Adyar Gopal Parivar
Karnaataka is born,
Birth of Karnaataka State Page 4
By Mohan Shenoy
Continued from Page 3
The Marathas in fact, according to the English Governor General Wellesley, had not taken part in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore
war. The English restored Gutti and Gurramkonda region to the Nizam of Golconda. Gutti and Gurramkonda had been
under Tippu before the war. In the south and west, Coimbatore, Wyanad, Malabar and Canara which were under Tippu
before the war were not claimed by any ancient power in the region. Although there were Keladi, Kannanur, Madurai and
Jinji kingdoms in the 17th century, the English ignored their heirs. These territories were retained by them as their own
possessions and included in the then existing Madras province. The region around Dharmapuri was also treated similarly.
The land around Srirangapatna and Mysore town including Bangalore, Ramnagar, Mandya, Tumkur, Davangere, Haveri,
Hasan, Chithradurga, Chikkaballapur, Doddaballapur, Chamarajnagar and Chikkamagalur were included into the Mysore
kingdom carved out by the East India Company and restored to the ancient royal heirs of the Wodeyar dynasty. It is ironic
that the administrator Poornaiah who was working for Tippu was imposed upon the people of Mysore by the East India
Company ostensibly to show that they have not come to India to colonize India but only for trade. Mysore was not a direct
participant in their trade as much as the coastal areas such as the Coromandel and Malabar coasts. Coromandel coast is
the present Tamil Nadu coast. Malabar coast is the present  Karnataka and north Kerala coast. Also it looks like the East
India Company inflated the share values in terms of revenue yield of the territories distributed to Mysore kingdom as 25 lakh
star pagodas the currency then in circulation. The revenue share of the territory they retained for themselves was valued at 7
lakhs star pagodas, although the latter was larger in area.              
Reference: History of Karnataka in the Karnataka state gazetteer Part 1 edited by Suryanath U. Kamath, 1982.
The Wodeyars of Mysore under British Domination
The Wodeyar prince Krishnaraja III was only 5 years old when he was chosen to be crowned
king of Mysore by the English. The Nizam of Golconda was a Muslim and the English wanted
to place a Hindu king in the neighbourhood of the Nizam. They had realized that a Nizam and
a Wodeyar would not collude with each other because of their religions and there would not
be a combined force trying to dislodge the English from their territories. Their preference to
give the civil adminstration to the natives in Mysore and Golconda is seen as a political tactics
to put the blame squarely on the Nizam or the king if there were mishaps in these areas. Also
the English felt that they have not had sufficient experience in managing the natives in 1799
since they had contemplated colonization of India only a short time ago.
Kodagu (Coorg)
The Kodagu kingdom was founded as an offshoot of Keladi nation. In 1633 Mudduraja
became the strongman in Kodagu and called Madikeri his capital. The Mysore rulers had
been at odds with the chiefs of Kodagu from ancient times since they were adjacent
territories, except that Kodagu was at a higher hilly terrain west of Piriyapatna in Mysore. In
1780 Hyderali forced Kodagu to join Mysore. Tippu faced a worse unrest in Kodagu than what
his father Hyderali did. Dodda Veeraraja resisted Tippu and invited the English to help him
drive away Tippu. In the Third Anglo-Mysore war Kodagu and the English fought as allies
against Tippu. Just across the western border of Kodagu was Wyanad and Malabar. English
East India Company had established its hold in Malabar by the Mangalore treaty of 1784.
Their army headquarters in Tellicherry were waiting for an opportunity to put down Tippu
because Tippu had campaigned against Christianity. Before the treaty Tippu had forced many
Christians in Malabar, Canara and Kodagu into Islam. In 1799 Dodda Veeraraja and the
English jointly invaded Mysore and felled Tippu. Kodagu was nominated as a protectorate of
the English and the former paid annual tribute to the East India Company. The relations
between the rulers of Kodagu and the English administration strained repeatedly but the
English were not fully established in India to take steps towards direct rule until 1834.
Annexation of Kodagu
The East India Company ousted the independent ruler Chikkka Veeraraja of Kodagu in 1834 and began to administer the
kingdom as a part of Mysore Kingdom. The Governor of Madras province was appointed as the Governor of Kodagu also.
Under the Governor the Commissioner of Mysore functioned. From 1834 onwards the latter became the Commissioner of
Kodagu also. There were claims by some of the princes born in one or other Kodagu royal family to be the rightful heirs of
Chikka Veeraraja, but the English did not entertain their claims. They designated these princes as the pretenders
undermining their royalty. All of them were chased and caught. They were hanged for their fight for freedom. To name some
of these freedom fighters: Swamy Aparampara, Kalyanswamy, Puttabasappa Kalyanswamy, Chetti Maleya Kudiya, Kurthu
Maleya Kudiya, Banga Prince of Bangadi and Guddemane Appayya. There were many others who sacrificed their lives and
became martyrs in Kodagu history. These Freedom Fighters waged a guerrilla war on the British administration between
1835 and 1837. They were very active in places like Bellare, Sullya, Puttur, Bantwal, Mangalore and Kasargod. One of the
prominent acts was to hoist their flag on the Lighthouse in Mangalore. They captured the British treasury in Bellare and later
at Bantwal.

Influence on British upon Loss of American colony
In the English colony of America the rebellion against the British rule succeeded and most of the eastern part of North
American Continent became free in 1776. The British withdrew their forces and acknowledged the American War of
Independence. The American War of Independence began in 1775 and continued until 1783. France had sent its army to
fight the British in the British colony of America. The French Revolution took place in 1789 and it affected the British policies
and made them more cautious about how they treat the Indians in their newly acquired lands in India. In France there was
another revolution known as the July Revolution in 1830. The British people saw that democracy is superior to legitimacy of
a king. House of Commons became more powerful than the House of Lords in England. First Reform Act of 1832 affected
the policies of the East India Company.

English Administration of Mysore
The administrator Poornaiah appointed by the English to manage the affairs of the newly formed Mysore Kingdom in 1799
was to be guided by a Resident representative of the English who reported to the Governor in Madras. The Madras
Governor was of the view that it is best to leave the internal affairs of the kingdom entirely to Poornaiah. By 1811 the
appointed king Krishnaraja III was 16 years of age and the Governor in Madras decided to hand over the administration to
him. The king appointed Rama Rao as the Dewan or Prime minister. The post of Dewan was held at the pleasure of the
king. Occasionally there was no Dewan and the king took over the functions of Dewan himself. The English expected a
certain amount of revenue of the kingdom to be paid to the East India Company Treasury periodically. Even if there were
natural calamities like draught, floods, insurrection by the disgruntled farmers or excessive expenditure by the king and his
court, the amount fixed by the English had to be remitted without fail by the king.
The king was unable to manage the finances of the kingdom to the satisfaction of the English. Famines and pestilences
made the farmers helpless and the English overlordship resembled that of the Mughals and Marathas in extracting tribute
from the Mysore kingdom. The Mysore populace often rose in revolt against the high-handed policies of the local officials in
recovering revenue dues. The insurrection that peaked in 1830 required the Mysore army to be deployed to control it. By July
1831 the king was deposed and the administration was taken over by the Commissioner of Mysore as per orders of
Governor General Bentinck ruling from Kolkatta (Calcutta) the then capital of British India. The king continued to hold a
ceremonial position with a substantial annual salary.
Mark Cubbon
The administration got stabilized after about 3 years of take over by the English. Mark Cubbon was appointed the
commissioner in 1834. A superintendent was appointed as the head of each of the four divisions. Each division was further
divided into taluks. There were 120 taluks in the kingdom and each taluk was under an amildar. The administrative
headquarters were shifted from Mysore town to Bangalore City in 1831, since the presence of the king at Mysore made the
commissioner's work handycapped. For any work with the government the people were to approach the offices at
Bangalore ignoring the king who was in Mysore town. Also the commissioner could make use of the Revenue for
administration directly and undertake developmental work himself.
