SIR M VISVESVARAYASir Mokshagundam Visveswaraiah (KCIE, popularly known as Sir MV; 15 September 1860 – 14 April 1962) was anotable Indian engineer, scholar, statesman and the Diwan of Mysore during 1912 to 1918. He was a recipient of theIndian Republics highest honour, the Bharat Ratna, in 1955. He was knighted as a Commander of the British IndianEmpire by King George V for his myriad contributions to the public good. Every year, 15 September is celebrated asEngineers Day in India in his memory. He is held in high regard pre-eminent engineer of India. He was the chief designerof the flood protection system for the city of Hyderabad, as well as the chief engineer responsible for the construction ofthe Krishna Raja Sagara dam in Mysore.Early yearsVisvesvaraya was born in 1860, in the Kingdom of Mysore, to a Telugu Brahmin family of Mokshagundam Srinivasa Sastryand Venkatalakshmamma in present day Muddenahalli village, 40 miles from Bangalore, India. His father had migratedfrom Kurnool. Visvesvaraya lost his father at the age of 15. He enrolled for primary school in Chikballapur, and attendedhigh school in Bangalore. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from Madras University in 1881 and later studied civilengineering at the prestigious College of Engineering, Pune, popularly known as COEP.Career as an engineerUpon graduating as an engineer, Visvesvaraya took up a job with the Public Works Department (PWD) of Mumbai andwas later invited to join the Indian Irrigation Commission. He implemented an extremely intricate system of irrigation inthe Deccan area. He also designed and patented a system of automatic weir water floodgates that were first installed in1903 at the Khadakvasla Reservoir near Pune. These gates were employed to raise the flood supply level of storage in thereservoir to the highest level likely to be attained by a flood without causing any damage to the dam. Based on the successof these gates, the same system was installed at the Tigra Dam in Gwalior and the Krishnaraja Sagara (KRS) Dam inMandya/ Mysore,Karnataka. In 1906-07, Government of India sent him to Eden,(Africa) to study water supply anddrainage system and the project prepared by him was implemented in Eden successfully.Career as an engineerUpon graduating as an engineer, Visvesvaraya took up a job with the Public Works Department (PWD) of Mumbai andwas later invited to join the Indian Irrigation Commission. He implemented an extremely intricate system of irrigation inthe Deccan area. He also designed and patented a system of automatic weir water floodgates that were first installed in1903 at the Khadakvasla Reservoir near Pune. These gates were employed to raise the flood supply level of storage in thereservoir to the highest level likely to be attained by a flood without causing any damage to the dam. Based on the successof these gates, the same system was installed at the Tigra Dam in Gwalior and the Krishnaraja Sagara (KRS) Dam inMandya/ Mysore,Karnataka. In 1906-07, Government of India sent him to Eden,(Africa) to study water supply anddrainage system and the project prepared by him was implemented in Eden successfully. Visvesvaraya achieved celebritystatus when he designed a flood protection system for the city of Hyderabad. He was instrumental in developing a systemto protect Visakhapatnam port from sea erosion.Visvesvaraya supervised the construction of the KRS Dam across the Cauvery River from concept to inauguration. Thisdam created the biggest reservoir in Asia when it was built. He was rightly called the "Father of modern Mysore state"(now Karnataka): During his period of service with the Government of Mysore state, he was responsible for the foundingof, (under the Patronage of Mysore Government), the Mysore Soap Factory, the Parasitoide Laboratory, the Mysore Iron &Steel Works (now known as Visvesvaraya Iron and Steel Limited) in Bhadravathi, the Sri Jayachamarajendra PolytechnicInstitute, the Bangalore Agricultural University, the State Bank of Mysore, The Century Club, Mysore Chambers ofCommerce and numerous other industrial ventures. He encouraged private investment in industry during his tenure asDiwan of Mysore. He was instrumental in charting out the plan for road construction between Tirumala and Tirupati. Hewas known for sincerity, time management and dedication to a causeDiwan of MysoreAfter opting for voluntary retirement in 1908, he took a foreign tour to study industrialised nations and after, for a shortperiod he worked for the Nizam of Hyderabad. He suggested flood relief measures for Hyderabad town, which was under
constant threat of floods by Moosi river. Later, during November 1909, Visvesvaraya was appointed as Chief Engineer ofMysore State. Further, during the year, 1912, he was appointed as Diwan (First Minister) of the princely state of Mysore.He was Diwan for 7 years.With the support of Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV, Maharaja of Mysore, Visvesvaraya made an arguably unprecedentedcontribution as Diwan to the all-round development of the state. Not only the achievements listed above, but many otherindustries and public works owe their inception or active nurturing to him. He was instrumental in the founding of theGovernment Engineering College at Bangalore in 1917, one of the first engineering institutes in India. This institution waslater named the University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering after its founder. It remains one of the very most reputedinstitutes of engineering in Karnataka. He also commissioned several new railway lines in Mysore states.Awards and honours The Bharat Ratna medalVisvesvaraya was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire (CIE) in 1911. In 1915, while he was theDiwan of Mysore, Visvesvaraya was knighted as a Knight Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire (KCIE) by theBritish for his myriad contributions to the public good. After India attained independence, he was given the nationshighest honour, the Bharat Ratna, in 1955.He was honoured with honorary membership of the international Institution of Civil Engineers (based in London) and afellowship of the Indian Institute of Science (based in Bangalore). He was awarded several honorary doctoral degrees likeD.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.  He wasthe most popular person from Karnataka, in a newspaper survey conducted by Praja VaniMemorial at Muddenahalli The Samadhi of Sir M.V. at MuddenahalliThe Visvesvaraya National Memorial Trust manages a memorial of Visvesvaraya in his birthplace of Muddenahalli. Thememorial exhibits his awards, titles and personal belongings of his, including his living room, spectacles, cups, his copy ofthe Websters dictionary, and a block with which his visiting cards were printed. Models of the Krishna Raja Sagar dam,which Visvesvaraya designed and supervised the construction of, are also exhibited. The memorial is located adjacent tohis house, which was refurbished and regarded as a temple by the localRecognitionVisvesvaraya has received recognition in various fields, most notably the education sector and the engineering sector.Visvesvaraya Technological University, the University to which most engineering colleges in Karnataka are affiliated to,has been named in his honour, as well as prominent colleges like University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering,Bangalore, Sir M. Visvesvaraya Institute of Technology, Bangalore and Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology,Nagpur. College of Engineering, Pune, his alma mater, has erected a statue in his honor. The Visvesvaraya Industrialand Technological Museum, a museum in Bangalore is named in his honor. IIIT-Bangalore is being built at Muddenahalli,the birthplace of Sir.MV as an honour to this great Engineer. The college is expected to be operational soon.RecognitionVisvesvaraya has received recognition in various fields, most notably the education sector and the engineering sector.Visvesvaraya Technological University, the University to which most engineering colleges in Karnataka are affiliated to,has been named in his honour, as well as prominent colleges like University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering,Bangalore, Sir M. Visvesvaraya Institute of Technology, Bangalore and Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology,Nagpur. College of Engineering, Pune, his alma mater, has erected a statue in his honor. The Visvesvaraya Industrialand Technological Museum, a museum in Bangalore is named in his honor. IIIT-Bangalore is being built at Muddenahalli,the birthplace of Sir.MV as an honour to this great Engineer. The college is expected to be operational soon.
