Karnataka: History of modern State after Independence

Karnataka: History of modern State after Independence

After independence, a persistent effort had to be made for the Unification of Karnataka. The movement for Unification, had been, infact, launched together with the movement for freedom in Karnataka. Before independence, Karnataka had been distributed among as many as 20 different administrations like Mysore State, Madras Presidenc, Bombay Presidency, Nizam State, Kodagu,

Kolhapur, Sangli, Meeraj, Chikkameeraj, Kurundawada, Chikkurundawad, Jamkhandi, Mudhol, Jath, Akkalakot, Aundh, Ramdurg, Sondur and Savanur principalities, Bangalore, Belgaum, and Bellary Contonment and the handicaps and sufferings of the people of Karnataka in those days were severe. In a Kannada area like Mudhol, ruled by a Maratha Prince, there were no Kannada schools and the administration was conducted in Marathi. This was the case with many Maratha States. In Hyderbad State, Urdu dominated. In big British Presidencies like Bombay or Madras, where Kannada districts were few and the Kannadigas were in a minority, their sufferings were many. They had no just share in the development activities. They could not secure minimum facilities like roads or bridges. Everywhere the voice of the Kannadiga was a voice in the wilderness.

After the Promalgamation of the Indian Constitution on 26th January 1950 the first General Election was held in 1952 for the Central and State legislatures to elect the democratic government. Accordingly there were only 9 parliamentary (including the two double member) constitutency and 80 (including the 19 double member) constitutencies in the state. The election results in the State reflect the political mood and changes in the administrative set up of the State. While furnishing the results for the 1952, 1957, 1962 and 1967 elections, political parties which have secured seats in the elections alone are mentioned. After 1972 the number of candidates contested and elected from each party and the percentage of votes obtained by them are also given. From 1998 onwards election statistics given include details relating to male and female contestants of each party also. As per the election commissions direction the size of the council of minsters is restricted to only 15% of the total elected members of the legislature and accordingly the state government can have a Ministry restricted to 34 members since 2004. The Delimitation Commission of India, vide its order No.49 dated 14th June 2007 has determined that the total number of Parliamentary seats allocated to Karnataka, as 28 seats; of which five (5) seats shall be reserved for scheduled castes and two (2) seats shall be reserved for the scheduled tribes. It has assigned 224 seats to the legislative assembly of the state. Of which thirtysix (36) seats shall be reserved for the scheduled castes and fifteen (15) seats for the scheduled tribes.

According to the Delimitation act 2007, some constituencies like Huliyurdurga, Kallambella and Bellavi in Tumkur districts ; Bethamangala (SC) and Vemgal in Kolar district; Binnipet, Jayamahal, Bharathinagar in Brihat Bengaluru Mahanagarapalike; Uttarahalli and Vartur in Bangalore Urban district; Satanur in Ramangar district; Kiragavalu, Kerogodu and Pandavapura in Mandya district; Gandse in Hassan district; Somavarpet in Kodagu district; Bannur in Mysore district; Santemarahalli in Chamarajanagar district; Vitla, Ullal and Suratkal in Dakshina Kannada district; Bharamsagara (SC) in Chitradurga district; Brahmavara in Udupi district; Kurugodu, Kottur and Hospet, in Bellary district; Hole Honnur (SC) and Hosanagar in Shimoga district; Birur in Chikmagalur district; Kalmala in Raichur district; Ankola in Uttarakannada district; Sadalga, Unchagaon, Bagewadi, Sankeshwar and Parasgadh in Belgaum district; Guledgud in Bagalkot district; Huvina Hippargi, Tikota, and Ballolli in Bijapur district; Kamalapur (SC) and Shahabad (SC) in Gulbarga district; Hulsoor (SC) in Bidar district; Dharwad (R) in Dharwar district and Mundargi in Gadag district, have been distributed either to the neighbouring constituencies or else reconstituted and named anew.

Lok Sabha, 1952: Before unification (1956), there were only 9 constituencies and of them, two were double member constituencies. Of them 10 were secured by INC and the remaining one was won by Kisan Mazdoor Praja Party (KMPP).