Photo by Mohan Shenoy
Mysore after 1834 A.D.
Among the European colonies in India the British colony was the largest. The French were confined to Pondycherry and
one or two other small towns. The Portuguese were confined to Goa, Daman and Diu on the west coast. Dutch (Holland)
had a couple of small towns as their colony in India. Madras was the first port where the East India Company established
its political base. Later Calcutta was targeted as yet another port for trade. The quarrels and disputes among the
contenders to the throne in Bengal kingdom, facilitated the Englishman Robert Clive to annexe Bengal into the Company's
administration, first in the battle of Plassey in 1757 and finally after the battle of Buxar in 1765 A. D. The British had
expanded their land holdings in India enormously by the time Tippu was killed in Fourth Anglo-Mysore war in 1799 by which
the whole of Tippu's sultanate passed into the hands of the English. In 1803 the British army conquered Delhi and confined
the Mughal king to his fort. In 1818 The Marathas were defeated at Satara by which much of the western areas of the
present Maharashtra state and Gujarath came under English rule. By 1846 much of the north-west India was annexed to
British India. All the remaining princely states that resisted the attempts of East India Company to subjugate them, gave up
and joined with the English to form one huge British India by 1856.
Dhondji Wagh (Tiger) of Shivamogga
There were many political prisoners held by Tippu, languishing in his jails at the time of English take-over of Mysore
kingdom in 1799. Many of the prisoners were released but some of them escaped. Dhondji Wagh was one of the
prisoners that were released. He was born at Channagiri in the Maratha Powar family. He claimed to
be the chief Nayaka of Bidnur and began to collect contributions from the traders and cultivators in and around
Shivamogga. In 1800 while the English were still struggling to set the administration in Mysore stabilized, Dhondji
captured the Tippu fort in Jamalabad in Canara. Later he negotiated with the palegars of Vittal, Sonda, Savanur,
Ranebennur, Hangal, Harapanahally in Tippu's kingdom making them his subordinates. The English did not have their
troops stationed in these places and Dhondji did not face any opposition to his activities. The rulers of Perinturai, Dindigal,
Shivaganga and Virupakshi also agreed to follow him if he were to subdue the English and grant them jagir. He was not
obliged by the Maratha commander Dondopant Gokhale of Kolhapur resulting in a battle at Londa in 1800. Gokhale is said
to have been killed in this battle. However his efforts to negotiate with the English for peace were not fruitful because he
was not willing to be a vassal under the British. He fought with English in a battle at Konagal in the present Raichur district
and got killed. All those rulers who were allegedly helping him were also punished by the English army led by one Arthur
Wellesley.  Krishnappa Nayaka of Balam was one of them.
Kittur Raani Chennamma
The state of Kittur consisted of parts of the present Belgaum and Dharwad districts. The chief of this state is known as
Desai. Desai Shivalinga Sarja did not have any children when he died in 1824. He had adopted a son who was a minor
when Sarja died. Therefore the widow of Sarja, Rani Chennamma, decided to be the regent until the adopted son came of
age to be crowned. The English had passed a rule that in any Indian princely state if the ruling king dies childless then the
state will be assumed to have passed to the English administration. This rule of lapse did not take into account any
adopted child as the heir. This rule was not acceptable to the princes because there was no precedence. In the past any
king could take on adoption a child to groom him to succeed him upon his death, but the British refused to accept such a
norm. The Collector of Dharwad district of the Bombay province one Thackeray came to know of this and wrote a letter to
the Bombay governor that he is going to Kittur to remove Chennamma and install a representative of the English
administration. Chennamma came to know of this and prepared her army to defend her position. In the war the queen was
defeated and taken captive. She died in prison.
Sangolli Rayanna
After the war of Kittur, the state was annexed into the Bombay Presidency of the British territories. The adopted son,
Shivalingappa was brought up by, Sangolli Rayanna, one of the commanders in Chennamma's army. The queen died in
prison in 1829. This infuriated the people of Kittur. They wished to restore the Kittur throne to Shivalingappa. The first
attempt was made by Sangolli Rayanna. He tried to raise an army and fight the English in guerrilla methods. Sangolli
Rayanna was hanged by the British. He is now regarded as a great freedom fighter by Karnataka and his statue is
installed in Bangalore and elsewhere.
More Fights for Independence
Later in the same year (1829) one Sardar Gurusiddappa a loyal officer in the erstwhile Kittur palace also began to organize
a rebel force. Again in 1833, one Shankaranna began a series of raids on English installations. In 1830 there was a
serious revolt against the new administration in the former Keladi kingdom arose. The new administration consisted of the
English overseeing the Mysore ruler who handled all the internal affairs of the Mysore state. Keladi kingdom was under
Tippu sultan at the time Tippu was defeated in 1799. Kittur and Keladi were neighbours. There existed a severe form of
unrest right from the time of Hyderali in Nagar, the local capital of Hyderali's Keladi. The unrest worsened when the British
retained the territory in the Mysore state and the Maharaja of Mysore became the ruler. A member of the royal family of
Keladi, Budisiddappa led an army to fight for freedom. He captured Honnali town and converted it as his center of action.
The local people supported him. Sarja Rangappa Nayaka of Tarikere joined the movement. The people of Chikkamagalur,
Kadur and Hiriyur were aroused. It was left to the Maharaja of Mysore to put down the revolt but it threatened the British
also. Maharaja led an army to Shivamogga town in 1831. The English sent their troops realizing that the Maharajah's army
was not sufficiently motivated to fight the rebels, to put down the revolt. The rebels were defeated and Budisiddappa was
hanged. Many of his supporters were either hanged or imprisoned. This is known as the Nagar Uprising and forced the
British to take effective steps to redress the genuine complaints of the local people against the administration. There was
an impression that there was oppression of the people and the Maharaja was inefficient in administration and that he was
not cooperating with the Europeans to take effective steps to strengthen the foreign dominance. Therefore the East India
Company sacked the Maharaja in 1831 and took over the entire administration of the kingdom. The Maharaja was left with
only his title and a monthly pension for his personal maintenance.
Resistance to Colonization of India
1. In 1836 Narappa Gajapati, Savaisetty and Rudrappa Kotgi together mounted an offensive to drive away the English from
Kittur. They sought the help of Portuguese ruling the neighbouring Goa but the effort failed. One Khodanpur Linganagowda
who was considered an informer was killed by the Kittur loyalists in 1837.
2. In the Canara which formed the present Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Uttara Kannada districts, there was  a
significant protest by the agriculturists against the practice of forcible extraction of land revenue by the officers of the
subsidiary ruler Krishnaraja Wodeyar III in 1831. The local people organised Koota(s) or groups and refused to pay their
taxes. This got resolved when the English assumed the administration of the state in the same year.
3. Later in 1841, one Narasappa Petkar met one Kohiran and they together hatched a plan to take over Badami fort from
the local chieftain. Kohiran was of Arab descent and worked for the Nayaka of Surpur. Narasappa was an officer in the
Satara palace. The Badami fort fell into the hands of Petkar and Kohiran but within a few weeks they had to fight the British
army which came to throw them out. Narasappa was arrested and imprisoned. The insurgency totally failed.