His Early Life and BeginningsSir MV was born in Muddenahalli, a village in Karnataka, on 15th September 1860. He completed his high schooleducation from Wesley Mission High School and his graduation from Central College – both in Bangalore. He was a verybright student.He went on to pursue a course in civil engineering in Pune, having received a scholarship for the same. While there, hewas awarded the James Berkley Gold Medal for outstanding performance.He led a very simple life. He was a strict vegetarian and a teetotaler. He would go to sleep by 10 P.M. and wake up at 6 A.M.His diet included a very light breakfast, two slices of bread or chappatis, vegetables without spices, rasam, curds,Nanjangud bananas for lunch.Engineering Feats and AchievementsSir MV’s first job was as an Assistant Engineer at the Public Works Department under the government of the erstwhileBombay Presidency. He had a long and eventful career in the field of engineering, during which he also served as the ChiefEngineer of the erstwhile State of Mysore.Sir MV was the driving force behind the construction of many major dams and water supply schemes across the country.The famous Krishna Raja Sagar dam in Mysore is one of these.The use of automatic sluice gates, an engineering innovation applied in many dams across the country, was Sir MV’s idea.He became the Dewan of the State of Mysore in 1912 and during his tenure; he took immense interest in shaping newdevelopments in education and other fields.He was instrumental in the formation of Mysore University as well as two other well-known educational institutions ofBangalore – University Vishweshwaraiah College of Engineering and University of Agricultural Sciences.He also played an integral role in setting up the Mysore Iron and Steel Works, Bhadravathi, and the Bank of Mysore (nowState Bank of Mysore). It is important to bear in mind, however, that these are just a few of his many achievements.Job Positions Held By Sir MVSome of the job positions he held were 1. Assistant Engineer, Bombay Government Service [in 1884] 2. Chief Engineer, Hyderabad State [he served only for 7 months starting April 15, 1909] 3. Chief Engineer in Mysore State [Nov 15, 1909]. He was also Secretary to the Railways. 4. President of Education and Industrial Development committees in Mysore State 5. Dewan of Mysore. [for six years starting 1912] 6. Chairman, Bhadravati Iron Works 7. Member of the Governing Council of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 8. Member of the Governing Council of Tata Iron and Steel Company [TISCO] 9. Member of Back Bay enquiry committee, London 10. Member of a committee constituted in 1917 to make recommendations regarding the future of Indian States.Sir M.V. retired in 1908 and Sri Krishnarajendra Wodeyar, Maharaja of Mysore, was eager to secure the services ofVisvesvaraya to serve Mysore. He joined as Chief Engineer in Mysore because he wanted challenging opportunities. SirM.V. had earned a reputation for his honesty, integrity, ability and intelligence. He had introduced compulsory educationin the State which later was embodied as a fundamental right in the Constitution of independent India.To name few of the many things he was responsible for:
1. Architect of the Krishnarajasagara dam - or KRS or Brindavan gardens. One of the biggest dams in India which irrigates a hundred and twenty thousand acres of land. 2. Bhadravati Iron and Steel Works - as its Chairman he rescued it from becoming extinct. 3. Mysore Sandal Oil Factory and the Mysore soap factory 4. Mysore University - Sir M.V.s question was "If Australia and Canada could have universities of their own for less than a million population, cannot Mysore with a population of not less that 60 lakhs have a University of its own?" 5. State Bank of Mysore (it was first named The Bank of Mysore) 6. Public libraries in Mysore and Bangalore 7. Encouraging girls to attend school. 8. Mysore Chamber of Commerce 9. Kannada Sahitya Parishad or the Kannada Literary Academy 10. Sri Jayachamarajendra Occupational Institute, Bangalore - funded by the ENTIRE money [Rs 2 lacs] he earned from rescuing Bhadravati Iron WorksSir M.V. was never interested in fame or publicity. But they came to him on their own. Every university in India soughthim out to confer honoris causa. The univs of Allahabad, Andhra, Bombay, Calcutta, Jadhavpur, Mysore, Patna andVaranasi.Some of the honours and laurels conferred on Sir M.V.,1904 Honorary Membership of London Institution of Civil Engineers for an unbroken period of 50 years1906 "Kaisar-i-Hind" in recognition of his services1911 C.I.E. (Companion of the Indian Empire) at the Delhi Darbar1915 K.C.I.E. (Knight Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire)1921 D.Sc. - Calcutta University1931 LLD - Bombay University1937 D.Litt - Benaras Hindu University1943 Elected as an Honorary Life Member of the Institution of Engineers (India)1944 D.Sc. - Allahabad University1948 Doctorate - LLD., Mysore University1953 D.Litt - Andhra University1953 Awarded the Honorary Fellowship of the Institute of Town Planners, India1955 Conferred BHARATHA RATNA(The gem of India), the highest dinstiction of the country1958 Durga Prasad Khaitan Memorial Gold Medal by the Royal Asiatic Society Council of Bengal1959 Fellowship of the Indian Institute of Science, BangaloreHis Memorable PersonaThere is no dearth of interesting anecdotes about Sir MV.Some of these revolve around him being a stickler for punctuality and a strict disciplinarian; there are others that dwellon his sense of honesty, integrity and professionalism. The fact that he was always impeccably dressed has also been well-documented.When Sir MV was offered the position of Dewan of Mysore State, it is said that he invited his relatives for dinner. He toldthem that he would take up the offer on one condition: that they (the relatives) should not come and ask him to use hisposition as Dewan to help them get their personal work done.Bank Balance
"Indian Express" on March 24, 2005 (by Arindam Bhattacharjee) carried an article which how simple Sir MV was and howdiligently he maintained his accounts.Sir MV maintained an account with Bank of Mysore, which is now State Bank of Mysore. Sir MV had Rs 990 on March 27,1918, which increased to Rs 11,487 on March 3, 1919. His account had thrice attracted interests of Rs 14, Rs 66 and Rs117 during this period. An entry in the passbook on Nov 18, 1918 reveals he got Rs 13,486 transferred to this currentaccount from a fixed deposit account.Sir MV And Mahatma GandhiSir M.V. belongs to that small band of eminent Indians whose ideas and achievements have been among the truly creativeand formative force of modern India. Sir M.V.s slogan was Industrialize or Perish and Mahatama Gandhijis view wasIndustrialize and Perish.In 1921 Gandhiji launched his non-cooperation movement which Sir M.V. did not agree with. Sir M.V. wrote to Gandhijiurging him to be better dressed in view of the upcoming Round Table Conference. Sir M.V. used to be immaculatelydressed.MV’s Final YearsSir MV’s extraordinary feats resulted in the government of India bestowing him with the Bharat Ratna award in the year1955.The centenary of the birth of Sir M.V. was celebrated in Lal Bagh in Bangalore. Prime Minister Nehru flew down toBangalore by a special plane to honour the greatest son of India. Sri Jayachamaraja Wodiyar presided over the function.Sir. M.V. died on April 12, 1962 at the age of 102 years, 6 months and 8 days. As per his wish, he was cremated in his birthplace, Muddanahalli.The memorial at Muddenahalli is good but it is not taken care well. Not sure how he would react to the state of affairs inKarnataka or India in general if he was alive today. Government hesitates to release Rs 3 lakh for Karnatakas icon [May 5,2008 / Deccan Herald].Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya born on 15th September 1860 in Muddenahalli, Chikkaballapura District, Karnataka.Sir M Vishweshwaraya father is Srinivasa Sastry and mother Venkachamma. Sir M Vishweshwaraya is an eminent Indianengineer and statesman. Today 15th September we observer his Sir M Visvesvaraya birthday as Engineers Day in India..Sir M Vishweshwaraya is a graduating as an civil engineer.Visvesvaraya Joined PWD department of Bombay (now its known as Maharashtra state). Visvesvaraya was a genius, heinvented Block System the automatic doors which he devised to stop wasteful overflow of water. Sir Visvesvaraya builtedmany dams in maharashtra state. He was designed and patented a system of automatic weir water floodgates whichwere first installed in 1903 at the Khadakvasla reservoir, Pune. He worked as a chief engineer during construction ofKrishna Raja Sagara Dam on the Kaveri River in Mandya. He became the President of All India Manufacturers Association.Sir Visvesvaraya was the maker of modern mysore. SirM. Visvesvaraya lead a very simple life. He was a strict vegetarian and a teetotaler. He was known for his honesty andintegrity. In 1912, Maharaja of Mysore appointed Visvesvaraya as his Dewan. Before accepting the position of Dewan ofMysore, he invited all his relatives for dinner. He told them very clearly that he would accept the prestigious office on thecondition that none of them would approach him for favours. As Dewan of Mysore, he worked tirelessly for educationaland industrial development of the state. When he was the Dewan many new industries came up. The Sandal Oil Factory,the Soap Factory, the Metals Factory, the Chrome Tanning Factory , were some of them. Of the many factories he startedthe most important is the Bhadravati Iron and Steel Works.He was also knighted by the British for his myriadcontributions to the public goodAfter voluntary retirement in 1908, sir visweswaraya was appointed as a minister of the state of mysore. Also SirVisvesvaraya designed a flood protection system to protect hyderabad city from the flood. He is a recipient of the Indianrepublic’s highest honour, the Bharat Ratna, in 1955. Sir visweswaraya died on 14th April 1962
