How they are killing Mysore—softly but surely

Not too many are aware that Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan worked and lived in Mysore as a professor at the Maharaja’s College before he became the President of the country.

Radhakrishnan’s residence was a magnificent bungalow, with a sprawling garden, on the road linking Kukkarahalli Lake to K.G. Koppal—behind the University quarters, bang opposite what is now the Government Textbook Press.

This YouTube video you see is of a construction that is coming up next to—yes, next to—Radhakrishnan’s house.

Maybe, it is an authorised construction. Maybe all the right permissions and clearances have been taken. Maybe, the new structure will accommodate hundreds more, and be of greater use, than the desolate bungalow.

Maybe, Radhakrishnan’s house and the building housing the NCC headquarters are not strictly “heritage structures” as decided by some adipose-laden bureaucrat sitting in some pokey corner of the Vidhana Soudha.

And maybe the new structure is only the latest violation on a road which is being raped and sullied by the second.

But the question we need to ask is, should wonderful structures like these be brought down with such disdain? Will Mysore’s march as a “Tier-II” city be greatly hampered if we cannot get a few developers to kill a few hundred trees, pull down a few hundred-year-old buildings?

Towards the end of the S.M. Krishna regime, there was talk of declaring Mysore a “Heritage City” with clearly laid out laws and by-laws on what could or could not be done in its precincts. Whatever happened to that? And to the Heritage Task Force?

Will we wake up to save Mysore’s heritage after the marauders have totally plundered and pillaged our past—like they have done Bangalore?