Mandya: Former MP G Madegowda who passed away on Saturday, at the age of 93, was not just an elected representative who represented the district in the lower house of both Legislative Assembly and Parliament, but was a leader in the forefront of movement for Cauvery river water.
Till his age and health permitted, Madegowda led the protest whenever Cauvery water flowed towards Tamil Nadu from KRS dam at the cost of Karnataka farmers, especially Mandya region, who are largely dependent on Cauvery.
The last rites will be performed at Hanumantha Nagar on Sunday at 2.30 pm.
As a president of Cauvery Raita Hitarakshana Samiti, Madegowda led many protests which will be etched in the memory for years to come.
Madegowda who won his maiden election to the Legislative Assembly from Kirugavalu ( that now ceases to exist) constituency in 1962, won for the six times in a row. It made him popular as an undefeated leader.
He also served as a minister for forest and mines in the cabinet of then Chief Minister R Gundurao from 1980 to 83.
When Kirugavalu constituency was merged with Malavalli Assembly segment, Madegowda shifted his base to Mandya. He successfully contested the elections from Mandya Lok Sabha seat in 1989 and 1991.
Madegowda who was synonymous with the struggle for Cauvery, also played a key role in uplifting the lives of farmers in the district known as ‘Sugar Bowl’ for the district known for vast sugarcane cultivation. He founded Chamundeshwari Sugar Factory in Bharatinagar and strove to provide a better price for farmers produce.
Madegowda was born on July 14, 1928 as the youngest among six children of Puttegowda and Kalamma couple of Gurudevarahalli of Chikkarasinakere hobli in Maddur taluk. As the native place was devoid of education related facilities, Madegowda did his early schooling and high school at his mother’s native Mandya.
He graduated from Maharaja’s College, Mysuru and later studied law in Bengaluru. However, he didn’t practice law, as the fate wanted him to be a people’s leader.
It was at the insistence of K V Shankare Gowda and H K Veeranna Gowda who were known as Congress stalwarts of those times, Madegowda contested Taluk Board elections in 1959. Madegowda won the election and thus a leader was born, who represented the people for nearly four decades in legislature. When Madegowda won his debut election to Assembly he was just 32.
As a MP, Madegowda played a key role in organising 63rd Akhila Bharata Kannada Sahitya Sammelana in Mandya in 1993. Writer Chaduranga was the chairman of the literary meet.
When S M Krishna was the chief minister, Madegowda made him take a padayatra from Bengaluru to Mandya and announce that Cauvery water won’t be released to Tamil Nadu. However water was released next day and Madegowda sat on indefinite protest. This created an unrest and the police had to arrest Madegowda. When advocates tried to arrange bail, Madegowda denied any such attempt saying that he would prefer to stay along with farmers behind bars.
In the year 2012, University of Mysore conferred honorary doctorate on Madegowda.
– Team Mysoorunews