Remember, your work may be only to sweep a railway crossing, but it is your duty to > keep it so clean that no othercrossing in the world is as clean as yours""On the 15th of September 1861, more than a century ago a little boy was born in Muddenahalli in the ChikkaballapurTaluk of Kolar District (Mysore State). His father Srinivasa Sastry and his mother Venkachamma named him Visvesvaraya.Visvesvarayas father, Srinivasa Sastry was a great Sanskrit scholar of those days. Both he and his wife were good andpious folk who led a very simple life. They were not very well off but both his parents decided to educate the little boy.Right from his childhood days, Visvesvaraya learnt from them a respect for the culture and the traditions of the land. Hisfather enrolled him in a school in their tiny Taluk itself and Visvesvaraya completed his early education there.He was a good and a hardworking student and was keenly interested in pursuing his studies. So with his parents consentand blessing he set out to Bangalore in order to go in for higher education when he was around fifteen years old. InBangalore, he joined the Central College.But alas! His pocket was empty and he had no roof over his head. But this helpless state did not bog Visvesvaraya down.Instead he started looking for a job that would sustain him and pay for his studies.He found a family from Coorg, who was looking for a tutor for their children. Visvesvaraya, himself a student at that time,became their tutor. He lived with them and earned a few rupees with which he completed his education. As a student heearned every rupee by hard work.Discipline was ever his watchword. All through his student days he worked hard and in a systematic way. He was an earlyriser and started his work quite early.Though he was poverty-stricken, he continued to study well and stood high in the B.A. Examination. When he was twenty,he managed to get some help from the Government of Mysore and joined the Science College in Poona to studyEngineering. Three years later, by sheer determination and hard work he ranked first in the L.C.E. and the EC.E.Examinations (these were like the B.E. Examination of today).As soon as the results were out, the Government of Bombay offered him the post of an Assistant Engineer at Nasik.Visvesvaraya was very happy and he worked hard and excelled in his post.When he was 32 years old, some very difficult work fell to his lot. He was given the task of finding a way of supplyingwater from the river Sindhu to a town called Sukkur. He prepared an ingenious plan, which amazed the other famousengineers.Also, he developed a new system called the Block System where he devised steel doors; these could stop the wasteful flowof water in dams. Even British officers of those times were astonished by his brains and were full of praise for theinvention.The Government appreciated Visvesvarayas genius and work. He was promoted to higher places. From Bombay,Visvesvaraya went to Hyderabad as Chief Engineer. Here he achieved something that was simply impossible at that time.The river Moosa divided the city of Hyderabad into two. When rains lashed, the river was in floods and the waters of theriver poured into many houses, and men and cattle were carried away. Visvesvaraya planned dams to tame the Moosa andalso suggested that lovely parks should be laid out on the banks of the river.His resourcefulness earned him the position of a Chief Engineer in Mysore State. But Visvesvaraya was not just interestedin buildings, roads and bridges. He saw that the people of India were then in a miserable condition. There were very fewschools and only six persons out of every hundred could read and write. Many people were just farmers who dependedcompletely on the rains for their food. He saw that ignorance, poverty and sickness plagued the people; and he wanted tobring about change.
Visvesvaraya suggested that an Economic Conference be set up to find ways of removing ignorance, poverty and sickness.As a result, very dry lands in parts the country began to smile with plenty.Visvesvaraya continued to be the Chief Engineer of Mysore for three years. In 1912 when he was 51, the Maharaja ofMysore chose Visvesvaraya as his Dewan or his chief minister.Soon after Visvesvaraya became the Dewan, one of his relatives went to him. He asked Visvesvaraya, "Can you get me intoa higher post for a better pay with your recommendation to the Maharaja?"Visvesvaraya who was so straightforward said a plain No.But, he was kindhearted and as long as the relative was alive, he paid him a hundred rupees every month from his pocket.As the Dewan, he got a car from the Government for his use. He used the Government car for government work and for hisprivate work he used his own car. Those were days when people had to work by candlelight. He used, for official work, thestationery and the candles supplied by the Government; for his private work he used stationery and candles, which he hadbought. He was such an honest man.Once, one of hi§ friends was advised rest after some illness. He wanted to spend some days in Bangalore. The friend wroteto him asking for a house for some days. He thought the Dewan would give him a Government Guest House, free of rent.The Dewan did give him a Government House; but as long as the friend stayed there, Visvesvaraya himself paid the rent ofRs. 250 a month.He was always neatly dressed and ready for work by seven in the morning. He was known everywhere for his disciplineand tidiness. There was not a crease or a wrinkle anywhere on his clothes.Visvesvaraya planned everything smoothly, methodically and without any hurry. Visitors who wished to see him had towrite first and he would fix an hour. He was very strict about the hour fixed and no one could come late.Visvesvaraya always believed in the value of education. When he became the Dewan, there were about 4,500 schools inMysore State. In six Years about 6,500 new school were opened. He also stressed on education for women. He made theMaharanis College in Mysore where the first hostel for girls was also opened. He also made arrangements for thegovernment to give scholarships to intelligent students to go to foreign countries for studies.Visvesvaraya realized that industry was the backbone of a country. So he developed the existing industries. He also gotexperts from other countries to help by teaching their skills. Thus many new industries came up during his chief ministership. He started the Sandal Oil Factory, the Soap Factory, the Metals Factory, the Chrome Tanning Factory and BhadravatiIron and Steel Works. He was also the key in the opening of the Bank of Mysore. He also brought in many hotels intoMysore and played a major role in the laying of railway lines.Visvesvaraya did in six years what many others could not have accomplished in sixty years. People asked each other "Is hea magician?" many a time.But for Visvesvaraya it was no magic. He always believed only in hard work. He once said, "The curse of our country islaziness. At first sight every one seems to be working. But in fact, one-man works and the others watch him. As someonesaid with contempt, it looks as if five men are working. But really only one- man works. One man will be doing nothing.One man will be resting. Another man will be watching them. Yet another man will be helping these three."Visvesvaraya was also a fearless patriot. In those days the Englishmen considered themselves the lords of the country.The Maharaja of Mysore had the tradition of holding a Durbar during the Dasara festivities every year. On the day of theDurbar, the Europeans were given comfortable chairs but Indians were required to sit on the floor. Visvesvaraya went tothe Durbar for the first time in 1910. The arrangements pained him.The next year he did not attend the Durbar. When the officers of the palace made enquiries he frankly gave the reason.The very next year all the Europeans and Indians were given chairs.
