam. The Maharaja did not step back but stood firm in his decision and for the welfare of generations of people, his mother Maharani Vani Vilas Sannidhana took the precious gold and diamond jewellery from the royal vaults and handed them over to Nalwadi,” Prof. Urs said.

“The invaluable jewels of royal family were sold without a second thought. For Nalwadi and his mother, welfare of people was paramount. Sir Visvesvaraya was the engineer then and later he was promoted as the Dewan. While Nalwadi and Maharani Vani Vilas Sannidhana sold off the royal family jewellery, Sir MV was the person who executed the project. We cannot place both of them in same plane and cannot treat them equally, though Sir MV’s contributions cannot be negated or undervalued,” Prof. Nanjaraja Urs said.

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Seek public opinion

Criticising the Government project to establish statues equally at Southern Gate of KRS Dam, he said “Let the Government plan Sir MV’s statue elsewhere inside the Dam premises. Let the Government collect public opinion in Mysuru and Mandya before going ahead with the project any further.”

The meeting decided to take the issue up to Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa and for that a separate meeting would be called on June 4, which coincides with Nalwadi’s birth anniversary. 

Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha District General Secretary Hosakote Basavaraju, Prof. Shafeel Mustafa, Sitharam, President of Bovi community, Aravind Sharma, Sosale Siddaraju, Deepu, Choranahalli Shivanna, Yamuna, K.V. Devendra and others were present.

4 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “KRS South Gate statue project ruffles feathers”

  1. Plebeian Kumar says:

    How kind of the queen mother to hand over her family’s precious jewels, painstakingly collected by taxing the peasants, to fund the dam.

    And how dare the state government put up Mr Visvesvaraya’s statue on the same level as His Highness. Government of Karnataka should know better than equating petty serfs with distinguished royalty. People might start getting strange ideas like liberty, equality and other assorted nonsense in their heads.

  2. Raghu says:

    This guy so called “Historian” Prof. P.V. Nanjaraj Urs is notorious crook. Because of his wicked mind set and his cunningness, current Wadiyar’s family has kept him outside the compound. People should be very careful about these kind of anti-social elements. This is nothing but to bring infighting with us.

  3. KP Vidyashankar says:

    Why has the contributions of Gujarat princess overlooked. She too sold off all of the jewelry

  4. jalandhara says:

    Nalwadi Wadiyar was the architect of modern Mysuru. He picked the ablest Dewans to bring Mysuru to the 20th Century. He rightly saw in Sir MV, the person who would ensure continuous water availability for agriculture and expanding for house holds besides planning the general infrastructure for industrialised Mysore. H e thus occupies the most revered position, and it is apt to put up a large statue at the entrance of the KRS dam. There are a number of places, where Sir MV statue can be erected which signifies his engineering contribution.
    It is a sacrilege to belittle or mock the huge part played by her highness Maharani Kempa Nanjammani Vani Vilasa Sannidhana, by lesser mo9rtals now. She more than any one else ensured that the young prince was equipped with the knowledge to run a modern kingdom. She deserves the utmost respect.

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