Rājakārya-prasakta Dewan Bahadur Sir M N Krishna Rao - part 2

Seetharamiah’s Hospitality

In the next week or ten days, I reached Delhi. Seetharamiah was waiting at the train station by the time the train reached. I asked him, “How did you know of my arrival?”
He said, “I got it somehow. You have arrived now, have you not?”
“Why did you come?”
He answered, “To escort you.”
I said, “I was thinking of some other arrangement.”
“Let the other arrangement be kept aside. Please accept this arrangement now.”
This friendly banter went on for some time. Seetharamiah sheltered me as a guest for two to two and a half months. I raised the question of expenses a couple of times. He said, “Let all that get settled in Bangalore. I have been ordered. I have to follow it. And you have to please cooperate.”
He silenced me thus. Those were the days that Seetharamiah and I spent very happily. We used to travel together. With Kālidāsa’s Megha-sandeśa book in hand, we went to Ujjayinī [Ujjain] and visited Mahākāla devālaya and the environs of the Śiprā river. We both went to Kurukshetra and bathed at the Pāṇḍava Lake. We visited Gītā-mandira. We had a darśana of Bhagavān Śiva at Sthāneśvara [Thanesar]. We also went to the Durgā shrine nearby. On the way, we recounted several poetic references, recited the verses and enjoyed discussing their poetic nuances. Seetharamiah’s knowledge of English literature was excellent, too.

At the Legislative Council

In 1927, I was a member of the [Mysore] Legislative Council. Those were the early days of the Dewanship of Sir Mirza Ismail. M N Krishna Rao was the Finance Minister then. At that time, in one of my speeches, I raised objections, alleging that the management of the treasury of the Mysore State was far from satisfactory. I said that the government was spending a lot of money but it lacked an adequate administrative audit system that examines the expense immediately and puts a stop to unwanted expenditure.
While I was speaking, Krishna Rao’s face assumed a serious mode. As soon as I sat down, he stood up and said: “It appears this member has no idea of reality. In the government’s present system, there are sufficient control measures to keep the expenses under check and for investigating them.” I did not react, for I believed Krishna Rao’s words to be absolutely honest.
That evening, an envelope reached the place where I was staying, from the minister’s office. It contained many hukums and orders issued by the government regarding financial expenditure. I read all of them and I was impressed. The next day, after the Council met, I greeted Krishna Rao and asked him, “What is the guarantee that the work is going on in accordance with those orders?” He replied, “That is a constitutional matter. The government can consider it.”

Estimation of Worth

That afternoon, during the lunch break after the Council session, Sri H C Dasappa came to me and said, “Of all the people, why did you have to raise objections against that brāhmaṇa?”
I asked, “Why are you so kind to that particular brāhmaṇa?”
Dasappa replied, “He is the only real brāhmaṇa I have met. Hence, my reverence for him; don’t trouble him!”
This is an illustration that competence and integrity earn respect on their own.

The Position of Dewan

In 1932, when Mirza saheb went to London to attend the Round Table Conference, M N Krishna Rao was appointed the acting Dewan. This was only for a few months. During this time, when I was going for a walk one morning, Krishna Rao was walking toward me. I greeted him.
Krishna Rao exclaimed, “Hello, it’s been a long time since I saw you!”
I replied, “You are under work pressure now. If I come to meet you, your time will be wasted and you may be inconvenienced!”
“Why do you think so?”
“Councillor’s work and Dewan’s responsibilities – both are put together. The load may have gone up,” I said.
“I don’t see any such thing!”
“You may have had to go on circuit.”
“Why circuit?”
I said, “Well, to meet people to consider their petitions and enquire about their hardships.”
“Should I travel to enquire? Is it not enough to solve those that come here?”
I asked, “Won’t the daily load double then?”
Krishna Rao replied, “Our government was not formed today. It has a foundation of a hundred years. Rules and regulations have naturally evolved. There are no defects in that part. To implement those laws, there are responsible officers who earn one thousand to one thousand five hundred rupees. If they don’t do their work, there is nothing the government can do. If they do, there is not much work for the government. A difficult question might crop up once in a month or once in two months. That is the only work for the minister. Our main job is to make sure that various officers of the government are doing their job and are following rules and regulations.”
He gave this kind of elaboration. It was natural for him to feel that the minister’s work was simple. I can think of three reasons for this:

1. Experience

He was experienced in managing all departments. He started his career in the government’s Finance Department. Being directly or indirectly related to the Finance Department, every government department comes to the attention of the Treasurer. This may have given the idea to Krishna Rao that the government’s work is not difficult.

2. Intellect

Krishna Rao’s intelligence was naturally sharp. He would quickly and comprehensively grasp the depth, extent, and essence of any thought that came to his mind. His natural way of thinking was extremely methodical. What was difficult for others was effortless for him.