4. There were repeated rebellions in the Nizam territories too after 1799 when a vast portion of Mysore was given to the
Nizam as payment for his help in eliminating Tippu Sultan. In Bidar which is now a district of Karnataka, one Lingappa a
freedom fighter rose against the Nizam.But he did not get support from the local people because Nizam punished rebels
5. The so-called First War of Independence in 1857 in India was a one-sided war with the British over-whelming the rebels
in the Indian colony. The leader for the Karnataka side of the up-rising was Nanasaheb Peshwa. The Peshwa had his
head-quarters in Kanpur. Another Maratha leader was Babaji Nimbalkar who led the Beda fighters from Mudhol. One
Bhimrao of Dharwad was in communication with Nanasaheb and the princes of Surapur, Nargund, etc. In Belgaum where
the British stationed their troops, one Venkatappa Nayaka tried to draw the Indian soldiers out of the British army. At
Surapur fort the British laid a siege in 1858 and later captured it. Among the Bedas two leaders viz. Jadagia and Balya are
remembered for the sacrifice of their lives. They were hanged after their group's defeat in the battle with the English forces
at Mudhol.Other names are Bhaskar Rao Bhave popularly known as Babasaheb of Nargund. After a dramatic war of
heroism akin to what Shivaji had fought with the Mughals, Babasaheb was caught and later hanged. Bhimrao of Mundargi
was staunch nationalist. He helped the Desai of Hammige Kenchana Gowda in adventurous acts against the English. He
captured the Koppal fort but the British came to catch him. He and Kenchana Gowda fought the English troops and died in
the battle. Supa was a location of a serious up-rising in 1858. The chief fighters were Nana, Baba, Hanumanth all children
of Phond Sawant of Savantawadi, and Raghoba, Chintoba, Shanta, the Phadnis brothers. The Darshanigudda near Supa
was their hide-out. They conducted raids on British establishments. This revolt died down due to lack of support from
people in the area. The princely states were firmly under the supervision of the English administration and so no help was
forth-coming from them to the freedom fighters.             
The arrival of the Europeans on the political scene of India
from 1510 A.D when the Portuguese government was
established in Goa, there arose a new threat to the
Hindus and Muslims alike. The Portuguese showed a
lack of sensitivity to the ancient culture of India and tried to
change it by hook or crook resulting in failure and
stagnation. The Dutch and the French tried their best to
expand their trade and land holdings by befriending the
Sultans and the Rajas but their strategies met a
roadblock after the Treaty of Versalles in Europe in 1783
between the France and England.
Events in America
The northern American continent was being colonised by
the Europeans in the fifteenth century with Spain, Portugal,
Netherlands, France and England leading the aggression.
It was towards the end of the fifteenth century that Vasco da
Gama arrived in India. At about the same time Columbus
had discovered the American continents. Columbus had
started his journey to India by sailing towards the west with
the belief that he will reach India from that side coming
around the earth. The land Columbus touched was a
Caribbean island and he called it India, to realize only later
that it is a new land not known to the Europeans before. As
years passed by, a large number of Europeans migrated
to the new land which was given the name America. Those
who came from Spain became the owners of the land that
became a Spanish colony. The English people formed
British colony. The French established the French colony.
The migrants were not bound by any law in the new
colonies or pretended not to be bound. They only wanted to
make themselves comfortable in the new land and slowly
annihilated the local population. The native population in
the Americas were given the name of Indians.
The American British Subjects
The British colonies were administered from England and
therefore the migrants were bound by the laws of England.
Laws of England did not permit atrocities against the
natives. There were murders, rapes, and torture of the
natives. Illegal acquisition of property of the natives
became an acceptable practice among the migrants while
the British laws did not permit such practices. The
migrants showed how uncivilized they were, compared to
the English in England, by their greedy and ruthless
invasions into the interior of the North American continent
killing soldiers and civilians alike among the natives that
protested their advances. When the English Governor
stationed in the colonies protested, the migrants hatched a
plan. They coined a new word 'Freedom' and they
demanded Independence. It was an effective plan leading
to a war between the British troops and the migrants' army.
This war is known as the American War of Independence.
It concluded in 1783 when the Treaty of Paris was signed.
The thirteen states were born out of the thirteen colonies in
1776. Along with the Treaty of Paris, the France and
England signed another Treaty known as the Treaty of
Versailles settling their disputes in India.
The Advent of Democratic Principles
The new political slogan was democracy and self-rule.
Ireland was given independence as early as in 1782. The
French Revolution was a result of the new thought among
the citizens. But the people in India were not aroused
because the East India Company was careful not to inhabit
India with Europeans. I guess only about 10% of the
soldiers in the English army fighting in India were from
England. Because of better pay and benefits the English
provided to their soldiers that the Indians, I guess, were
eager to join the English army and fight against their own
chiefs and kings. The English paid hefty bribes to those
officers in the enemy's camp who would make it easy for
the English to conquer over the Indian chief. Both the
battles of Mysore and Plassey were won using bribery as
one of the weapons.
British Commissioners of Mysore
English officers designated as the Commissioners were appointed to administer the state of Mysore in 1831 after
Krishnaraja Wodeyar III was deposed. From June 1832 the commissioners came under the Government of India directly
instead of the Madras Government. The king was left totally out of the administrative circle. Krishnaraja had no male issues
and as he grew older the English had a strong excuse not to reinstate him. It is true that the king and his well-wishers sent
representations to the British parliament for returning the kingdom to him, but generally the people of Mysore had gained
much during the British administration. There was no referendum conducted by the English rulers to elicit the views of the
masses with regards to the claim of the king for re-instatement.
Right from the time Mark Cubbon took over as the Commissioner in 1834, the masses detected a perceivable change in
their lives. For instance the practice of traveling to the king's palace for redressal of their disputes ended with the
installation of a Judicial Commissioner. Roads were soon built to connect all the towns with Bangalore which became the
state capital. Construction of the bridges across rivers along the major highways became the most welcome change.
There were hospitals constructed and schools were established. The first school was started in 1833.
It was not much of a surprise that the battles during the 1857 First War of Independence were fought outside the Mysore
Commissionerate, in places like Mudhol, Surapur, Jambgi, Nargund, Mundargi, Koppal and Supa. There was no revolt
even in Kodagu or in Nagar the sites of previous uprisings. When the East India Company was dissolved and the
administration of the colony went into the hands of Viceroys in Delhi, following the suppression of the 1858 up-rising, the
British parliament took active interest in the administration of India. The Empress of England became the Empress to all
the British colonies including India. The Delhi Viceroys were appointed by the British Queen through the government in
Commissioner Lewin Bowring and the Rendition
When Mark Cubbon (later Sir Mark Cubbon, 1834-1862) and later when Lewin Bowring (1862-1870) were Commissioners,
there was remarkable development in the princely state of Mysore. It was in 1881 that the sustained pleas of the
Krishnaraja Wodeyar III for reinstatement was granted through appointment of his adopted son Chamarajendra Wodeyar X
to the throne. Earlier in 1864, the king had been granted permission by London to adopt Chamarajendra, a child of two and
one half years. The movements for self-rule in America and France and dawning of days of Liberty influenced the thinking
of parliamentarians in London in favour of the so-called rendition to princely rule in Mysore.
The Rendition was done at a bad time since there was a sever famine in Mysore in 1776-77 and the financial position was
precarious. The corruption-free administration in the Madras and Bombay provinces could not be emulated in Mysore
especially after the Rendition. The practice of taking bribe to perform official duties by the amaldars, tahasildars, the police
inspectors, etc., was totally absent in the territories ruled directly by the English from 1799 onwards. This practice known as
corruption had not been rooted out but had gone under-the- table after 1834 when the Commissioners ruled Mysore. After
the Rendition the corrupt officers resumed their practice openly. Again in 1956 when Mysore state   was reconstituted on
linguistic grounds, and the Kannada districts of Madras and Bombay provinces were merged with the new Mysore state,
there was a glaring difference between the attitudes of officers of Mysore and non-Mysore districts towards corruption. As
time passed by and the new generation took over after 1992, the demands for bribe money has become universal
throughout India. Corruption-free administration of the 19th Century British Raj has been forgotten.