Following this a British officer wrote a letter to him. In his letter he said, "In the Maharajas Durbar, I want a cushion torest my feet because the chair is too high."Visvesvaraya promptly got the legs of the chair shortened and wrote back saying-"the height has been reduced."In 1918 at the age of 57, he took voluntary retirement. He went to the palace in the Government car gave the letter andreturned in his own car.After retirement he went abroad numerous times, for some work or the other. Wherever he went, he had a notebook anda pencil in his hand. He made notes of any new information with which he could help the country.After his retirement when the Bhadravati Factory was in trouble, he worked as the Chairman giving advice forrestoration. At that time, the Government had not decided the salary for him. It took them some years to do so but by thenthe Government owed him more than a hundred thousand rupees. MWhen they finally decided to pay him, Visvesvaraya said "I will not touch a single rupee. Start an institute where boys canlearn some profession." The government followed his wish and wanted to name it after Visvesvaraya.But he said, "Name it after the Maharaja of Mysore." Thus the Sri Jayachamaraja Polytechnic Institute of Bangalore cameabout.In 1944, an association arranged a conference where Visvesvaraya was the Chairman. The Governor of Berar, anEnglishman, was to open the conference. In those days the Governors were very powerful, highly respected and obeyed.The conference was to discuss a resolution that India should have a national government. The Governor said that theresolution should not be discussed. "Otherwise," he said, "I will not come."Visvesvaraya was unperturbed by the objection and said to his friends, "All right. Why wait for him? Let us go on with theconference".Such was his commitment towards the country that he did not care even if someone powerful hindered the growth.Because of his genius, experience and mellow wisdom people wanted to hear him and quite often he was to makespeeches. Whenever he had to make a speech he would think about what he was going to say, write the speech, get ittyped and weigh every word and revise it. He would revise it four or five times and give it final shape.Once he visited a Primary School in his native village, Muddenahalli. He gave the teacher ten rupees and asked him todistribute sweets to the children. The teacher requested him saying, "Please say a few words to the children, sir,"Visvesvaraya spoke for five minutes and went away. But later he was unhappy because he had spoken withoutpreparation. Some days later he prepared a speech and went to the school again; once again he distributed sweets to thechildren. Then he made his speech.He toiled on briskly though old age crept around him. When he was around 92 he went to Fatna where he was called tostudy a plan for a bridge across theGanga. The sun was cruel and the heat was unbearable. There were parts of the site to which he could not go by car. TheGovernment had arranged to have him carried in a chair. But he refused to use the chair. He got off the car and startedwalking briskly much to the amazement of the rest.In 1955 when he was 94 years of age, Visvesvaraya was honored and made a Bharat Ratna or the Gem of India. Even atthat age he was so particular about his dressing that people who went to see him were surprised for he was so neat andtidy.His memory even when he was almost a hundred years old remained pristine. Fifty years after he had tamed river Moosa,at the age of 97, there was a discussion about the river with certain others where some references were made to some
intricate details. Visvesvaraya called a servant and, pointing to a bookshelf, said, "Bring the three or four books in themiddle of the third row." Then he opened one of them and pointed exactly to the detail under discussion on that page.When he finally turned 100, people all over India showered their affection and respect on the Grand Old Man. TheGovernment of India also brought out a stamp in his honor.Somebody once said to him, "You have done great service to the country. You are like Bhishmacharya." He replied, "Youmake me remember what a small man I I am. What am I before Bhishmacharya?" He was so | modest. Even at the age of100, he rose to receive a visitor; he got up again when the visitor was leavingVisvesvaraya silently passed away on 14th of April j 1962. He was 101.Visvesvaraya led the country to the path of progress, every one of his creations were considered mighty andI magnificent.But far mightier and far more magnificent was the matchless Dreamer, Doer and leader who paved the way to modernIndia.Engineers Day, M. Visvesvarayya Birth Day — Presentation Transcript 1. HAPPY ENGINEER’S DAY 2. In Memory of Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya September 15, 1860 - April 3. Born : September 15, 1860 Place: Muddenahalli village (Kolar district of Karnataka). Father: Srinivasa Sastry Mother: Venkachamma. Life & journey of a Centenarian 4. Life & journey of a Centenarian Education: Early Schooling in Chikkaballapur, 1881 : B.A. Examination from Central College Bangalore . 1883 : Civil Engineering from Science College in Poona. He ranked first in the L.C.E. and the F.C.E. Examinations ( equivalent to B.E. Examination of today ). 5. His Responsibilities Some of the job positions he held were: • Assistant Engineer, Bombay Government Service [in 1884] • Chief Engineer, Hyderabad State [he served only for 7 months starting April 15, 1909] • Chief Engineer in Mysore State [Nov 15, 1909]. He was also Secretary to the Railways. • President of Education and Industrial Development committees in Mysore State • Dewan of Mysore. [for six years] 6. Contd., • Chairman, Bhadravati Iron Works • Member of the Governing Council of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore • Member of the Governing Council of Tata Iron and Steel Company [TISCO] • Member of Back Bay enquiry committee, London • Member of a committee constituted in 1917 to make recommendations regarding the future of Indian States 7. Man with Values He was a strict vegetarian, teetotaler and non-smoker, an admirer of the old Indian joint family system. In business and industry, he admired the European and American methods, but in domestic habits he was a perfect Mysore Brahmin A Minister in Mysore once fixed an interview with Sir MV but was unable to come. Next day when he called on him, Sir MV told him, “you have committed a double mistake- firstly, by not keeping up the engagement yesterday and secondly, by coming when you were not. 8. Man with Values “ Slackness is the worst curse of the country.” At age of 90, a paper correspondent asked him how he felt and Sir M V remarked, “I find life interesting.” Once Sri C Rajagopalachari unexpectedly called on him. Sir MV was so smartly dressed, Rajaji said. “Even if I bring a photographer in the middle of the night, I can take your pictures. You will always be well groomed.” 9. Man with Values In Sweden Sir MV feel ill, the doctor suggested him to take a few drops of Brandy with medicine. For which Sir M V replied “If this life cannot survive without those drops, let it go.” On his own account book was written, “If you buy what you do not need, you will need what you cannot buy.” Sir M V was one of those rare human beings who practiced in personal life what he preached in public. 10. Major Achievements Bombay • Introduced the block system of irrigation • Designed a new system of systematic water weir flood gate • Established Deccan Club in Poona Bihar & Orissa • Selected site for a railway bridge on river of Ganga in Bihar • Hirakund enquiries • Water supply schemes through out the state Hyderabad • Schemes for flood protection & drainage for Hyderabad • Remodelling of Hyderabad city 11. Major Achievements • Architect of the Krishnarajasagara dam – or KRS or Brindavan gardens. One of the biggest dams in India which irrigates a hundred and twenty thousand acres of land. • Bhadravati Iron and Steel Works - as its Chairman he rescued it from becoming extinct. 12. Major Achievements • State Bank of Mysore (1913 it was first named The Bank of Mysore) • Founder of Mysore Sandal Oil Factory and the Mysore soap factory • Mysore Chamber of Commerce • Founder of Kannada