3. Integrity

Above all was his honesty. He would completely listen to his conscience and not pay attention to any other urge or advice. He would not give heed to any scheme, trick, cunning, or complex plans. His thoughts were always straightforward; his mind travelled in a straight line.
Krishna Rao was faithful to his duty and work. He remained unfazed by people’s bouquets or brickbats.

This is the second part of the four-part English translation of Chapter 12 of D V Gundappa’s Jnapakachitrashaale – Vol. 4 – Mysurina Dewanaru. Edited by Hari Ravikumar and Raghavendra G S.

Author(s)

About:

Devanahalli Venkataramanayya Gundappa (1887-1975) was a great visionary and polymath. He was a journalist, poet, art connoisseur, philosopher, political analyst, institution builder, social commentator, social worker, and activist.

Translator(s)

About:

Prof. Vedavyas M G is a visiting professor of Strategy and International Business at PES University, Bangalore. He is on the Advisory Board of Atria Institute of Technology. Before moving to academics, Prof. Vedavyas was Senior Vice-President at Mahindra Satyam, responsible for its global telecom business. Earlier he was the Regional Manager for Tata Consultancy Services at Birmingham. Prof. Vedavyas is a graduate of IISc., Bangalore (BE in E&C) and IIM, Bangalore (MBA). He has an abiding interest in everything Kannada.

Prekshaa Publications

The Mahābhārata is the greatest epic in the world both in magnitude and profundity. A veritable cultural compendium of Bhārata-varṣa, it is a product of the creative genius of Maharṣi Kṛṣṇa-dvaipāyana Vyāsa. The epic captures the experiential wisdom of our civilization and all subsequent literary, artistic, and philosophical creations are indebted to it. To read the Mahābhārata is to...

Shiva Rama Krishna

சிவன். ராமன். கிருஷ்ணன்.
இந்திய பாரம்பரியத்தின் முப்பெரும் கதாநாயகர்கள்.
உயர் இந்தியாவில் தலைமுறைகள் பல கடந்தும் கடவுளர்களாக போற்றப்பட்டு வழிகாட்டிகளாக விளங்குபவர்கள்.
மனித ஒற்றுமை நூற்றாண்டுகால பரிணாம வளர்ச்சியின் பரிமாணம்.
தனிநபர்களாகவும், குடும்ப உறுப்பினர்களாகவும், சமுதாய பிரஜைகளாகவும் நாம் அனைவரும் பரிமளிக்கிறோம்.
சிவன் தனிமனித அடையாளமாக அமைகிறான்....

ऋतुभिः सह कवयः सदैव सम्बद्धाः। विशिष्य संस्कृतकवयः। यथा हि ऋतवः प्रतिसंवत्सरं प्रतिनवतामावहन्ति मानवेषु तथैव ऋतुवर्णनान्यपि काव्यरसिकेषु कामपि विच्छित्तिमातन्वते। ऋतुकल्याणं हि सत्यमिदमेव हृदि कृत्वा प्रवृत्तम्। नगरजीवनस्य यान्त्रिकतां मान्त्रिकतां च ध्वनदिदं चम्पूकाव्यं गद्यपद्यमिश्रितमिति सुव्यक्तमेव। ऐदम्पूर्वतया प्रायः पुरीपरिसरप्रसृतानाम् ऋतूनां विलासोऽत्र प्रपञ्चितः। बेङ्गलूरुनामके...

The Art and Science of Avadhānam in Sanskrit is a definitive work on Sāhityāvadhānam, a form of Indian classical art based on multitasking, lateral thinking, and extempore versification. Dotted throughout with tasteful examples, it expounds in great detail on the theory and practice of this unique performing art. It is as much a handbook of performance as it is an anthology of well-turned...

This anthology is a revised edition of the author's 1978 classic. This series of essays, containing his original research in various fields, throws light on the socio-cultural landscape of Tamil Nadu spanning several centuries. These compelling episodes will appeal to scholars and laymen alike.
“When superstitious mediaevalists mislead the country about its judicial past, we have to...

The cultural history of a nation, unlike the customary mainstream history, has a larger time-frame and encompasses the timeless ethos of a society undergirding the course of events and vicissitudes. A major key to the understanding of a society’s unique character is an appreciation of the far-reaching contributions by outstanding personalities of certain periods – especially in the realms of...

Prekṣaṇīyam is an anthology of essays on Indian classical dance and theatre authored by multifaceted scholar and creative genius, Śatāvadhāni Dr. R Ganesh. As a master of śāstra, a performing artiste (of the ancient art of Avadhānam), and a cultured rasika, he brings a unique, holistic perspective...

Yaugandharam

इदं किञ्चिद्यामलं काव्यं द्वयोः खण्डकाव्ययोः सङ्कलनरूपम्। रामानुरागानलं हि सीतापरित्यागाल्लक्ष्मणवियोगाच्च श्रीरामेणानुभूतं हृदयसङ्क्षोभं वर्णयति । वात्सल्यगोपालकं तु कदाचिद्भानूपरागसमये घटितं यशोदाश्रीकृष्णयोर्मेलनं वर्णयति । इदम्प्रथमतया संस्कृतसाहित्ये सम्पूर्णं काव्यं...