Vidhana Sabha, 1952: During this election, there were 80 constituencies and of them 19 were double member constituencies. Of the 99 seats 72 seats won by INC, nine seats went to KMPP and eleven seats were secured by Independents. SOP secured 4, SCF 2 and CPI secured one seat.

Lok Sabha, 1957: (Total No. of seats 26) (Double member constituencies 3) Indian National Congress – 23; Praja Socialist Party – 1; Scheduled Castes Federation – 1 ; Independents-1.

Legislative Assembly, 1957: (Total No. of seats: 208) (Double member constituencies-29) Indian National Congress-149; Praja Socialist Party18; Scheduled Castes Federation-2; Peasants and Workers Party-2; Communist rty of India-1 ; Independents-36.

Lok Sabha, 1962: (Total No.of seats-26) (Double member constituencies were abolished) Indian National Congress – 25; Lok Sevak Sangha – 1

Legislative Assembly, 1962: (Total No.of seats – 208;) (Double member constituencies were abolished) Indian National Congress – 138; Swatantra Party-8; Praja Socialist Party-20; Maharashtra Ekikarana Samiti-6; Lok Sevak Sangha-4; Communist Party of India-3; Socialist Party-1; Independents-28.

Lok Sabha, 1967: (Total No. of seats-27) Indian National Congress-18; Swatantra Party-5; Praja Socialist Party-2; Samyukta Socialist Party-1; Independents-1.

Legislative Assembly, 1967: (Total No.of seats – 216) Indian National Congress -123; Praja Socialist Party-22; Swatantra Party-17; Samyukta Socialist Party-6; Bharatiya Jan Sangh-4; Communist party of India-1; Independents -41.

Kannada Chalavali

Kannada Chalavali is prior in the post reorganization of the state. This was initiated by two distinguished novelists like M. Ramamurthy, and A.N. Krishnarao. Later on this movement was lead by Vatal Nagaraj and G. Narayan Kumar. This Kannada language centric movement is very significant. The problem of linguistic minorities is also the byproduct of this movement. Kannada Chalavali gradually infiltrated in the small trade unions like film industry labors organizations. Then these groups started to demand for the exhibition of Kannada films in many theaters at Bangalore. Even the movement provides a different color to electoral politics. Kannada agitators Nagaraj and G. Narayankumar started to contest elections for the state legislature. They worked as whistle blowers and pressure groups for the cause of Kannada.

Gokak Chalavali creates new vistas and avenues for Kannada language. It was started in the early 80’s. When government of Karnataka gives prominence to Sanskrit language which was against to the interest of the Kannada language. Peoples started to oppose this move. The question of English medium schools also creates hot debates on the issue of Kannada language.

Dispute begin when Chief minister Devaraj urs issue an order to replace the Sanskrit language from the status of first language and gives the status of first language to Kannada in the curricula of secondary schools. In the year 1980 Chief minister R. Gundurao stated that he wish to retain the statuesque of Sanskrit language as it was prior to 1979.

Gokak Chalavali was intensified on the Kannada language and demands for the prime position. Agitation was started on 3rd April 1982. Allegations were made against the government for the negligence of the Kannada language. All Karnataka central action committee of Kannada lead by Dr. Shambha Joshi started to series of Hunger strike.

Meanwhile on the 27th November 1981 government declared that it is going to accept the Gokak report as it is. Kannada speaking peoples celebrate the victory. Whereas supporters of the Sanskrit were disturbed and started to put pressure on the government. Chief minister Gundurao tilted towards lobby of Sanskrit language. In this juncture, G. Narayankumar organized a Kannada Jagriti meet on 10th April 1982 in the campus of National college Bangalore. Many writers and men of letters demands for the agitation against the government in Bangalore. On 28th of March 1983 writers and artists conducted a silent rally in Bangalore. Chief minister Ramkrishna Hegde meets the agitators and assure to protect the interest of Kannada language. He appealed for the postponement of agitation with the promise of that he is going to take decision in cabinet meeting held on 6th June of 1983.

