By K. Vijaya Kumar, Former Jt. Director of Information & Publicity
The firebrand Gandhian who brought women into Satyagraha Movement
The recently held function on Yashodharamma Dasappa — Ondu Nenapu took my memory back over 60 years to remember this Gandhian and social reformer which Mysore cannot forget.
It was in 1968-69 when I was a graduate without any job, my mother who had contacts with Yashodhara Dasappa (fondly called Yashodharamma) made me to work with her (without any salary) as she needed some assistance in looking after the unit she was running for poor women to produce small axillary parts required for HMT and her Katsura Mahila Vidyalaya at Arasikere.
But what I learnt from her during those period is something which is registered in my memory even today.
Coming from a distinguished family, her father K.H. Ramaiah, who had earned a name for his work for weaker sections and her husband H.C. Dasappa serving as Union Railway Minister, her son Tulasidas Dasappa as MP and later becoming a State Minister in Union Cabinet and one of her brothers K.R. Marideve Gowda serving as Registrar of Co-operative Society, all had imbibed the mind of serving the needy people.
It was my good fortune to have had contacts with Tulasidas till his last days.
I had occasions to accompany her for some of her programmes. She used to carry Mankutimmana Kagga of DVG in her bag and would quote from it to learn the life lessons. Of course, she would always impress the people to remember Gandhiji for his work and follow his preachings and not to forget him as true Indians.
In fact, she and H.C. Dasappa were the earliest from our State to come in close contacts with Gandhiji.
Once at a gathering of politicians, she quoted a favourite verse of DVG where he says: “When seeds from the earth sprouts it won’t make any noise; When fruits ripen on the tree it won’t play piped music; Sun and Moon who give light to the World won’t make even a bit of sound; whereas you man stitch your lips, Mankutimma.”
She impressed not to claim so much for whatever service you are rendering.
Since I was working without any salary, whenever I was still working at lunch or dinner time, she was insisting me to have food at her house saying that I should not be a burden to my parents.
Once when her husband as Union Minister of Railways was on a visit, it was dinner time and noticing I was still working she called me to join the couple for a plantain leaf dinner squatting with them. Introducing me to the Minister she recommended me for a job with him. I was sitting with all shyness with them. When he asked me ‘Yenaiah, Dehalige bartheeya,’ I was so perturbed to say anything and kept quiet. He told his wife, ‘Look this is what our Mysore boys’ courage!’
Thus ended my job aspiration. Even today, while passing through Yesho Vilas, their residence in V.V. Mohalla, my thoughts go back to my time spent there with this noble lady and pray for her soul. Whatever is written is so little compared to the work she churned out during her life which was so great.
We should thank her daughter-in-law Sarojamma Tulasidas and other Associations for organising the recent function in city in memory of Yashodhara Dasappa.
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