after Visvesvaraya became the Dewan, one of his relatives went to him. He was a man whom
MV liked and respected. He was in Government service. He wanted a higher post; that would
have given him another fifty rupees a month.
Visvesvaraya said 'No'.
But, as long as the relative was alive, he paid him a hundred rupees every month from
As the Dewan, he got a car from the Government for his use. He used the Government car
for government work; for his private work he used his own car. He was such an honest man.
The Dewan would be neatly dressed and ready for work by seven in the morning.
There was not a crease or a wrinkle anywhere on his clothes. He worked steadily and
methodically till one in the Afternoon. He was back to work at three.
And till eight at night he was at his desk. Everything was planned, everything was done
smoothly, methodically and without any hurry. Visitors who wished to see him had to write
first; he would fix an hour; and the Dewan was very strict about the hour fixed. No one
could come late. And no visitor was allowed to waste time.
It is the duty of ministers to tour the state and meet the people and find out what
they need, isn't it? MV had his own way of touring a district. Before the visit, officers
were asked to send information about the district. How do the farmers get water, how many
tanks are there in the district, how many wells, how many hospitals and how many schools,
how many acres of land are used for agriculture - these and a hundred other questions had
to be answered by different departments. They had also to explain the needs of the
district. Then the Dewan went to the district. He held discussions with the officers and
with members of the public.
Then he took decisions. As soon as he returned to Bangalore every officer who was to do
some thing got a letter. It told him what he was to do. So the Dewan's visit was made most
useful to the Government and to the people.
Every moment the Dewan practiced this principle - that his office was for the service
of the people and not for his benefit.
Visvesvaraya believed in the value of education. The people of India are poor and
suffer because they are not educated that was his firm belief. So he wanted a number of
schools to be opened. When he became the Dewan in 1912 there were about 4,500 schools in
Mysore State. In six Years about 6,500 new schools were opened. When he became the Dewan
there were about 1,40,000 boys and girls in schools. When he retired in 1918 there were
about 3,66,000. When he became the Dewan there was not a single First Grade College
(thats a college having degree classes) for girls; he made the Maharani's College in
Mysore a First Grade College. The first hostel for girls was also opened. Colleges need a
University; the University decides what subjects should be taught and who the teachers
should be; it conducts the examinations. In those days colleges in Mysore State were under
Madras University. Because of MV's firmness and fight, Mysore University came into being.
It was the first university in an Indian state governed by an Indian ruler. MV also made
arrangements for the government to give scholarships to intelligent students to go to
foreign countries for studies.
We often hear of 'unemployment; don't we? Some people do not get jobs and cannot earn a
living. People should be given the education to earn a living - this was MV's feeling. So
an Agricultural School was started; here the students were taught modern methods of
agriculture. An Engineering College also came into being. (Bangalore University now runs
this College; it is called the Visvesvaraya College of Engineering.) A Mechanical
Engineering School was opened. Industrial Schools were started in every district.
A country's industries should grow; only then the country can prosper. A country may
have minerals; she may have forests and harbors; there may be rivers so that electricity
can be produced. But man has to use his intelligence and work hard; he has to develop the
Then there will be more jobs. The country will grow richer. It will not be necessary to
get things from other countries. The country can sell its products to other countries. In
the modern world, industry is the backbone of a country. Visvesvaraya knew this. He
developed the existing industries. For example, he got experts in the silk industry from
Italy and Japan; they helped the silk industry. When he was the Dewan many new industries
came up. The Sandal Oil Factory, the Soap Factory, the Metals Factory, the Chrome Tanning
Factory - all these he started. Of the many factories he started the most important is the
Bhadravati Iron and Steel Works. After India became free the Government started a number
of steel factories; every factory required crores of rupees and a good deal of effort.
Every steel factory is a boon to the country; MV gave Mysore a steel factory 55 years ago.
A list of the things that MV did as Dewan for the prosperity of Mysore will fill pages.
How does a country prosper? Trade and industries must grow. But these need the help of
banks. Some people have extra money; banks pay them interest and get this money. They lend
# this money to merchants and industrialists and thus help them. Merchants send their
goods to purchasers in other cities. It is safe and easy to get the money through banks.
It was because of MV's suggestion that the Bank of Mysore came to be started. He helped it
in every way. He also suggested that good hotels should be opened in Bangalore and in
Mysore for visitors. He helped those who started such hotels. The Central managed the
railwaysGovernment. Visvesvaraya brought the railway lines in Mysore State under the
control of the State Government. He also got new lines laid.
MV did in six years what many others could not have done in sixty years., "Was he
a magician?" one wonders.