In the next phase of the movement Dr. Rajkumar a legendary film hero of Kannada was entered and changed the scenario. Gokak Chalavali gets new dimension when Dr. Rajkumar leads the procession on 17th April 1983. Peoples massively followed the footsteps of Dr. Rajkumar. On 26th June 1983 another meeting of writers was held under the leadership of Gopalkrishna Adig. Muslims and other minority organizations also conducted many meetings and submitted memoranda’s for the cause of Kannada. This was followed by the other groups of linguistic minorities like Telagu, Tamil and Malayalam. This minority groups claiming their rights and the demand for mother tongue in schools.

In between on 19th June 1989 the English medium students organization went to supreme court and challenged the language policy of the Karnataka government. Justice M.N. Venkatachalaiah and justice S. Mohan rejected the plea of English medium students, on 11th December 1993. Enhanced the Karnataka government order of 19th June 1989, further the verdict opined ‘There is no space for the intervention of judiciary, in the policy matters of the government regarding sensitive issues like language’.

Backward Class Movement

The backward class movement in Karnataka was part of the non-Brahmin movement. During the regime of commissioner (1851-81) the monopoly and dominance of Brahmins continued in Mysore state. It was existed throughout the British rule. These developments compel to the backward classes to submit their grievances in the year 1882, through the democratic assembly. Dispute arise in Mysore state about the recruitment of Public Services in the year 1875. Backward class movement flourished in the state during the end of 19th century and in the beginning of 20th century. There was a conflict between Brahmins of Madras and Mysore during 1881 to 1910. This was concluded by the appointment of Sir M. Vishweshwaraih as Diwan of Mysore. Non-Brahmin communities were demanded for social equality. In this particular juncture backward class movement was started. These deprived sections claiming their natural share in educational, employment avenues and socio-political privileges. This agitation is popularly called as backward class movement.

After the linguistic reorganization of the states in India each and every provinces accepted the list of backward classes. Government of Karnataka was also issued an order in the year 1958, and stated that except Brahmins all other communities comes under the category of backward classes. Government constitute a committee consists of officers to prepare the list of backward casts. On the basis of recommendations of this committee government issued an order in the year 1959. This order was challenged before the high court, hence honorable court squash the government order. So various state governments started to form the backward classes commissions. Nagangowda Samiti :Government of Karnataka under the leadership of S. Nijalingappa formed the Nagangowda samiti to list the backward classes in the year 1960. The said committee submitted its report on May 1961. 214 casts are categorized as backward and 185 casts are categorized as most backward.

ignificantly Nagangowda committee said that Lingayat community is forward one. And delete the Lingayat cast from the list of backward classes. Naturally Lingayat community shows its unhappiness regarding the committee report. The government order of 1962, which was taken on the basis of the Nagangowda committee report was challenged before the supreme court. In the year 1963 the apex court rejected the said order in famous case of Balaji.

Government of Karnataka constitutes the Havanur commission in the year 1972. This was submitted its report in the year 1975. Havanur commission classified the backward classes into three categories as Backward communities, Backward casts, and Backward sections. Recommends for the allocation of separate reservations for each category, 32% of the reservation for each category. Two distinguish government orders which are issued on the basis of Havanur committee report were challenged before the High court. Honorable bench of the five judges verdicts to form a new commission.

Forest Policy And Struggle of Tribal’s

Forest policies of the state are the main hindrance in the way of tribal’s development. Majority of the tribal’s are depends on the forest products. Due to State projects like National Park and private interventions tribal’s are losing their lands. Initially tribal’s showing their helplessness but later on they started to organized struggle against the exploitation and deprivation.

State and Women’s struggle

State is constructively responding towards the demands of the women’s organization. State made very progressive laws regarding the women’s participation in politics, equal opportunities in the public employment, adoption, succession, property rights, dowry, devadasi, sati, women’s education etc.

Consequences of the women’s movement in Karnataka : Due to the women’s movement a sort of vigilance and awareness is created among the policy makers as well as general public. Self respect and consciousness of the rights are developed among the women folk. The value system is also changed, social perspectives regarding the women’s considerabally transformed. In the year 2005 two progressive laws are implemented which are really empowered the women’s were as follows, 1. Anti domestic violence act, 2005 2. Hindu succession act 2005.



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