Mysore/Mysuru: A controversy over the erection of statues of two eminent personalities at Mathrumandali Circle that links Kalidasa Road to Paduvarahalli, Vontikoppal, Jayalakshmipuram and Yadavagiri compelled the Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) to demolish the entire Circle.
The Mathrumandali Circle structure was demolished by the earth movers amidst stiff protests by the local residents and tension prevailed in the area for some time yesterday. However, the MCC’s instant solution of razing the Circle to avoid controversy has itself become controversial with many people criticising the civic body for inept handling of the issue.
While one group wanted to erect the statue of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, another wanted the statue of Rashtrakavi Kuvempu. As both the groups were strong and vociferous, conciliatory efforts by the MCC did not yield any results. When convincing tactics failed, the Corporation resorted to demolishing the Circle.
The demolition drive was conducted amidst tight Police security under the leadership of Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Pradeep Gunti and MCC Zone 4 Officer Chandramma. First the cut-outs and portraits of Dr. Ambedkar and Kuvempu were respectfully removed and an earth mover was used to demolish the cement and iron structure.
The area was levelled and the round iron railing was lifted and taken away and the entire operation was over by one hour. As soon as some of the residents spotted the earth mover near the Mathrumandali Circle, people gathered at the place and objected to the MCC move to demolish it.
Tense situations prevailed as the youths argued with the Police and teams about the necessity of demolishing the circle that existed for decades. 10 people were arrested and released later. In fact, to avoid controversy, the MCC did not even name the Circle and it retained the original name as Mathrumandali Circle as a school with the same name functions from the area.
As a precaution, KSRP and CAR platoons have been stationed there and the MCC will soon asphalt the road to make way for smooth traffic. Some residents suggested that a beautiful fountain or a heritage lamp can be placed in the area instead of a Circle. They also suggested installing signal lights to ensure smooth traffic flow in the area.
Zone 4 Development Officer Meghananda, Assistant Revenue Officer Satish, Narasimharaja ACP M. Shivashankar, V.V. Puram Inspector Venkatesh, Sub-Inspector Radha were part of the demolition drive.
Demolished Circle to pave way for Rs. 2.5 crore project
Clarifying on the issue, MCC Commissioner Lakshmikantha Reddy told reporters that the demolished Circle premises would be developed and there is no link between the statue controversy and the demolition.
“We have formulated plans to develop the Circle for months and MLA L. Nagendra has sanctioned Rs. 2.5 crore to develop the Circle into a beautiful place and we will do it soon. There is no connection between the controversy over Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and Kuvempu statues and the demolition drive,” he said.
Both Kuvempu and Ambedkar would be rolling over in their graves on this issue. Both of their thoughts and ideologies overlapped quite a lot and somehow, their respective followers are fighting? What has the world come to. I am sure none in these fighting factions have ever read Ambedkar or Kuvempu.
Kuvempu’s daughters went to Matrumandali school, the school has been educating dalit children especially girls almost free and uplifting their lives for almost 80 years. Both communities should pay the institution its due and retain the name of the circle of Matrumandali school.
The street side eateries that are fouling up the entrance of the school and causing a health hazard to school children have to be relocated.
Well done , the demolition. The MCC is right in retaining the name of the school.
The thoughts and ideology of Ambedkar, an internationalist, his education and experience as an economist and a jurist made him the eminent father of the Indian constitution, and hence has immortalised him, overlapping with a poet, ensconced all his life in Mysuru, with walks in the banks of the filthy Kukkarahalli pond, picking up fights like banning the second language Sanskrit in high schools ( also of opposing English medium for others’ children) giving reasons like it being a dead language and students getting high marks ( not divulging the deep-rooted prejudice).
Stuff and nonsense.
Well, when Mysuru goes the way of Bengaluru, with multilingual communities with languages other than Kannada thriving, the association of Ambedkar sound very sensible and acceptable.
Finally, the best Sanskrit scholars in Mysuru at that time were for example, the late Suttur Seer, an eminent Sanskrit scholar, and a score of his disciples, all, from the Veera Shiva community! It was no surprise that the Bhagwat Geetha discourses of Swami Chinmayananda , were held in the Seer’s college premises. BTW, there was no Garadi Mane in that area!