Once, such a man walked this land we now ruin

Editorial in The Hindu on 17 April 1962, on Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya, who passed away 50 years ago this week:

“Dr Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya is no longer physically with us, but the noble record of his work will long endure and continue to inspire succeeding generations. He was truly of his time and yet far ahead of it, a living synthesis of old-world courtesy and simplicity and the dynamic qualities of a pioneer of planned progress.

“As a professional engineer, he achieved monumental feats of design and construction, like the Krishnaraja Sagara Dam. Mysore has good reason to cherish him for his many services to the State as both engineer and administrator, his six years as the Dewan of the former princely State being marked as much by his genius for organisation as by a passion for service.

“Though industries and education were his major concern (he was the founder of the University of Mysore), rural uplift that is so much in the air to-day was also among his early preoccupations. His book, Reconstructing India which has been greeted as “a thorough and comprehensive statement of India’s requirements” provides a blue print for social reform and uplift of women and the depressed classes, as much as for building a political and economic system from the village upwards.

“The idea of the Mysore Government to make the native village of Dr Visvesvaraya a model village is appropriate, though the centenarian did expect every village in every State in India to be so reconstructed. It is significant that he won his early laurels as an engineer under the Bombay Government, before his home State claimed him.

“The heritage of his example is there for posterity to cherish and emulate. India has much need of more men of his calibre, wisdom, vision and above all his unshakable integrity.”

Also read: Sir MV on India’s 11 basic wants

Sir MV: The 7th most famous Mysorean in the world?

The finest (English) passage on Karnataka?

When the Mysore turban gave way to the roomal

A small lesson from Sir MV for our munde makkalu

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10 Responses to “Once, such a man walked this land we now ruin”

  1. Gouri Satya Says:

    A genius, yet to see another engineer-statesman even after half a century. The Government has long forgotten to make his native village a model village, let alone forgetting Sir MV.

    Recently, I went to Hoover Dam,near Las Vegas, to find Sir MV’s name inscribed somewhere for his contribution to the construction of that dam, strangely could not find his name anywhere.

  2. chidu22 Says:

    Why is Sir MV’s name is written as Visvesvaraya, it’s beyond me. I think it should be Vishveshvaraiah or Vishweshwaraiah, I am that’s how we write in Kannada . Can somebody enlighten me?

  3. Sharanabasappa Says:

    Even Balebundri of Belgaum was equally important in dam projects. Please remember him too.

  4. Doddi Buddi Says:

    I think making Sir MV’s village a model one is a bad idea. The villagers themselves should model themselves after MV. Once again we will have asshole politicians splurging cash in honoring a great soul and everybody goes home with some food (huliyanna, dhonne biriyani), liquor packets and cash.

    Gouri Satya, may be you should do some research how much MV contributed to Hoover Dam. Americans don’t venerate engineers just like that.

  5. Mandya_Gandu Says:

    Autorickshaws usually have Dr.Raj or Shankar Nag Stickers; I happen to see several Autos with Sir M.V.s Sticker labeling him “Namma Anna Datta”. A lot people in his generation did do yeoman service to India.

    There is a debate that Weight redistribution of Earth due to Hydro-dams are a cause of climate change? Hydros also change habitats.

  6. Gouri Satya Says:

    Dear DB, According to information I have been able to gather, Hoover dam project engineers met Sir MV and sought his advise on certain technical issues and also about the automatic gates installed at KRS, which they adopted for Hoover project also. Any info you have any info about this pl enlighten me.

  7. dr ramesh Says:

    Govt should adopt one govt shcool in each district of karnataka, consider it a test case, give those schools all facilities a private convent would give, name the project after Sir MV, believe u me, 5 years is enough to show the world the quality of talent available in rural karnataka and to control the donation lobby. MV stands for scientific temperament with human touch and cultural blend, surely unmatched till date.

  8. Gokulam 3rd Stage Says:

    chidu22, for the same reason we have Ramanagaram, Banargatta etc. Some north Indian or konga babu using his deep knowledge of Kannada probably transliterated these names. The apes that we are, we think that is the correct way to spell them in English.

    DB: Hoover dam has a plaque commemorating the engineers and workers and so does the Golden Gate Bridge. The latter actually has a statue of the engineer at the southern end. I remember seeing prominent mention of architects and builders at several other attractions here in the US.

  9. chidu22 Says:


    Thanks, somebody here share my view of the blatant kongification of kannada.Not long ago there was a milk produced in karnataka,it was spelt in english as ‘arokya’, which should have been ‘arogya’. I hope kannadigas make some effort to spell them properly, lazy as they seem to be,should do themselves rather than accepting everything done by northies and kongas.

    Least we can do is preserve Sir MV’s heritage, if we can’t emulate him.

  10. notawittynick Says:

    Gokulam 3rd Stage & Chidu22, agree, most of the names are getting kogulified(Gokul>Kogul, it is called Kogul Transformation, a big theory!). But it is Visvesvaraya because Sir MV himself spelt it that way.

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