Vanitakavitotsavah

इदं खण्डकाव्यमान्तं मालिनीछन्दसोपनिबद्धं विलसति। मेनकाविश्वामित्रयोः समागमः, तत्फलतया शकुन्तलाया जननम्, मातापितृभ्यां त्यक्तस्य शिशोः कण्वमहर्षिणा परिपालनं चेति काव्यस्यास्येतिवृत्तसङ्क्षेपः।

Vaiphalyaphalam

इदं खण्डकाव्यमान्तं मालिनीछन्दसोपनिबद्धं विलसति। मेनकाविश्वामित्रयोः समागमः, तत्फलतया शकुन्तलाया जननम्, मातापितृभ्यां त्यक्तस्य शिशोः कण्वमहर्षिणा परिपालनं चेति काव्यस्यास्येतिवृत्तसङ्क्षेपः।

Nipunapraghunakam

इयं रचना दशसु रूपकेष्वन्यतमस्य भाणस्य निदर्शनतामुपैति। एकाङ्करूपकेऽस्मिन् शेखरकनामा चित्रोद्यमलेखकः केनापि हेतुना वियोगम् अनुभवतोश्चित्रलेखामिलिन्दकयोः समागमं सिसाधयिषुः कथामाकाशभाषणरूपेण निर्वहति।

Bharavatarastavah

अस्मिन् स्तोत्रकाव्ये भगवन्तं शिवं कविरभिष्टौति। वसन्ततिलकयोपनिबद्धस्य काव्यस्यास्य कविकृतम् उल्लाघनाभिधं व्याख्यानं च वर्तते।

Karnataka’s celebrated polymath, D V Gundappa brings together in the third volume, some character sketches of great literary savants responsible for Kannada renaissance during the first half of the twentieth century. These remarkable...

Karnataka’s celebrated polymath, D V Gundappa brings together in the second volume, episodes from the lives of remarkable exponents of classical music and dance, traditional storytellers, thespians, and connoisseurs; as well as his...

Karnataka’s celebrated polymath, D V Gundappa brings together in the first volume, episodes from the lives of great writers, poets, literary aficionados, exemplars of public life, literary scholars, noble-hearted common folk, advocates...

Evolution of Mahabharata and Other Writings on the Epic is the English translation of S R Ramaswamy's 1972 Kannada classic 'Mahabharatada Belavanige' along with seven of his essays on the great epic. It tells the riveting...

Shiva-Rama-Krishna is an English adaptation of Śatāvadhāni Dr. R Ganesh's popular lecture series on the three great...

Bharatilochana

ಮಹಾಮಾಹೇಶ್ವರ ಅಭಿನವಗುಪ್ತ ಜಗತ್ತಿನ ವಿದ್ಯಾವಲಯದಲ್ಲಿ ಮರೆಯಲಾಗದ ಹೆಸರು. ಮುಖ್ಯವಾಗಿ ಶೈವದರ್ಶನ ಮತ್ತು ಸೌಂದರ್ಯಮೀಮಾಂಸೆಗಳ ಪರಮಾಚಾರ್ಯನಾಗಿ  ಸಾವಿರ ವರ್ಷಗಳಿಂದ ಇವನು ಜ್ಞಾನಪ್ರಪಂಚವನ್ನು ಪ್ರಭಾವಿಸುತ್ತಲೇ ಇದ್ದಾನೆ. ಭರತಮುನಿಯ ನಾಟ್ಯಶಾಸ್ತ್ರವನ್ನು ಅರ್ಥಮಾಡಿಕೊಳ್ಳಲು ಇವನೊಬ್ಬನೇ ನಮಗಿರುವ ಆಲಂಬನ. ಇದೇ ರೀತಿ ರಸಧ್ವನಿಸಿದ್ಧಾಂತವನ್ನು...

Vagarthavismayasvadah

“वागर्थविस्मयास्वादः” प्रमुखतया साहित्यशास्त्रतत्त्वानि विमृशति । अत्र सौन्दर्यर्यशास्त्रीयमूलतत्त्वानि यथा रस-ध्वनि-वक्रता-औचित्यादीनि सुनिपुणं परामृष्टानि प्रतिनवे चिकित्सकप्रज्ञाप्रकाशे। तदन्तर एव संस्कृतवाङ्मयस्य सामर्थ्यसमाविष्कारोऽपि विहितः। क्वचिदिव च्छन्दोमीमांसा च...

The Best of Hiriyanna

The Best of Hiriyanna is a collection of forty-eight essays by Prof. M. Hiriyanna that sheds new light on Sanskrit Literature, Indian...

Stories Behind Verses

Stories Behind Verses is a remarkable collection of over a hundred anecdotes, each of which captures a story behind the composition of a Sanskrit verse. Collected over several years from...