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"Udayavagali namma cheluva kannada naadu" - still a dream!
Ramasubramanyam, Mysore.

November 1st of every year is a special occasion for kannadigas as it is on this day that the state came into being.  Karnataka was formed on 1st November 1956 when the Government of India decided to form linguistic states. Whether linguistic states have an advantage or have they fulfilled the aspirations and dreams of the people is a topic to be debated.  It does have some advantages, as language is a big binding factor.  So the writers, intellectuals, politicians and almost everybody felt that the areas, which had scattered in different provinces, have to be brought under one banner or one state.

Many scholars like Aloor Venkat Rao (Karnataka Kula Purohitha), Karpoor Shrinivas Rao, R.R. Diwakar (who was a governor), Panje Mangesh Rao, Dr.D.V.Gundappa, and Prof. Venkanniaha, Prof.A.R.Krishna Shasthry, Maliya Timmappayya, Dr. Shivaram Karanth and others fought for the unification of Kannada areas. The most predominant name among them is that of Prof. B.M. Shrikantaiaha, a professor in Mysore University who toured every nook and corner of the Kannada speaking areas and made them aware of the necessity of coming together. One more person who also fought in the same way was A.N.Krishna Rao, the “Kadambari Sarvabhouma” from the old Mysore area. Along with him were Ta. Ra. Subburao, Basavaraj Kattimani, Beechi giving their valuable contribution. From Dharwad side, it was Huyilgola Narayan Rao who composed a poem “UDAYAVAGALI NAMMA CHELUVA KANNADA NAADU” sung by one and the only Kalinga Rao, which electrified the movement for unification of Kannada, speaking areas.

Varakavi Bendre, Dr. V.K.Gokak and their fellow writers prepared the grounds for the formation of a new state. Great poet Kuvempu made a great contribution for the achievement of the goal. There are innumerable and unnoticed men and women who fought for the unification of Kannada areas. Among politicians special mention has to be made of Kengal Hanumanthaiaha, Kadidaal Manjappa, S.Nijalingappa, T.Subramanyam who made Karnataka a reality.

We have to salute those who have sacrificed everything for the cause of Kannada and Karnataka. Even now Karnataka has not been fully formed, as some of the Kannada speaking areas remain outside the boundary viz. Madagashira and Akkalkot of Andhra Pradesh, Sholapur of Maharashtra, Ooty of Tamil Nadu and Kasargod of Kerala.

Have the aspirations of the people been fulfilled? After the formation of the state do we feel that we are one? The politicians have created a big void among people of different religions. Even now we call Mumbai/Bombay-Karnataka area, Hyderabad- Karnataka area etc. Though we have integrated as one state politically we are yet to integrate emotionally. We are not thinking even for a second that we are all one and no need to mention Mumbai/Bombay-Karnataka area or Hyderabad-Karnataka area.

The Government of Karnataka thinks that if Bangalore and the surrounding places are improved, the whole state has improved. No marked improvements have been made particularly in North Karnataka area and Coorg. There is a “Chaluvali” going on in Coorg to have an independent state to break away from Karnataka as a section of the people feel that they have been cheated and no improvement have been made in their district. Coorg is the richest district in Karnataka and the maximum revenue is being collected from that district. The people feel that they have been badly laid down by the successive governments of Karnataka.

One more bane is that of Veerappan, the forest brigand and bandit.  He has made the forests of both Tamil Nadu and Karnataka as his welling place to carry on his anti social activities with some help from anti national elements and allegedly terrorist groups.  He has hundreds of murders to his credit.  But both Tamil Nadu and Karnataka Governments have shown no grits and will to capture him even after his recent abduction of Dr. Raj, the icon of Karnataka Cinema.  The Tamil Nadu and Karnataka Governments are begging him to release Dr. Raj instead of taking firm steps to nab him. 

Drinking water is a major problem in cities as well as villages of some parts of Karnataka.  The Government has not taken adequate measures to solve this problem.  A more serious problem is the level of underground water, which is receding but unnoticed by the politicians and technicians.  Deforestation is another problem, which causes scarcity of rains.  Pouches and smugglers are cutting the woods in the forest, in most of the cases hand-in-gloves with politicians.

Kannada, the state language has to be made the official language of the state.  Even though the Government has formed a body to see the implementation of the official language in all the offices, the results are not satisfactory.  We are more inclined to use a foreign language like English rather than our own mother tongue.

But with all these the progress made in many areas, particularly in IT cannot be ignored.  Bangalore has become an important city not only in India but also in the whole world when it comes to IT and Electronics.

The biggest of all, which has to be solved with the highest priority, is illiteracy. Even after spending crores for mass education, the achievement is not as much as the Government boasts. Unless and until education is made free and compulsory to a certain level, no achievement or progress made in different areas can remain intact.  For the implementation the Government should take stern steps regarding health also the expenses are beyond the reach of common man.  The Health Department has to see that the facility will reach the common man and the expenses are to be within the range particularly of villagers.  No advance medical facilities are available to the villagers.  At present the Government should see that the villagers too will get and do not suffer.  There is a big gap here and it’s a big problem, as no qualified doctor is willing to go and serve in villages.  To talk about transportation, proper roads do not connect many villages even today in the age of building international airport in Bangalore and if a minister is to be believed, airports in every district headquarters!!!

These are some of the problems in Our Karnataka, which have to be tackled on priority basis.  We can achieve the dreams of making it a model states, as once it was (at the time of Dr. Sir. M. Visheshwarayya, the most respected Diwan and Statesmen of erstwhile State of Mysore) which we hope and wish shall happen at the earliest.

Ramasubramanyam, Mysore.

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