Literary •Mysore University- Sir M.V.s question was "If Australia and Canada could have universities of their own for less than a million population, cannot Mysore with a population of not less that 60 lakhs 13. Contd. Sir M. V.’s great dream was to see India prosper through industrialization. In 1920 he published a book, “Reconstructing India” & in 1934, “Planned Economy for India.” He coined the slogans, “Produce or perish”, and “Industrialize or perish.” 14. AWARDS • 1906 : "Kaisar-i-Hind" in recognition of his services • 1911 : C.I.E. (Companion of the Indian Empire) at the Delhi Durbar • 1915 : K.C.I.E. (Knight Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire) • 1921 : D.Sc. – Calcutta University • 1943 : Elected as an Honorary Life Member of the Institution of Engineers(I) • 1944 : D.Sc. – Allahabad • 1904 : Honorary Membership of London Institution of Civil Engineers for The Knight Commander Of The Indian Empire 15. Contd., • 1948 : Doctorate - LLD., Mysore Uni. • 1953 : D.Litt – Andhra University • 1953 : Awarded the Honorary Fellowship of the Institute of Town Planners, India • 1955 : Conferred BHARATHARATNA‘ (The gem of India), the highest civilian award of the country • 1958 : Durga Prasad Khaitan Memorial Gold Medal‘ by the Royal Asiatic Society Council of Bengal 16. • Memorial at Muddenahalli . • Sir M Visvesvaraya Institute Of Technology, Bangalore is named after Sir M.V. • University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering . • Visweswaraiah National Institute of Technology (V.N.I.T.), The college is among the elite 17 NationalInstitutes of Technologies• The Visveswarayya Technological University, Belgaum, to which nearly all engineering colleges in Memorials & Institutions in his honor 17. Contd., • His alma mater, the College of Engineering, Pune (COEP) has erected a statue in his memory and honor on their campus in central Pune, immediately outside the historic COEP administration building. • The Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technological Museum , Bangalore, set up as part of his birth centenary celebrations. • Vishweshwaraya Iron and Steel Limited, a public sector undertaking, in the founding of which he was 18. The End On 14-April-1962 at 6.15am at the age of 102 years,, Sir M V breathed his last,MOKSHAGUNDAM VISVESVARAYABy K. SAMPATHGIRI RAO“Always performing works here, one should wish to live a hundred years. If you live thus as a man, works will not cling toyou–there is no other way.” –Isha Upanishad, verse 2 Thus lived and worked Visvesvaraya, fulfilling the injunction of the Upanishadic seer to the very letter, and dropping likea ripe fruit from the branch of Life on 14th April 1962. He had completed his one hundred years in September 1961. Anexpert engineer with a flair for bold and original ideas, a great dreamer and withal a thoroughly practical man with an eyeto every minute detail, a tireless worker who had trained, himself with rare self-discipline to work with clock-likeregularity, a patriot of the highest order who longed that his country should take an honoured place alongside ofadvanced Western nations, and that quickly, he had to his credit concrete achievements, in a measure unequalled by anyin modern India. Like many great men he was far ahead of his generation, and was ill-served by many in his own; and yet he never lost hisenthusiasms, nor ever felt frustrated. To the end of his days he communicated, to those who came into touch with him,some of his own enthusiasm and high purposefulness, to work unceasingly for the rapid all-round development of India.IIVisvesvaraya was born in Muddenahalli, a village at the foot of the Nandi Hills, the famous hill-station 40 miles to thenorth of Bangalore, in an orthodox Brahmin family in humble circumstances. After finishing his primary education atChickballapur, he was taken for high school and college education to Bangalore. Too poor to pay for his school fees andbooks, he earned while he learned, giving tuitions to other boys. He graduated from the Central College in 1880 andproceeded to join the Engineering College at Poona, where he topped the list of successful candidates in the Final
Engineering Examination in 1884, thus securing a guaranteed appointment as Assistant Engineer in the BombayPresidency. By dint of intelligence, industry and earnestness, he secured rapid promotions and was earning Rs. 500, less than twoyears after entering service. He worked on various assignments as Irrigation Engineer, designing water works anddrainage schemes for various towns in the then Bombay Presidency. He devised what is known as the Block System ofirrigation, to give water by rotation to minimize wastage of water and yield better results to cultivators–a systemcommended by the Irrigation Commission set up by the Government of India in 1901-3. ‘The object is to distribute thebenefits of irrigation works over a larger number of villages and to concentrate the irrigation in each village within blocksof specified units and in selected soils and situations.’ This system was successfully worked in the Nira Canal in theBombay Presidency. Later on he tried to introduce it also at Marikanive and the Cauvery Canal in Mysore.He devised a system of automatic gates at Lake Fife, Khadakvarla, near Poona, to raise the storage water level of the lakepermanently by about 8 ft–without raising the dam–increasing , the storage of water by about 25 per cent. He took out apatent but refused to ask for any royalty as the work was carried out under his own supervision as Government Engineer.He was deputed to Aden to devise the water works and drainage of that town in 1906. Kolhapur needed a water supplyscheme and the Political Agent wrote to the Government of Bombay asking specifically for the services of a EuropeanEngineer; but as Visvesvaraya was as good as any European engineer he was deputed; and it must be said to the credit ofthe Political Agent that he paid a handsome compliment to Visvesvaraya for the fine job done by him at Kolhapur. He soonrose to be Superintending Engineer, having superseded many in service on account of the special offices to which he wasappointed. His work drew unstinted praise from a Governor like Lord Sydenham, not particularly noted for his pro-Indiansympathies, who spoke appreciatively of his “great abilities and unvarying industry.” He was only 47 and had put in 24years in the service of the Bombay Government by 1908, but wished to retire as he felt that “in the staet of political fellingin the country” at the time, his chance of being appointed as Chief Engineer was rather remote. His European and Indianfriends feared that he might not be considered eligible for a pension. Lord Sydenham’s Government, however, took agenerous view and wrote to the Government of India that “the service rendered by Visvesvaraya has been exceptionallymeritorious and fully entitles him to the additional pension.” He was on leave preparatory to retirement and had planned to stay in Europe and America for two years, not to enjoy aholiday, but to study the conditions in Western countries and make notes, as was his invariable practice. This was not hisfirst foreign tour, as he had already visited Japan in 1898 for three months, making notes of what he saw, and had evencompiled a small book without any idea of publishing it. What he had seen of Japan and of its rapid modernization hadevidently whetted his desire to see more of the modern world.III He had, no doubt, by now formally retired from Government service, but it can be truly said that his most activeand fruitful career was just beginning, as proved by subsequent events. His life in the service of the Bombay Government,of which he spent nearly 14 years in Poona, the educational and political centre of Maharashtra, specially fitted him forundertaking nation-building activities in later years. Poona was one of the most vigorous centres of national feeling andendeavour in the country. It was fortunate for Visvesvaraya that he came into intimate contact during this momentousperiod with the great Mahadev Govind Ranade and his illustrious disciple Gopal Krishna Gokhale. It is interesting to notethat as early as 1893 he contributed an article to the journal of the Sarvajanik Sabha on “National Uplift”. He had also beeninstrumental in starting the Deccan Club in Poona in 1891, where the elite of the city could meet for recreation, get toknow one another better, and discuss topical public questions informally. These precious years that he spent in Poonamust have deepened his patriotic fervour, and given direction to his later activities as a front-rank publicist and patriot-statesman. While this favourable environment moulded his ideas and gave him a vision, his purity and strength ofcharacter, were of his own making. Scorning the common pleasures of life, he had disciplined himself rigorously to live awell-ordered life, and one of high moral endeavour. Todd’s Students’ Manual and the works of Samuel Smiles on Duty, Self-Help and Thrift were books which were in great vogue in those days, and were earnestly recommended to the young fortheir reverent study by well-meaning elders. These books seem to have been favourites with Visvesvaraya, who evidentlystrove to reduce to practice the many ennobling and excellent precepts in these books. THE GERMINAL IDEAS IN THESEBOOKS seem to have fallen on fertile soil and they bore abundant fruit. Visvesvaraya’s second foreign tour, referred to above, was interrupted by an urgent call from Hyderabad, whichwas passed on to him when he was in Italy. There had been very heavy rains and unprecedented floods in the Musi river,flowing through Hyderabad, which had caused considerable damage. His services were, therefore, requisitioned to