Tippu Sultan had posted palegars and Jagirdars in
important district head-quarters, When Tippu was killed
and the English army began to take over the administration
of the state, there was resistance from these palegars and
Jagirdar. They revolted against the English in different
places. The palegars and Jagirdars were to lose their hold
on the local administration and thus they would miss their
prestige, their lordship, their revenue and their social and
cultural independence. They would be forced to work as
employees of the new administration of white people, but
they were not used to such a disastrous proposition. The
events in Kannada speaking areas right from the time
Tippu sultan died, were dominated by attempts to
acclimatize the people to the new ruler viz. East India
Company. Not all the palegars and Jagirdars were popular
and their fights received less than full support from the
locals. The local people did not see any advantages for
themselves if the former palegars and Jagirdars came
back to power.
One significant change the English brought was to the
system of educating the Indians. During the Vijayanagar
and Tippu rule, there were pathshalas in the Mathas and
Madrassas in the mosques but only the elite could
become students. There was very little awareness about
educating girls. Many men and women in rural  areas
could learn to read and write by sheer personal struggle by
themselves without attending any formal classes. Ability to
read and write was a privilege and not a necessity to
expand one's scope for employment or entrepreneurship.
The English schools were initially meant to produce clerks
to work in the commercial and government
establishments. After the expansion of education to
advanced Mathematics, Literature, Law, Science,
Engineering and Medicine, the masses realized the
difference between the older educational systems and the
new. People flocked to attend schools and get degrees
and other qualifications added to their names.
The Congress Party
A.O.Hume, an Englishman formed a political party in
Bombay in 1885. He called it the Congress Party. The main
plank was for reforms in social and political fields. The
party held annual conferences. Bal Gangadhar Tilak and
Phirozshah Mehta joined the party and thus added power
to its voices. The division of Bengal in 1905 became the
first major plank for the party to fight the government.
Demand for ban on sale of liquor became a plank in 1907
especially in Belgaum. Opening schools on the lines of the
Christian missionaries gained ground when the Hindus
realized that the missionaries intended to convert the
Hindus into Christianity by inducing them with better living
conditions for the downtrodden.
The Idea of Independence
Formation of a Provincial Congress Committee in Mysore
state initiated the various movements for social and
political change in the state. The Kannada people took part
in the Freedom struggle forcefully and sacrificed their lives
and limbs in the process from 1920 onwards. The most
atrocious response of the British government was in the
form of lathi charge and firing on the non-violent
processionists. Hundreds of thousands of people were
arrested and jailed for various periods.The non-violent
protest came to be known as Satyagraha, a word coined by
Mahatma Gandhi to this form of agitation. Non-cooperation
movement of Gandhiji began in 1920 and Khilafat
movement in 1921. Boycott of foreign goods began in
1921-23. Civil Disobedience movement took place in 1930.
Salt Satyagraha became the major non-violent protest in
this year with Gandhiji walking two hundred miles on foot
from Ahmedabad to the sea-shore in Dandi village with
thousands of volunteers to break the salt law (the Dandi
The Rise of Democracy
The system of collective leadership is known as democracy. There was such a collective leadership and governance in the
Roman governments before one L. C. Sulla became the dictator of the Roman Republic in the year 81 before Christian Era
(CE), or 81 B.C., having been appointed as such and given total power to him as a single individual unlike in the past. In
the past, in Rome, no single individual had such total power to rule the Roman Republic. Julius Caesar became the
second such dictator with total power. But Caesar had to contend with a group of prominent people called senators, the
members of the Senate of the Roman Republic. Caesar was assassinated in the year 44 B.C. When Augustus succeeded
Caesar, he assumed the powers of the Senate of Roman Republic and became de facto Emperor. The Roman Republic
became an Empire. The history of Roman Empire is a big chapter in the History of the World. Now after the Treaty of Paris
of 1783, there was revival of democracy. The United States of America became strong and she influenced the world
economy to such a great extent that Socialism and Communism which represented a distinct form of collective rule could
not survive the onslaught from USA. Socialism and  Communism came to be known as Left -wing and democracy of
America came to be known as Right-wing and also as the Capitalism.
England, China and Japan
In China and Japan the governments were run by dynastic Imperial rulers. In 1840 when there was Anglo-Chinese Opium
war, China was a weak country, same as India and was easily defeated in a war resulting in supremacy of the Europeans.
Hong Kong, a picturesque island with a large deep-water port was permanently handed over to England as a result of the
Treaty of Nanking between the defeated Chinese and the English. Macao was occupied by the Portuguese at about the
same time. In 1856 China was at war with the joint army of France and England. Napolean III was the ruler in France.
England had established India as its captive colony. China was defeated in this war too and signed the Treaty of Tienstin
meekly. When looting and arson by the European army began, the Manchu emperor fled Peking (Beijing) and left the
people of the Capital at the mercy of the invaders. The representatives of the Emperor signed a Peking Pact by which the
chinese people began to be treated like subordinates by the Europeans.
Opium Wars
Opium is a drug that produces hallucination. Its user likes this hallucination and enjoys the delusion. It makes the user
take it again and again leading to addiction. A person addicted to opium intake will want to get it at any cost. There were
many people in China who were addicted to opium. The traders in opium can make a lot of money by selling the opium to
the addicts. The English traders conspired with the Chinese smugglers to import more and more opium and earn a lot of
money. The Chinese government realized the bad effects of free trade in opium and banned the item. But the British
merchants were not concerned about the health of the Chinese and they were not in favour of stopping the opium trade to
save the Chinese from effects of opium addiction. The French, the Portuguese, the Dutch and other Europeans joined the
English to fight a war to force the Chinese government to allow them to indulge in the opium trade at the cost of the health
of the Chinese citizens, a very unfortunate and immoral attitude of the Europeans. The Europeans were active in the slave
trade also. The innocent people of Africa were kidnapped by lawless agents and sold in the slave markets to be shipped to
America and elsewhere in chains under inhuman conditions.
At this time Japan was developing itself fast so that she became a powerful nation. Japan waged war against China in
1894-95 and extended its territory into the Chinese mainland. But because France, Germany and Russia began to threaten
Japan with attack, the latter gave up Liaodong territory. Japan invited England to help her in a war with Russia in 1904.
Korea and Manchuria were held by Russia before the war. Russia was defeated in this war and Japan established her
control over Korea, Liaodong, Port Arthur and southern part of Sakhalin island. For Japan and China the First World War
was fruitful. Japan gained a lot of territory at the Peace Settlement of Paris in 1919 at the close of the war. China had not
taken active part in the war but her European tormentors were busy with the war rather than inflicting injuries to the Chinese
people. China co-operated with the Alllies against the Central Powers in the war.
Czar Nicholas II was ruling Russia at the time of the First
World War. Russia had suffered severe injuries inflicted by
the German army in the battles. Vladimir Lenin and Trotsky
led a violent revolution on March 15th, 1917 against the
Czar, with the result that Nicholas abdicated. Later in
October of the same year Lenin seized control of the
government and a people's government was established.
Lenin became the prime minister and Trotsky the foreign
minister. The Bolshevik government negotiated peace with
Germany thereby depriving the Allies an important fighting
force on the eastern front. But America came to the help of
the Allies at this point claiming that the Germans were
destroying their ships on the sea even though they
remained neutral until then.
The American president Woodrow Wilson proposed to the
Allies to establish a world body to prevent future wars such
as the WW I. Therefore he took the lead in establishing the
League of Nations in which England, France, Japan, Italy
and the American states were the founding members.
More nations joined the League later on. Italy and Japan
left the League in 1933 owing to differences. The League
was unable to eliminate wars.
