Kengal Hanumanthaiah, the 2nd Chief Minister of Karnataka’s s 111th birthday today. Born 14th February 1908, he was Chief Minister from 30 March 1952 to 19 August 1956.
He was the person who is responsible for the architectural marvel by the name Vidhana Soudha. He will also be remembered for his role of bringing the Kannada speaking areas within one boundary.
Early life of Sri. Kengal Hanumanthaiah :
He was born in a Vokkaliga family in a Lakkappanahalli, a small village near Ramanagara District.. He graduated in Arts from the Maharaja College in Mysore later earned a degree in Law from Poona Law College in 1932.
Sri. Kengal Hanumanthaiah’s Political career:
At that time the independence movement President of the Congress party was Dr P Tandon. He persuaded Sri. Kengal Hanumanthaiah to give up legal practice. With the inspiration of Gandhiji and the persuasion of Tandon, Sri. Kengal Hanumanthaiah joined the freedom movement and was very active in the then Mysore State.
During the freedom fight he was noticed and he gradually grew as a leader. He was elected unopposed as the leader of the Parliamentary Party wing of the Congress Party in Mysore Assembly in 1948.
Chief Minister Sri. Kengal Hanumanthaiah :
Sri. Kengal Hanumanthaiah was elected as the 2nd Chief Minister of the then Mysore State on the 30th of March of 1952. His tenure was till 19th August, 1956.
He was a philanthropic personality and had possessed good administrative qualities. Hence his tenure of Chief Minister Ship was an administratively efficient period. He had initiated steps to uplift the rural areas with good economic progress of the State.
Sri. Kengal Hanumanthaiah was also the Union Railway Minister at the Central Government from 1971.
Achievements of Sri. Kengal Hanumanthaiah :
The monumental achievement of Sri. Kengal Hanumanthaiah is the Vidhana Soudha. It was the largest legislature cum office building in India at that time, a granite marvel.. He got the Vidhana Soudha completed in 1956.
The foundation was done by the first Prime Minister of India Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on the 13th of July, 1951. But it was Kengal Hanumanthaiah who got the wonder redesigned on the basis of his impressions after visiting great monumental building across the world especially the then USSR, Europe, USA and other places.
Hanuman Temple built by Karnataka’s 2nd Chief Minister – Sri. Kengal Hanumanthaiah :
When travelling to Mysore on the State Highway SH-17, notice a beautiful temple in a vast area of land on the right passing 5 Kms. from Ramanagar.
That’s the famous Hoysala Temple rebuilt by 60 years ago by Sri. Kengal Hanumanthaiah who came from this same village, Kengal.
His burial site lies close to his favorite deity close by to the temple complex. The inner walls of the temple are adorned by his bio data and summary of his political life.
Death of Sri. Kengal Hanumanthaiah :
He died on 1 December 1980 at the age of 72. Though he is not with us now, his presence will be felt by all Kannadigas at least whenever they pass through Vidhana Soudha area.