suggest remedial measures. Visvesvaraya replied, fixing his terms and agreeing to go to Hyderabad five months later. Histerms were those that would have normally been offered to a European engineer of similar status. The HyderabadGovernment were anxious to have his expert advice and agreed to his terms. By the stand he took in this matter,Visvesvaraya raised the status of Indian engineers in general. Another interesting instance of how he jealously safeguarded the self-respect and status of Indians may be given here. Itwas when he was Dewan of Mysore. During the Dasara celebrations, one day was set apart for a European Durbar in thePalace. The European guests were provided with chairs, while the Indian officers and other guests had to squat on thefloor on the other side of the hall. Visvesvaraya resented this arrangement, and a custom, which had prevailed for manyyears, was changed at his instance, and chairs were thereafter provided to all invitees, European or Indian. It is needless to add that Visvesvaraya completed the job assigned to him by the Hyderabad Government to everybody’ssatisfaction, and took further steps which contributed to transform Hyderabad into the beautiful city it is today.IV About this time (April 1909) a call came to him from V. P. Madhava Rao, Dewan of Mysore, to join as ChiefEngineer of Mysore. But owing to his engagement at Hyderabad he had no intention of accepting the offer. But T. AnandaRao, the succeeding Dewan, wrote a letter in the course of which he said that Visvesvaraya would find ‘ample scope bothfor his energy and talents’ and that His Highness the Maharaja of Mysore was aware ‘that he attached greater importanceto opportunities for rendering public service than to mere official emoluments.’ Visvesvaraya was still not keen onaccepting the offer and wanted time to consider the matter. He inquired asking if there was any prospect of theGovernment encouraging industries and technical education in the State and utilizing his services in that connection. Ashe got a favourable reply, Visvesvaraya joined as Chief Engineer of Mysore on 15th November 1909. Almost the first step he took was to insist on encouraging merit in making new appointments: without being influencedby extraneous considerations. Committees were appointed, at his instance, to make a plan for technical education, and,again, at his instance, the Economic Conference was established in June 1911. It functioned actively for many years, andworked in three sections: Agriculture, Industries and Commerce, and Education. Public-spirited non-officials wereassociated in the work of numerous committees. Visvesvaraya had a passion for statistics and insisted on targets beingclearly set in respect of various development activities and speedy efforts being made to reach them. He thus made theofficers and people plan-minded. This was, indeed, the beginning of planned efforts, ever made in India on anyconsiderable scale, and well may Visvesvaraya be hailed as the Father of Planned Economy. He was instrumental in taking over for the Mysore Government the administration of the railway lines from the Madrasand Southern Mahratta Railway, opening new lines between Mysore and Arsikere, Shimoga and Talguppa, andconstructing the light railway between Bangalore and Bangarapet, looping the Kolar District. He planned the KrishnarajaSagar Dam near Mysore–the largest reservoir ever built in India up to that time. These measures and his solicitude for thewelfare of the people soon won for him the unbounded confidence of the Maharaja and the love and respect of all citizens.Today we are talking in terms of hundreds of crores, but those were days when even a 2½ crore hydel project like theKrishnaraja Sagar (which was the original estimate) gave rise to misgivings; and it was only by his persistent efforts thatthe scheme was put through. Before completing the work on the Krishnaraja Sagar Dam he had many hurdles to get over. The Madras Governmentraised difficulties as they felt that the interests of cultivators in the Cauvery basin in the Madras Presidency would beadversely affected. Visvesvaraya had to take up the matter with the Viceroy for arbitration and produce the relevant factsand figures. The award was in his favour. He was a past master in carrying on such negotiations. He was patient, evercourteous; he was sure of his facts and figures and the justice of his cause; and so he generally won through.V His Highness the Maharaja called upon him to take up the Dewanship, in succession to T. Ananda Rao inNovember 1912–a greatly coveted honour, as Mysore had already won a reputation far and wide for its rich resourcesand its wise and benevolent ruler. But with characteristic self-abnegation he suggested to His Highness that “it would besufficient” if he were appointed a Member of the Council in charge of the Development Departments. He was not eager for
power or status. But as His Highness was insistent, he took over the Dewanship. He referred to this in a speech, deliveredsoon after, in the following terms:“It will, I hope, not be regarded as an affectation of modesty on my part if I say that all I have wanted is opportunity forwork, and that thoughts of personal advancement have not influenced my action in recent years.” The period of his Dewanship, which extended over six years, may be truly called the golden age of the (then) MysoreState, a period of unprecedented all-round development. Visvesvaraya insisted on high standards of smartness andregularity on the part of officers in the discharge of their duties, and sternly discountenanced slackness or shoddinesswherever he noticed it. Officers had to be at their places when the offices opened, and, by making surprise visits himself,he ensured that the age-old habits of irregularity yielded to new ways of efficiency. Heads of Departments had also tomake themselves available at fixed hours to visitors. He saw to it, in addition, that officers were smartly dressed, inWestern style preferably, except for the Mysore turban; and there are stories still current, of the ludicrous instances ofold-world officials, innocent of modern fashions, painfully adapting themselves to these sartorial stipulations.Visvesvaraya always set the example himself by his own immaculate dress, in which he was always to be seen by visitors,whether in his office or at home.His inspections and tours were thoroughly businesslike, devoid of any pomp and circumstance. He was a good listener,and was invariably courteous to all ranks of people, official or non-official. Visvesvaraya was a hard taskmaster but claimed to be a democrat, in that he was always anxious to secure public co-operation in respect of the development programmes that he initiated. The State pulsated with a new life, and thestirrings of it were noticeable in the remotest corners of the State. Replying to addresses presented by various organizations in Bangalore soon after he assumed Dewanship, hesaid: “In all the addresses you have been pleased to read to me, you state what in your opinion His Highness’sGovernment should do, or what I should do. But there is not a word said of what you yourselves are going to do, not evenone word of co-operation on your part….I attach great importance to the co-operation of the leaders of the public each inhis Legitimate sphere of activity.” That villages should develop the spirit of self-help was a favourite theme with him. During his regime he wasable to get villagers to give their personal labour, shram-dan, in the repair of minor tanks, construction of village roads,putting up school buildings, etc. He promoted conferences and committee meetings at all levels–State, District and Taluk; and whenever he hadoccasion to speak he was never tired of placing before his listeners relevant statistics, providing comparisons betweenIndia and advanced countries like England, U. S. A., Canada, etc. One noticeable characteristic of his speeches, however,was that they were entirely devoid of reference to the past glories of India or to her great heritage–of “historics”, as it hasbeen mischievously termed!–the usual stock-in-trade of patriotic speakers. He was concerned with the present and thefuture, and he was impatient with the apathy and lethargy of our people, and would like to hustle them along so that theymight live fuller lives as intelligent citizens of the modern world. A brief resume of what he achieved during the period of his Dewanship may be set down here: In respect ofeducation, which claimed top priority in his plans, he introduced legislation for compulsory education by stages, tooksteps for expansion of girls’ education, provided liberal grants for the institution of scholarships for backward-classstudents; opened an agricultural school providing practical courses; opened a mechanical engineering and a commercialschool: established the Chamarajendra Technical Institute at Mysore, District Industrial Schools, and the College ofEngineering at Bangalore; and provided foreign scholarships for students to study abroad. It was due to his persistentefforts that the Mysore university, the first ever in an Indian State, was founded in 1916. In respect of industries, he was instrumental in initiating the following: Sericulture Development; SandalwoodOil Manufacture; the Soap Factory; the Metal Factory; the Chrome Tanning Factory; The Central Industrial Workshop, andDistrict Workshops; Subsidies for Small and Cottage Industries; Hotels and Guest Houses including those on the Nandi