Mahatma Gandhi had started a unique kind of Revolution in India to end the British occupation of India. The Revolution
was a non-violent one. In Russia there was a violent Revolution waged by the people against their own rulers. In China
also there was a violent Revolution waged by the people against the weak king and his European collaborators. The
Russian Revolution ends in a victory to the Communist revolutionaries, within months, but the Chinese Revolution takes
many years to succeed. The Chinese revolutionaries also adopt Communist theories and aim to establish a Communist
nation when the Revolution succeeds. Mahatma Gandhi however decides to allow democracy to take hold after the British
leave India.
African Experience of M.K.Gandhi
M. K. Gandhi was in South Africa in the year the First World War broke out in 1914. England had established its influence
in Egypt since the battle of Nile in which Napoleon was defeated. The Dutch had colonized parts of Africa's extreme south
after 1652 A.D.. The white Dutch settlers called themselves Boers. The English began to trouble the Boers after 1815.
There were new names given to the tracts of land by the white settlers, such as Cape Colony, Orange Free State,
Transvaal, Natal, etc. The settlers established their governments in these places and declared themselves independent
of their countries of origin, just as in America by 1879. All white people regardless of their country got the Union of South
Africa formed after the Boer War of 1899-92 between the settlers and the British armies. A new version of English
language had been developed in South Africa. The Union of South Africa was an autonomous state under the United
Kingdom. Being an Indian, Gandhi was a British subject. He became a Barrister after his Law studies in England. He
returned to India and established his Law Practice in Bombay in 1892. In 1893, in Bombay, Gandhi received an offer to
travel to South Africa to plead a case of an Indian businessman exporter. There were a large number of Indian migrants
working in South Africa already. Gandhi experienced personally the abhorrent treatment given to the coloured Indians by
the South African government and the white settlers. This discrimination was methodical and got the name Apartheid
affixed to it. Apartheid was a government policy established by Law.
Gandhi began to organize protests against Apartheid. He did not feel enmity towards the white people. He did not
succumb to pressures of their sense of superiority owing to their white skin.
He knew that he is not inferior to the white people. He had noticed in England that the white people are often inferior to
Indians in intelligence, morals and in human relations. However, he had sensed the high human qualities and noble
democratic ideals of the British people. He was treated well in England even though he was a coloured person. But in
South Africa, Gandhi was shocked to see how black and coloured people were segregated from the whites. He decided to
work with the whites with love and persuasion for their illogical and immoral treatment of the black and coloured people,
rather than with violence and hatred. This method of protest of Gandhi was totally non-violent and he gave the name of
Satyagraha to it.
The Muslims in India were misled with regards to the
position of Khalifa of Turkey being the supreme religious
head of all Islamic people in the world. Some Muslims
were detained by the British government in India as a
preventive measure during the war, because the Muslims
supported the sultan of Turkey. The war against the sultan
was considered as a war against Islam by all Muslims. M.
K. Gandhi decided to support the Muslims in their protest
against the British government with regards to the Turkish
emperor. The movement initiated against the British was
called the Khilafat movement and Gandhi asked all his
followers to support the Khilafat movement in 1919.
Gandhi hoped that the Muslims would support nationalism
and encourage Hindu-Muslim unity. Khilafat movement
soon died down by itself without the Muslims getting back
their Khalifa. Kemal Pasha of Turkey himself was against
the revival of Khilafat rule in his country in spite of being a
Muslim himself. Turkey became a progressive
westernised nation under Kemal Pasha.
Gandhi leaves South Africa
M.K. Gandhi returned to India in 1915. The First World War had started in Europe. England, France, Russia
and Japan formed the defendants while Germany, Turkey and Austria joined to declare the war. Small states
like Serbia and Belgium were involved because of geographical and incidental reasons. Italy declared herself
as neutral. American states remained silent. Both Italy and the American states helped the Allies against
Germany and Austria. Being a British subject Gandhi campaigned for the British army. He believed that the
enemy comprising Germany, Turkey and Austria were Imperialists and autocratic, while the French, English
and Russians as civilized and liberal. The war got over with the Central Powers (Germany, Turkey and Austria)
accepting defeat in 1918. The Treaty of Sevres signed in 1920 abolished the Turkish Empire. The emperor of
Turkey known as Khalifa was allowed to continue as such in and around Constantinople, the capital. Turkey
came to be a British colony. Mustafa Kemal Pasha was the leader of a political party in Turkey and this party
worker against the army of the Central Powers in the war.
Kemal’s efforts in defeating Germany was of great help to the Allies. Kemal Pasha organized a revolt for
independence to Turkey from the British. England agreed and the new democratic Turkish republic was
When Gandhi started the Non-Cooperation movement in 1920, he
wished the Muslims would join him in return for his support to the
Khilafat movement. This did not happen, except that more Muslims
joined the Muslim League as well as the Congress. There was no
Muslim name in the list of volunteers (mentioned in the Gazetteer, pp
363-4) who participated in Mysore state in the Non-Cooperation
movement, except that two Khilafat workers died in police firing at
Bangalore Cantonment. The Muslims continued their atrocities against
the Hindus and major 'cow-music' riots took place in Malabar, in the
Punjab and in Bengal. In the Frontier Province and in the Punjab the
Muslims were a majority and the Hindus suffered severely. During the
Kohat riots in 1924 in the Frontier, a large number of Hindu families
were transported out of the region by the British administration. Bengal
also was a Muslim majority province and a major riot took place in
Calcutta in 1926. The Muslims regarded the Congress and Gandhi as
Hindu entities and refused to cooperate with them in the agitations.
There occurred a violent incident in Chauri Chaura in 1922 by which
Gandhi called off the Non-Cooperation movement.
Muslims objected to playing musical instruments during the Ganapathi
processions of the Hindus and other processions passing in front of
the mosques. Fanatic Muslims attacked the procession with lethal
weapons killing and maiming men, women and children. Hindus
retaliated by burning down Muslim homes and establishments. There
was a major disturbance during a Ganapathi procession in Sultanpet in
Bangalore in 1928 and again in 1929. The Karnaataka Provincial
Congress Committee held meetings and organized hartal meaning
closing down all businesses and other activities, a sort of shut-down of
life at different times and many places. This kept the people in Mysore
and other Kannada regions active in the Independence struggle. During
the hartal the activists took out processions and committed acts like
hoisting the Congress flag, distributing freedom literature, burning
foreign clothes and other imported goods, etc. The situation slowly
began to be perceived as unbearable by the English Administration.
The most distressed were the Indian personnel working in the English
police department. They did not enjoy their duties of beating up the
fighters belonging to their own country for Independence.
Leading the Independence movement in Karnaataka beginning from 1900 onwards, there were many strong-
willed men and women both from Mysore and non-Mysore Kannada areas. At the Surat Congress of 1907 Alur
Venkat Rao, Annacharya Hoskeri (Dharwad), Srinivas Rao Kaujalgi (Bijapur), Govindrao Yalgi and Gangadhar
Rao Deshpande, the “Lion of Karnataka” (Belgaum) sided with Bal Gangadhar Tilak who was considered an
V.P.Madhav Rao from Mysore was active as the president of the Karnataka State Political Conference which
was probably the first recorded mention of the name for Karnataka State in 1920.
M. K. Gandhi had become the leader in the non-violent struggle for Indian Independence from the British rule
by 1920 A.D. He was popular all over the country and his Congress party became the national party. The non-
violent protests were however not peaceful because the tactics of the protests involved breaking the law. When
the protesters assembled in large numbers and shouted slogans against the British, the police force pushed
and shoved the satyagrahis (the non-violent protesters). They were asked to get disbursed or else the police
began to use their sticks to beat them.
Sometimes the police fired their guns first to scare away the crowd and later to injure or kill some of them.
Many times the protesters were loaded in the police buses and taken to the jails. The leaders were arrested in
advance so that they could not address the crowds. The Organizers of the protests were also arrested early so
that the protests did not take place. The people were highly charged with the sense of Independence because
of the provocative speeches by M.K.Gabdhi and other national and regional political leaders.
