M.Y. Ghorpade: maharaja, minister & a lensman

It is one of life’s ironies that Bellary that is now the byword for mind-numbing, blood-curdling corruption of the Reddy brothers’ kind, also produced Murari Yeshwantrao Ghorpade, who passed away on Saturday at the age of 79.

Son of the erstwhile ruler of the kingdom of Sandur, which falls in what is now Bellary, M.Y. Ghorpade (seven-time MLA from Sandur) handled the finance and rural development ministries with aplomb, a stint which saw the State take a lead role in Panchayat Raj.

In a recent interview in the Economic Times, Ghorpade, chairman-emeritus of Sandur manganese and iron ores, reminisced on the horrific notoriety of his home-district:

“We have a strange reputation of following all the rules over the last 50 years. This corruption will finish us off. To see Sandur also not free from this makes me very, very sad. The mistake that was made was that small mines were distributed like toffees and chocolates. Now these people are not able to supervise operations or add value to the business.”

Unlike politicians of the Parappana Agrahara kind who spent their working days more as real estate brokers trying to gobble up every square inch possible, Ghorpade, did just the opposite some weeks ago: he offered to donate 150 acres that were part of his inheritance to nature conservation.

A Cambridge post-graduate in economics, Ghorpade was also an award-winning wildlife photographer, his black and white pictures winning several national and international prizes. In 1983, he becomes the first wildlife photographer in the world to be honoured with the prestigious International Award of Master Photographer.

Photograph: via Karnataka Photo News

Also read: A wise man sees not the same trees a fool does

How a Ghorpade came to be called a Ghorpade

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13 Responses to “M.Y. Ghorpade: maharaja, minister & a lensman”

  1. sharaba1 Says:

    why do brilliant people like him never come into picture like Ambanis and TATAs from our state.
    and we never know them.

    why is anything in karnataka so trivial to all.

  2. bala Says:

    see the marked difference between MY Gorpade and present day politicians. Mr Ghorpade was a man with commitments. On one occasion he was mentioning that, during his tenure as Finance Minister, he was boasting that he had not even transferred one officer of the Department under his control, especially Commercial Taxes and Excise.. everything left to the Secretary of the Department of finance. Autonomy he had given to the Secretary.

  3. Mathihalli Madan Mohan Says:

    Ghorpade was a pioneer in the panchayat raj experiment. It was during his regime as the minister concerned under the Congress government of Mr Veerappa Moilly, that he brought the credit to the karnataka, which was the first state in the country to enact the panchayat law in the context of the 73rd Constitutional amendment, which had just been passed.
    When he had difference of opinion with the Chief Minster over the early polls being held to which Chief Minsiter was unwilling, Ghorpade chose to quit rather than resile from his commitment.
    Though a votary of the panchayat raj system, he still had lot of faith in the bureacracy and gave it powers to supervise these institutions managed by the peoples representatives.
    He was a politician with a bureacratic mind and he was the one who had very few visitors either at his office or residence for the simple reason that he hardly mixed with the people. The people were scared of bringing small issues for his consideration including the transfers. He was a man of few words.
    When the Raichur loksabha seat fell vacant int he eighties, Ghorpade was made to contest the election. The expectation was that he could find a berth in the central cabinet in charge of either the finance, or planning or rural development. But this did not materialse to his chagrin
    When other chosen followers quit the Devaraj Urs camp following the split, Ghorpade remained loyal to the Urs, and contested the Bellary loksabha election at his bidding and lost unfortunately against his own brother who had been fielded as Indira Congress candidate.

  4. Niaz Ahmed Says:

    Not all politicians are bad, neither all corporates good. We need more like MYG.

  5. A Journalist Says:

    M Y Ghorpade was a remarkable man. I first met him when I was 21 years old at his house in Sandur.

    RIP Sir

  6. M Says:

    @ bala and Mathihalli Madan Mohan.

    I didn’t know of this guy till now. Also, only recently did I learn that Sandur was a Princely State prior to Independence.

    learned people like Ghorpade and Nehru were the ones who brought our democracy to the present state. They bolstered and built a massive bureaucracy and paid scant attention to stature of politics. In bureaucracy the subordinates are appointees while in politics they are elected. By not encouraging and bringing in talented people into politics they created a vacuum that was filled up by GJ Reddy and ilks. Infact these people preferred low class politicians whom they thought they could control. But look what that led to!

    Why did he handover the task of transferring officials to the Secretary who himself is another official. He was elected by the people; his power was given by the people; he did not exercise it and instead chose to pass it on (an unconstitutional act) to a functionary. Isn’t this an irony that we celebrate people with such misplaced ideologies. He should have set an example by showing how things are to be done and what constitutes the right way.

  7. subbulakshmi Says:

    very sorry i really admired that man RIP

  8. Keshav Prakash BabuKPB Says:

    I, being associated with Sandur from past 10 years have known about Maharaja Ghorpadeji from many elder people here. They all share a great sense of regard and respect over Ghorpadeji.

    I got to know that while the mining is stopped in Karnataka many of the mining companies have thrown out there employees to the roads stating the financial difficulty they are facing without the business running but while the SMIORE (Sandur Manganese & Iron Ore) administrative committee too had prepared a list of employees to be sent home Ghorpadeji had only a line to say “Do whatever, but do not ask anybody to go home”. There was a same situation earlier too while the mining business was not so financially viable even then the MYG ji had sold their prime land in Bengaluru to see that all the employees have their salaries paid. While in his last days he mentioned his last dream to see the Vasanakeri Plant near Hospet to get fully operational and all the employees do not have to go to places searching for jobs.

    Even there was a time when the employees of NMDC and other govt offices have quit their jobs to join SMIORE because of the facilities being provided to all employees and their whole family.

    May his soul rest in peace.

  9. Vinay Says:

    Honest Politician, Ace Photographer, Educationist, Industrialist, Scion of Sandur royal family and above all a great human being. Sandur will miss its beloved son. It wouldn’t be easy for others to fill the void created by his loss. May his soul Rest In Peace.

  10. sarvamangala Says:

    MY Gorpade is very bralint people is was black and wight photographe politicion was seven times is election is maharaj is sandur super man and also all people sandur people in smiore in all emplyees is reation and salary but not everything is Gorpade is very brlient
    Gorpade is Congress seven times

  11. karthik Says:

    ghorpade ji is really a hero for our sandur people.
    if he is not ther means many people wil may be in many problms.

  12. Pulikeshi the Last Says:

    Inheriting thousands of acres of land with mineral deposits and mining it must be grqnd. The tearful farewells here will be echoed in the future when some people in Bellary die.

    What is the wealth of the Ghorpade family? It justly belongs to Karnataka like Srikantha Wadeyar’s fabulous wealth.

  13. Arun Kumar Kakade Says:

    He was great Visionaire, I am personally indebted to him for the simple reason, He gave us that vital Residential school.

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