Hills; Printing Presses; Loans for starting private Workshops; The Mysore Iron and Wood Distillation Works; RailwaysExtension; and the growth of Hydro-electric Power. He started investigations for the establishment of a port at Bhatkal. He initiated measures to de-officialize localboard administration, and attended to town planning and to the provision of better water supply and undergrounddrainage for several towns. He introduced village improvement schemes, and the Malnad Improvement scheme, inparticular. The following are other institutions he helped to establish: The Bank of Mysore; The Mysbre Chamber ofCommerce; The Karnataka Sahitya Parishat; The Civil and Social Progress Association; Public Libraries in Bangalore andMysore; The Century Club and a Ladies’ Club at Bangalore; and The Cosmopolitan Club of Mysore. He revived the Competitive Examination for the Mysore Civil Service, which had been in abeyance for someyears, and confined it to Mysoreans and those domiciled in Mysore for five years. He was also instrumental in getting anew treaty signed, defining the relations between Mysore and the British Government, superseding the old Instrument ofTransfer, which raised the status of Mysore. He also introduced reforms in the working of the Representative Assembly,providing for a second session to consider the budget; gave its members the privilege of putting interpellations, andelecting four (instead of two) members to the Legislative Council. The Legislative Council was enlarged, so that it had anon-official majority. He initiated measures to separate the Judicial and Executive powers –a matter that had beenpressed for decades by Indian leaders; activized the work of the Economic Conference, and introduced activized the workof the Economic Conference, and introduced ‘efficiency audit’ with a view to preservation of discipline and efficiency inGovernment Departments. Even a bare recital of these measures gives one an idea of the stupendous magnitude of his achievements andtheir many-sided character–a truly astonishing record for any administrator of a State here or elsewhere. And it is also tobe remembered that the First World War was on, for over four years out of the six, during which he was Dewan. He wasobliged to carry on under the cramping conditions–particularly in respect of industrial development–of the exigencies ofthe war, for the prosecution of which, Mysore, like other Indian States, made considerable contribution in men, moneyand materials.Efficiency, precision and public spirit were his watchwords and he attempted to infuse these virtues into the officials andnon-officials with whom he came into contact. A letter issuing from his office, for instance, was often retyped over andover again, so that there was not the slightest flaw in it. He spared neither himself nor others and, in spite of a frail andeven puny body, gave evidence of extraordinary alertness and physical energy. His regular diet habits and his daily walkskept him thoroughly fit and active. He was punctual to the minute in keeping his engagements. He set a high standard ofmoral rectitude which had a chastening effect on the administration, so that one rarely heard of corruption. He abhorrednepotism and jobbery of any kind in making appointments or bestowing other Government favours, and was soscrupulous that for private work he would not touch Government stationery or use Government conveyance, making adistinction between public duties and private work with a meticulousness that was almost fanatical. All this might soundfantastic to the pampered officials of the modern day, provided by a generous Government with vans and jeeps, andunaccustomed to the drawing of su.ch nice distinctions. Visvesvaraya laid down his office by the end of 1918. His Highness the Maharaja appointed a committee headed by SirLeslie Miller, the Chief Judge, to consider the question of adopting in Mysore measures similar to those advocated by non-brahmin leaders in Maddras. “My idea was”, writes Visvesvaraya in his Memoirs, “that by spreading education rapidly andadopting precision methods in production and industry, the State and its entire population would progress faster. Therewas never any complaint that I favoured any particular community in making appointments….I felt opposed to theestablishment of the Miller Committee…..After prolonged discussion and exchange of views for a considerable time, Iobtained His Highness’s consent to retire from service. Some time was required to arrange and place all the new schemesin operation and other contemplated developments in a safe condition before I actually laid down office. So it was agreedsome eight months beforehand that I should retire at a convenient date at the end of the year. This arrangement was kepta closely guarded secret.”VI
Thus ended the career of Visvesvaraya’s services to the country as a Government official in his 58th year. For over fortyyears thereafter he continued to serve the country as a public-spirited citizen of India in various capacities, but chiefly asan adviser on matters of industry and engineering. Though he severed his official connection with Mysore, he continued to take active interest in its development.His relations with the Maharaja continued to be most cordial, and he was invited to be the chairman of the Board ofManagement of the Bhadravati Iron and Steel Works, and he served in that capacity from 1923 to 1929. He did not drawthe honorarium due to him during this period amounting to about 2 lakhs. He made over this amount for the founding ofthe Jayachamarajendra Occupational Institute, politely turning down even the suggestion that his own name should begiven to it. The Institute has come to fill a great need in the scheme of technical education and has become a model forpolytechnics subsequently started in all parts of the country. He also served as chairman of the Cauvery Canal Committeeto align and construct the high level canal system from Krishnaraja Sagar; and as chairman of the committee for the newwater supply scheme to Bangalore. He attempted to start an Automobile industry in the State, but without success. He wasmore successful, however, in getting the Hindustan Aircraft factory started at Bangalore in 1940. In 1949–when he wasnearing ninety–he actively pushed forward a scheme for Rural Industrialization, with arrangements to finance it througha Financial Corporation. This good work, however, has not been followed up, the National Extension Services and BlockDevelopment schemes having meanwhile come on the scene. It must be said in this connection that Visvesvaraya’sscheme, carefully thought out and complete in every detail, deserves to be given a trial not only in Mysore State but allover the country. It may be calculated to solve the problem of unemployment to a considerable extent, more effectivelyperhaps than the present sporadic and unco-ordinated efforts made in the field of rural industrialization under the aegisof the Community Development projects, the Khadi Gramodyog Board and other similar bodies set up by the Government. Outside Mysore he participated in, or presided over, the following committees after his retirement as Dewan of Mysore:Bombay Technical and Industrial Committee (1921-’22): New Capital (New Delhi) Enquiry Committee, (1922); IndianEconomic Enquiry Committee (1925); Backbay Inquiry Committee (1926); Bangalore Political Disturbances EnquiryCommittee (1929), in the report of which he made an unanswerable plea for the setting up of Responsible Government inMysore; the Sukkur Barrage Works Committee (1929 ); Bombay University Committee for promoting Chemical Industries(1930); Irrigation Inquiry Committee, Bombay ( 1938); and Flood Control Measures in Orissa (at the request of Gandhiji)(1939). He was also elected as chairman of the committee of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, in 1938 and thereaftersuccessively for seven years till he voluntarily relinquished that office. Ever since its inception in 1941 he was thePresident of the All-India Manufacturers’ Organization till 1954. He also presided over the All-Parties Conference in 1922 convened in Bombay, to suggest a way out of the situationcreated by the non-co-operation movement led by Gandhiji, and to explore the possibilities of convening a Round TableConference. He was the President of the South Indian States’ Peoples’ Conference at Trivandrum in 1929 and gave animportant lead in the matter of assigning a proper status to the citizens and the rulers of the Indian States in thecontemplated Federal Constitution of India. Though he could not agree to the methods of direct action and mass politicalagitation launched by Gandhiji, he was by no means a reactionary and was well in advance of the then ‘moderate’ opinionin the country.In 1919 he went on a study tour round the world in company with several industrialists and merchants. He stayed inLondon for a year to supervise the publication of Reconstrncting India, which came out in 1920. While in London he wasoffered a seat on the Council of the Secretary of State for India by Mr. Montagu, but he politely declined the offer. He again toured in foreign countries in 1935 to study the automobile industry and in 1946 (when he was 85) as a leaderof the delegation of the All-India Manufacturers’ Organization, visiting numerous factories. A report, of nearly 300 pages,of this tour, was published, containing numerous suggestions of practical value for the rapid development of Indianindustries.By this time Visvesvaraya had popularized the slogan ‘Industrialize or Perish’.VII