The leaders frequently courted arrest and after a trial they were imprisoned for varying periods. There was a
scramble to get arrested among the activists. Even women participated in the agitation in large numbers.
In the Non-Cooperation movement, in response to Gandhiji’s call of boycott of courts, Dattopant Majali,
Krishnarao Karguppi, Narayanrao Joshi and Ajarekar of Belgaum, Srinivasrao Kaujalgi, Jayarao Nargund,
Rangarao Tilgul and Hanumantrao Kaujalgi of Bijapur, Ananthrao Jalihal, Venkatesh Kulkarni of Gadag,
Karnad Sadashiv Rao and K.R.Karanth of Mangalore S.S.Shastri of Honavar, Vasudevrao Kollali of Sirsi,
Madhavrao Kabbur and Venkatrao Muduvedkar from Dharwad gave up their legal practice.Belgaum.
In response to Gandhiji’s call for boycott of  schools and colleges a large number of students quit their classes
and participated in the peaceful uprising. Alternately, the National schools such as the National High School of
Bangalore under the principalship of Prof. K.Sampathgiri Rao trained hundreds of dedicated youths imbibed
with the national awakening. Office goers also boycotted their offices as per Gandhiji’s call. The list of people
of Karnaataka who participated in these boycott operations is very long and hence not given here.
In 1921, R.R.Diwakar, Jayarao Nargund, Hanumanthrao Mohre, Chauda Nayak of Bedakani in Siddapur taluk,
Puddi Saheb and Thimmappa Nayak of Sirsi were arrested for their speeches urging non-cooperation, burning
of foreign goods, and articles published in pamphlets, newspapers and magazines. Tekur Narayana Shastry,
Kallur Subba Rao and Lyangli Bhimsenrao were imprisoned for their anti-British speeches in Bellary. Dr.
N.S.Hardikar of Hubli was arrested and sent to Nagpur Jail where he began an organization known as
Hindustani Seva Dal.
Bharatiya Yuvaka Sangha was founded in Dharwad for Hindu non-Brahman young men who considered the
Congress Party to be a party of Brahmans and Guldeppa Hallikeri and Siddalingaiah Kajariswamy gave the
lead for natinalistic activities. A similar non-Brahman group known as Brahmanetara Parishat and another
named Veerashaiva Parishat were started under the Congress initiative to attract all communities to take part
in the Independence movement. Hardekar Manjappa and Siddappa Hosamani of Haveri and C.J.Ambli of
Bijapur took the lead in these groups.
In 1930, Gandhiji started a unique Civil Disobedience movement that engulfed India with such fury that
hundreds of thousands filled the jails by breaking law. Hoisting of National Flag, making salt and selling it
freely on the streets, bringing firewood from forests and selling it freely to homes, picketing liquor shops, felling
toddy trees, launching no-tax campaign and burning foreign clothes were the major disobedience activities
undertaken. The British government in London allowed the Delhi Viceroy to talk to Gandhiji to resolve the issue.
After the Viceroy, Lord Irwin promised reforms in administration Gandhiji called off the Civil-Disobedience
movement in March 1931. Also the government released all political prisoners. However, the no-tax campaign
continued and became severe in 1932.
The princely state of Mysore was exempted by Gandhiji from being a target of the
Satyagraha, and therefore many residents of Mysore crossed the border and offered
Satyagraha in the Kannada areas of Bombay and Madras Provinces administered by the
British government directly. The princely states like Jamkhandi, Mudhol and Ramdurg were
not exempted. In Ramdurg the movement turned violent in 1939. A few Police constables
were killed and many innocent people were charged of murder and conspiracy. Nine
persons were hanged.
M.P.Nadkarni of Ankola launched the Salt Satyagraha at Ankola beach in April 1930. In the
no-tax campaign in Hirekerur, Veerangouda Patil, T.R.Neswi, and Gudleppa Hallikeri took
active part.
The 1930-31 agitations alone resulted in the imprisonment of hundreds of  Kannadigas:
750 satyagrahis from Belgaum, 442 in Uttara Kannada, 202 in Dharwad, 159 in Dakshina
Kannada, 158 from Bijapur, 77 from Bellary and 20 in Kodagu. A total of 4000 people were
sentenced to imprisonment during 1932-33 struggle for Independence. All of them were
peaceful agitators.
Mallappa Dhanasetty and his three friends at Sholapur were hanged for their anti-British
activities towards Independence movement and became martyrs
H.R. Purohit was arrested at Bagalkot for leading the Karnataka State Political Conference
in May 1932 together with hundreds of volunteers. Khandege Krishna Bhat and hundreds
of others were arrested in Mangalore in June 1932 for holding the Dakshina Kannada
District Political Conference. Venkareddy of Huli in Belgaum district was sentenced to nine
years in Prison.
In the Flag satyagraha launched in Mysore state, hundreds of people participated. T.
Siddalingaiah, K.T.Bhashyam, Talekere Subramanyam, H.C.Dasappa, B.N.Gupta, H.K.
Veeranna Gowda, K.Hanumanthaiah, M.N.Jois, K.C.Reddy, S.Nijalingappa, Sahukar
Channayya, Tagadur Ramachandra Rao and many others were leading the Mysore
agitation. There was a police firing in Vidurashwata in April 1938 in which a few people
were killed.
Hyderabad Karnaataka Struggle
Kannadigas from Hyderabad state were not only enthusiastic but also one-minded in the
Independence movement. Arya Samaj was in the forefront to awaken the masses against
the Nizam’s anti-Hindu policies which in turn affected the Independence movement.
Hyderabad Karnataka Parishat was established as early as in 1934 and in 1938, Janardhan Rao Desai, G.Ramacharya, Dr.
Melkote, Sharanagowda Inamdar, Veerabhadrappa Sirur and Alavandy Shivamurthy Swamy were some of the prominent
freedom fighters. Ramananda Tirtha an ascetic roamed around the state and raised the level of nationalistic spirit among the
In the Quit India movement when most of the leaders were arrested immediately after it was launched, underground subversive
activities were led by many Kannadigas. The names of some them are given here:
From Belgaum;
Annu Guruji,
Channappa Wali,
Chinmayaswamy Omkarmath,
Srirang Kamath,
Vaman Bidari,
Dr. Jayadev Kulkarni,
From Dharwad,
Wadavi Kariappa Sangur,
Mylara Mahadevappa,
Timmanagowda Menasinahal,
Shankar Kurtkoti,
Venkatesh Magadi and
Bindu Madhav Burli
From Uttara Kannada,
Dayananda Prabhu and
From Bijapur
C.J.Ambli and
From Mysore state
Sardar K.A.Venkataramaiah,
A.G.Ramachandra Rao,
Maganlal Shah,
Kadidal Manjappa,
H.S.Doreswamy .
Photo Courtesy Gandhi Bhavan
M.D.Adhikari gave a lecture at
Mangalore during a public
meeting in September 1942, and
the police lathi-charged the
participants. Adhikari was
severely beaten and later arrested
and imprisoned.
On 15th of August in 1942
the news of death of
Mahadev Desai in jail
sparked a mammoth protest
in Bangalore and the police
action resulted in the death
of nearly 150 people.
In 1943, Timmanagowda Menasinahal in Dharwad and Mailar Mahadevappa in Hosaritti, died during violent
activities against the British rule. Five patriotic volunteers were hanged in Shimoga for being responsible to the
death of five government officials.
Five persons in Davanagere, and seven at Bailahongal were killed in police firing in 1943. Seven were killed by
police while trying to loot State treasury as part of the agitation for Independence. One student was killed in Hubli
procession  At least 7000 people were arrested and most of them imprisoned during 1942-43 for Quit India
Veer Vinayak Damodar Savarkar (Veer Savarkar)
The 125th Birth Anniversary of Veer Vinayak Damodar Savarkar (Veer Savarkar) was celebrated on the 28th of
May 2008. His title Veer means 'valiant'. He was born on 28th May 1883. Vinayak was his first name and
Damodar was his father. Savarkar was his last name but he was popularly known as Veer Savarkar.
Many of us know very little about Veer Savarkar because, all these years, the newspapers, magazines, radio,
television, and the Indian Governments considered him a terrorist rather than an Indian fighter for independence
from foreign occupation. Therefore these media deliberately failed to project him among the national heroes up
until a BJP government took office in Delhi in 1999. His portrait was unveiled in the central hall of Indian
Parliament in 2003 as a tribute to this great warrior of Indian Independence.
Actually he was a staunch nationalist and a gifted social worker. During his lifetime he fought for the rights of the
Dalits, the women, the national language Hindi and the Devanagari script among others. He was accused of
conspiracy to murder British officers and tried. He was convicted and sent to the Cellular jail of Andamans. He
sacrificed his life for steering Indian people to fight for independence from the foreign yolk. He was also accused
of conspiracy in the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, but the Supreme Court of India found him innocent of this
Veer Savarkar belonged to the modern world. He had embraced scientific temper. He was a true secularist. He
never considered the modern machines as Satanic evils bent on destroying the God's creations. He proclaimed
that everything that brings happiness for men is good and all that puts obstacles in his march towards
contentment as unacceptable.
Veer Savarkar always rejected superstitious practices. He used to say that we allowed the British to destroy
literally all that is Indian except our superstitions. He said that we resort to public prayers if there are
earth-quakes. We will rather roll on the ground in front of a deity if a really true Indian freedom fighter fights for his
life because of illness rather than find a good doctor for his treatment. If there are attacks by the enemy on our
borders we will sacrifice a goat at the nearest temple. We believe that prayers to gods will solve all problems
rather than finding physical solutions to these problems.
Savarkar's life kindled the fire of freedom in the minds of young Indians in the years 1906 to 1911. He earned the
Bar-at-law qualification in England but never practiced law; instead he became a revolutionary in pursuit of
freedom for India. He was a prolific writer of patriotic subjects and got them published under the constant
opposition from the British government. He wrote many beautiful patriotic poems also. He worked hard to
eliminate untouchability even before Mahatma Gandhiji began his Harijan campaign. He established so-called
Patitpawan Mandirs (temples for the upliftment of the downtrodden) in a number of cities. He organised burning
of the foreign made clothes many years before Gandhiji did. Former Union Minister of Education late Mr.
Mohammed Karim Chagla described Savarkar as a great devotee of India, and a successful son of mother India.
Freedom fighters like him created an atmosphere of awakening in the minds of Indian people for leaders like
Mahatma Gandhi to continue the struggle for independence. If by any chance this great man is not given a
prominent place in the history of India then it will be an imponderable disservice to our future generation.
Veer Savarkar is a shining and glorious example of a staunch revolutionary freedom fighter that lived in the first
few decades of the 20th century. He died at the age of 83 on 26th February, 1966 after about 21 days of voluntary
denial of food. But, by being 'mratyunjaya' (conqueror of death) he will constantly live among us Indians, and
especially among the Gowda Saraswath Brahmins, because he was a Chitpavan Brahmin himself. The
Chitpavan Brahmins are brothers of the GSBs.
Although Gandhiji had exempted the princely state of Mysore from
anti-government agitation during Independence struggle, the Mysore
Congress launched the 'Mysore Chalo' movement to force the
Maharaja of Mysore to access the state with the Indian Union. As
soon as the Congress announced the decision, the Mysore prince
ordered that the movement be suppressed with an iron hand.
Publication of newspapers was banned, and all the spokesmen of
Congress were arrested. Immediately there was a general strike.
The police resorted to Lathi charge and then opened fire against the
demonstrators in various cities and towns. 20 people were killed in
the firing. Within 39 days of India gaining Independence, Maharaja of
Mysore agreed to access his territory into the Indian Union on 24th
September 1947.
The Nizam of Hyderabad also tried to declare himself independent in
August 1947 when the British vacated India. He held on till Sardar
Vallabh Bhai Patel, the Union Home Minister ordered a Police Action
to arrest the Nizam and free the state. Swami Ramananda Tirtha a
Kannadiga led the people especially in the Bidar, Raichur, Gulbarga
and Ananthpur districts to protect the Hindus against the repressive
measures of the Nizam and the atrocities of the Razakars, the
jehadists hired by the Nizam. Then the Koppal Jahgir of Hyderabad
was also liberated.  
The princely state of Kolhapur with Raibag, Katkol, Torgal, and a few
other areas joined the Union without any ado. The princely state of
Sangli with Terdal, Shahpur, Dodwad and Shirhatti also joined the
Union upon request by Sardar Patel to do so. The princely state of
Miraj with Lakshmeshwar, Budhgaon, Gudageri, Kurundwad,
Vadgaon and the state of Jamkhandi, Kundgol, Chippalkatti, Mudhol,
Jatt, Akkalkot, Ramadurga, Sandu, Savnur and Gunadal group of
villages belonging to the Aundh state joined the Union without any
obstacle. The British government had Indian Army posted in the
Cantonments in cities like Belgaum, Bellary and Bangalore with their
own Territorial administrations. These territories ceded to the Indian
Union as a matter of course.
Twenty years after the First World War, there was a retaliatory war in 1939 A.D., waged by the defeated nations
against the winners. In Germany Adolf Hitler rose to lead the nation in 1933 under the banner of his Nazi Party.
The German Republic became a dictatorship under Hitler. In Italy Mussolini was the leader of the Fascist Party
from 1922 onwards. He too like Hitler led the Italians to believe that dictatorship is the best form of government. In
Spain, there was a Civil War between those who believed in Imperialism and those who believed in a Republican
form of government. General Franco was the leader of the Republicans. Germany of Hitler and Mussolini of Italy
helped General Franco to win the Civil War in Spain. After the Civil War, Franco became the dictator in Spain.
Japan was ruled by its king with a cabinet of ministers helping him in the administration. The prime minister was
responsible for the policies, both domestic and foreign, in Japan. However the military in Japan could take
decisions directly. In 1927 Tanaka became the prime minister. The policies of Japan under Tanaka were
aggressive. Japan had disputes with Russia and China since both were against its aim to capture and hold
Manchuria. England and America were not conceding to Japan any right to hold Manchuria, since they considered
the latter to be a free country. France, England and America were considered stalwarts of and Allies of democracy
while Germany, Italy and Japan were considered Imperial Axis. The first battle of the Second World War was
fought between Poland and Germany in September 1939. France, Poland, Romania, Czechoslovakia and
Yugoslavia were in immediate danger of the Nazi Germany to invade them. This group got help from England and
America. Russia remained isolated because the Communist system of government in Russia was against the
principles of Capitalism. The Russian Revolution had shown to the world what would be the effects of
Communism on the big land holders and rich businesses. There was a fear that Communism will become
popular among the poor labourers and agricultural peasants all over the world and convert all nations into
Communist nations. In fact in China there arose a Communist Party rebellion Still in 1935 France signed a treaty
with Russia for help in case Germany attacked her. Russia got a new title: United Soviet Socialist Republic or
USSR. The USSR also signed a non-aggression pact with Germany.
When the war broke out on September 1939, the British Empire
involved India in it without consulting the elected provincial
governments which had been formed after general elections in
1937. Therefore all the provincial governments resigned. The
Muslim League was unhappy with the constitution of the
governments because Hindus were in majority in the Ministries.
Resignation of the Congress Ministries was celebrated by the
Muslim League as the 'Deliverance Day.' In March 1940 the Muslim
League formally demanded the creation of Pakistan if and when the
British granted Independence to India. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad
remained with the Congress and took part in all its activities.
America dropped Atomic bombs over Japan during the war resulting
in the surrender of Japan to the American General MacArthur. USSR
defeated Germany and Hitler committed suicide. In Italy it is said that
Mussolini was shot dead along with his wife by the people of Italy.
The war ended officially on 6th August 1945.
Meanwhile in 1942, Gandhiji had launched the 'Quit India'
movement. The British government quickly arrested all the leaders of
Congress and imprisoned them. The Congress leaders in Kannada
areas began underground subversive activities against the English
administration. Frequently, the Village offices were burnt down,
records were confiscated and set on fire; Telegraph wires were cut,
railway tracks were removed, small railway stations were set on fire
and government offices were torched. Labourers and factory workers
went on strike against the arrest of Congress leaders such as
Gandhiji and Nehru. At several places Post offices were burnt down
or damaged. As punishment the trial courts imposed heavy fines
and long prison sentences. The agitation in Belgaum district where
many Kannada-speaking and Marathi-speaking people took to
daring subversive activities in 1942-43, the jails got full and barracks
had to be erected to accommodate the political prisoners. The
British government in London advised the Delhi Viceroy to take the
help of the army to quell the insurrection to control the situation,
which he did. Thus the Kannada people all over India proved
themselves to be in no way short of patritotism and love of freedom
by sacrificing their lives for their country during the Quit India
Subhas Chandra Bose, a Congressman wanted to drive away the colonialist England from India by enforcing a
deadline for Independence and achieving it by force if necessary. But Gandhiji opposed such a path. Therefore
Bose formed a party known as the Forward Bloc. He went to Germany and met Hitler in 1941, during the WW II. In
1942 Bose gathered a large Indian National Army contingent in Singapore that had been already occupied by
Japan. He gave a war cry 'Dilli Chalo'. He formed the Indian Independence League and proclaimed the Azad Hind
Government. He coined the term 'Jai Hind' to be used as a greeting for all friends of India. He placed a picture of
a roaring lion in the middle of the Congress flag in place of the Charka wheel. The provisional Indian government
of Bose was officially recognised by the Axis Powers, Ireland, China and some others. Bose's army fought
against the British in Burma, and Indian North-East Provinces. When the war ended, Bose's army surrendered to
the Allied forces. The Nethaji it is said got killed in a plane crash in Japan after the war.
Indian gains of WW II
After the Victory in the war, there was an election held in England to the parliament and Churchill who led England
during the critical years of the war had to  reliquish the office of Prime Minister following the defeat of Tories in the
election. The Labour Party came to power and Clement Attlee was elected as the Prime Minister. Attlee
announced in March 1946 that India would get her freedom soon after the Indians settled their differences over
formation of Pakistan for the Muslims.
Lord Mountbatten was given the task by the British government of handing over India to the Indians in March
1947. However the demand of Jinnah of the Muslim League for creation of Pakistan led to intense consultations
among the leaders of Congress which ultimately agreed to the partition of India. The princely states were also to
be freed from British clutches and permitted to take a decision whether to merge with the two Dominions viz.
India and Pakistan or remain Independent.
As promised, the British Government in London formally transferred the large land mass known as India to the
leaders of the Congress Party and Muslim League. The date set for official transfer was the midnight between
14th and 15th August 1947. Lord Mountabater was the British Representative for the transfer. From the Congress
Party, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru signed for the Indian people in general and Mahammadali Jinnah the president of
Muslim League signed for the new nation Pakistan. The provinces of Punjab and Bengal had to be divided into
two parts; one with the Muslim majority going to Pakistan and the other with Hindu majority being retained in India
that is Bharath.
There were two areas forming Pakistan at the time of this transfer; one in the West and another in the East. These
two areas were more than 1000 miles apart in the Western and Eastern parts of British India. The Western part
was named West Pakistan and consisted of the Western part of Punjab province, entire Sindh province,
Balochistan, and the North-West Frontier province. The Eastern part was formed with the Eastern part of Bengal,
and some parts of North-Eastern province.
Since the princely states were given freedom to join one of these nations or remain independent there was delay
in completion of the process of independence. Each of the 500 and odd princely states sent their representative
for signing the papers of transfer and assumed that each one is an independent state and is under no obligation
to join either of the two new countries.
Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel who spear-headed the movement to persuade the princely states adjascent to Indian
Union to join Bharath, found many princely states ignoring the requests. Many small princely states joined
Bharath India without much fuss. The Maharajah of Mysore took time to decide but when Kannada activists began
their agitation, he quickly signed the papers and surrendered Mysore state to the Union.
The story of the princely state of Kashmir is more tragic. Pakistan and India have been at war for the last 65 years
over who Kashmir belongs to. Kashmir has a Muslim majority but the Maharajah of Kashmir was not only a
Hindu, but also terribly scared of the designs of the Punjabi Muslims whom he had seen massacreing the Hindu
residents of the partitioned Pakistani portion of Punjab province soon after the Britishers left Delhi.
The state of Hyderabad is a study in contrast because the population was majority Hindu and the ruler was a
Muslim. The Nizam refused to merge Hyderabad state with the Dominion of India. He had to be removed by force
by the Delhi government using the Indian military. This police action was undertaken to stop the atrocities that
Razakars, the special forces of the Nizam inflicted on the Hindus in the state.
Lord Mountbatten who was given charge by the government in
England to arrange the granting of independence to India, was not
sure how he should go about the task. He felt the dislike for white
man displayed by every one among the Indian leaders. He was not
inclined to make it all smooth-sailing for the inimical political leaders
from both sides; Congress and Muslim League. Therefore he
abruptly advanced the date of transfer from spring of 1948 to the
summer of 1947, thereby giving very little time for the leaders to plan
the transfer methodically. Even the boundaries of the two regions
were not fully plotted because it was not possible to delineate the
Hindu and Muslim majorities in any acceptable rule. The princely
states were at a great confusion as to what would be role the king
would play in the governance of the two Dominions that were formed
while granting independence to British ruled provinces. The state of
Kashmir was ruled by a Hindu king; Maharajah Hari Singh and on
the day independence charter was signed the Maharajah refused to
merge Kashmir with either Pakistan or India. But within a couple of
days after the declaration of independence and formation of the
government of Pakistani, the Pakistani Army sent its forces into
Kashmir state from the Western border of Kashmir. The local groups
of Muslim tribal volunteers joined the Pakistani Army and began to
massacre the local Hindu residents as they swiftly moved towards
the capital Srinagar. At this the Maharajah sensed the seriousness
of the situation and presumed that he will be killed along with his
family and friends if the Pakistan Army were to reach his palace. So
he quickly sent his emissary to New Delhi and asked Jawaharlal
Nehru for help to thwart the advancing hostile forces. Nehru did not
want a war to put obstacles in the smooth formation of his new
government but his home minister Sardar Patel summoned the
Indian Army chief and ordered him to move his forces to fight on the
side of a small and poorly equipped Kashmir Army. At the same time
the Maharajah signed at treaty of complete accession of his state
into the Dominion of India with a provision of a special status as
stated in the Article 370 in the Indian Constitution. The Indian
Constitution was however adopted on the 26th January 1948 but the
agreement of accession was signed on 17th October 1947.
The Indian Army was superior to the Pakistani forces and the
advancing ememy was stopped at a distance of about 50 kilometers
from the capital Srinagar. At the same time Nehru appealed to the
United Nations Organisation (UNO) located in New York, USA, to
mediate and stop Pakistan from taking over the princely state with
Karnaataka is born
Birth of Karnaataka State
Page 4
By Mohan Shenoy