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Devaraj Urs had ushered in a `silent social revolution'

Staff Correspondent

Former Chief Minister termed one of the greatest social reformers


In praise of Urs
  • Devaraj Urs was the voice of the poor and downtrodden
  • Abolition of bonded labour by his Government was remarkable
  • Implementation of land reforms exemplary

    Madikeri: Former Chief Minister the late D. Devaraj Urs espoused the cause poor and ushered in a "silent social revolution" in the State, T.P. Ramesh, president of the Kodagu District Backward, Dalits and Minorities Federation, said here on Sunday.

    Addressing a function organised by the zilla panchayat and the Department of Backward and Minority Department to celebrate the 91st birth anniversary of the late leader, he said the former Chief Minister was the voice of the poor and stood for the cause of the downtrodden in society.

    Popularity

    That Urs was elected continuously from Hunsur as an MLA for 28 years, from 1952 to 1980, spoke of his popularity, he said. He was one of the longest serving Chief Ministers of the State for 10 years.

    Among the contributions of the late Chief Minister was the stress laid on the education of the people belonging to the backward classes and establishment of the backwards and minorities hostels for the students hailing from those sections of society.

    The Minorities Department too was started by him, Mr. Ramesh said.

    Absorbing 16,000 unemployed graduates in the stipendiary scheme whose services were confirmed later, abolition of carrying night soil by Dalits and bonded labour, renaming of Mysore as Karnataka in 1973 were some landmark decisions taken by the late Urs, Mr. Ramesh added.

    President of the zilla panchayat, H.S. Ashok said Urs was one of the greatest social reformers the State had seen.

    Zilla panchayat Chief Executive Officer K. Sundar Naik said the land reforms of the late Chief Minister, in which the tiller of the land became the owner, was exemplary. It had reduced the chasm between the rich and the poor, doing away with social inequality, he said.

    Mysore district had the highest incidents of bonded labour in the country during that time and the decision of the Urs Government to abolish it was remarkable, Mr. Naik added.

    Urs must be remembered for his achievements in weaning away poor people from the clutches of the rich moneylenders, Mr. Naik said.

    The deeds of the late Chief Minister in the irrigation sector too had helped the farmer community tremendously.

    The Kali project, one of them, was executed amidst opposition from several quarters, Mr. Naik added.

    Meritorious students from the BCM hostels were felicitated on the occasion

    President of the Madikeri taluk panchayat T.Kishore Kumar and deputy secretary of the zilla panchayat Zulfiqarullah were present. Students presented songs and dances on the occasion.

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