Besides numerous pamphlets and brochures or reports of which he was the author, Visvesvaraya wrote andpublished three substantial books: Reconstructing India (already mentioned), Planned Economy for India (1934) andMemoris of My Working Life (1951). The first two books are packed with facts and figures and set down his views on thereconstruction of India as an economically prosperous and industrially developed nation. The third book is a plain andunvarnished account of his public career as a Government official in Bombay and, later in Mysore, and of his variedactivities subsequently. The book is characteristic of him. It opens with his 24th year, with not a word in it about hisprivate life and its joys and sorrows by way of introduction or even incidentally. Nor does it contain any sidelights on themen and events that influenced him in the course of his public life. It is, true, there is mention of great personalities like,Ranade, Gokhale, Tilak, Sri Krishnaraja Wadiyar and others; but we are not, permitted even a glimpse into hisrelationships with these great men. The narrative is severely objective and factual. He has obviously said much less thanhe felt about any person or any event. This reticence, and the style of strictly objective expression, seemed to have becomehis second nature, the result of prolonged self-discipline. In the course of his long public life he did come into contact withall kinds of people–people who must have greatly hurt him or sorely tried his patience. But his Memoirs contain not aword of comment or condemnation of any person. No doubt, occasionally, it contains quotations from appreciative andflattering references to himself from numerous high officials, but these seem to be set down not out of vanity but to serveas an example to his fellow countrymen so that they might profit by his experience. In 1960–in his 100th year–hepublished A Brief Memoir of My Complete Working Life. It is not priced and seems to have been intended for privatecirculation. It sets down categorically the events of his long career, the dates on which he delivered UniversityConvocation Addresses in four Indian Universities, the dates of his six foreign travels and their purpose, the dates onwhich titles and honours, degrees (honoris causa) from eight Indian Universities, were conferred on him; and the list ofhis publications. It is a kind of logbook rendering an account of his life and prepared in his characteristically methodicalway. As evidence of his mental alertness at that advanced age, a short paragraph containing a pointed observationmay be quoted from, the book. After tracing the history of the Bank of Mysore and how it helped the businessmen ofMysore, he writes: “The Bank has similarly been of great help to the Krishnarajendra Mills in Mysore and the important coffee industry ofthe Malnad. It is a matter for extreme regret that there should now be a proposal to destroy its identity and make it asubsidiary of the State Bank of India. It is likely to prove a great disservice to Mysoreans.”Visvesvaraya had the habit of maintaining scrapbooks in which newspaper cuttings, and extracts from books ormagazines he read, were systematically compiled. Some of the scrapbooks contained compilations relating to publicquestions and some to general and literary matters. The latter he published in 1957 in book form giving it the titleSayings–Wise and Witty. The extracts bear evidence of the range of his literary taste and his sense of humour–a trait notusually attributed to him.VIII Visvesvaraya’s Herculean efforts to modernize Mysore during the nine years he was associated with itsadministration as Chief Engineer and Dewan have been already referred to. It is true that he succeeded in a large measurein creating a new life, or its outward signs, during his regime. But it must not be forgotten that he had his severe criticswho condemned his ‘wasteful expenditure’ and ambitious plans. He was even charged with doing things for show thoughin sober truth he husbanded the resources of the State most carefully and was ever watchful to effect the utmost economyin the expenditure on Public Works. Showiness was utterly foreign to his nature. No Dewan was so unassuming and mildas he was. Again, there were the irreverent scoffers even among the officials of the State who looked upon his schemes asa huge joke, and his plans as so many fads. There were, again, others among them who knew the things that would pleasehim and tried to make an impression on him by external habiliments or the reeling off of statistics cooked up for theoccasion in reply to his invariable queries. Visvesvaraya, in spite of his supreme intelligence, was not always a shrewdjudge of men and was easily taken in; and when he discovered that he had been imposed upon, very likely he must havefelt sorrow rather than anger. People who moved closely with him have testified that they have never seen him lose histemper–an extraordinary thing to say about any human being! What would cause indignation in others simply foundexpression, in his case, in some drily humorous remark, which often quenched his hearers.His impersonal, passionless and intensely intellectual attitude was both his strength and his weakness. One felt awed inhis presence, but not drawn to get into closer communion with him, unless, of course, one belonged to his intimate circle.Yet he was extremely considerate, and gave frequent evidence of a tender heart that felt for others. Of his many deeds of
charity, of monthly pensions to dependents, poor relations and needy students, the world could know little; he gave andhelped so quietly. His reticence and intellectual vigour and moral elevation left him on a lonely eminence. He could notevoke widespread and deep emotional response from the masses: he was not made to be a mass leader. But the peopleadmired and adored him; and his portraits could be seen on the walls of village homes in the Mysore State long before theportraits of other national leaders which became popular in later years. Gandhi and Visvesvaraya had many things in common: purposefulness in life; unfailing courtesy; personal austerity; apassionate regard for tidiness and punctuality; a capacity for untiring work. But the differences in their outlook on life,and approach to national problems, presented a striking contrast. Gandhi personified in an unmistakable way the peopleof India and particularly the poor; Visvesvaraya appeared to be outlandish. Gandhi was not enamoured of machinery andthe complex industrial organization of the West and bent all his energies to the revival of the Charkha and cottageindustries; Visvesvaraya, though he was aware of the importance of village industries, was an ardent admirer of thetechnological advances made in Western countries and was never tired of holding up their example for our emulation.Gandhiji’ spoke of Ramarajya, of the Gita and of God; Visvesvaraya did not refer to the past but was fully engrossed withthe present and the future, and his approach was thoroughly secular. Gandhi always harped on Satya and Ahimsa;Visvesvaraya was always speaking of precision and efficiency. Each was unique in his own way: both of them achieved mighty things in their lifetime. Both of them were impatient tolift the masses of India out of the poverty and degradation into which they had sunk, and make them strong and self-reliant. The seeming antithesis between them (and, indeed, Gandhiji seemed to be the antithesis of almost every otherIndian leader, in a way, being in a class by himself) was due to the difference of emphasis on factors that each sincerelybelieved would help build up the manhood of India and a fuller life for the Indian people. Both of them dedicated all theirlife to the great task of national regeneration, each in his own sphere, and according to his own aptitude and light.India had need of both of them during her period of emergence as a free nation, and will profit by their inspiring messageand shining example for a long long time to come.it was midnight. A train was pacing to its destination with a howl in the silence of the night. A man was sleeping with hishead on the side window of the train. Suddenly he woke up from his sleep. He jumped from his seat and pulled the chainhanging just over his head. The chain was nothing but the danger chain. The train moved for some more distance andstopped suddenly. The employees and other passengers in the train rushed to the compartment to know what hadhappened. Someone even suspected that the man did it in his sleeping mood. So they were angry towards this man. Allsurrounded the man and asked the reason behind chain pulling.“There is a crack in the rail after some more meters from here!!! If train goes over it mishaps may occur.” The man saidquietly.“What nonsense you are saying. In this dark night how did you see the crack which is far in front ? Are you mocking us ?”That was the response of the people.“No. I have no need to mock you all and stop the train to disturb all. You just check it and then talk to me ” The manreplied very gently.The railway persons got down to rail. With the help of a torch they checked the railway track. To their surprise they saw abig crack in the rail a few meters away from the stopped train! If train passed over the crack definitely some mishap wasobvious in that dark village night.All persons again gathered around the man who predicted it correctly. He told that he heard the sound from the trackwhile sleeping and it changed at some place . The vibrating sound changed too heavily that the man recognized that it wasdue to the crack in the railway line. Do you know who was that man who saved many lives from death? It was none otherthan the best engineer that India ever gave birth to, Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya or M.Visvesvaraya.Visvesvaraya born in Muddenahalli village of Karnataka on September 15th , 1861. His father was a Sanskrit Panditnamed Srinivasa Sastri. The ancestors of Visvesvaraya were from the Mokshagundam village of Andrapradesh. HenceVisvesvaraya added Mokshagundam before his name and thus became Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya.