Once, such a man walked this land we now ruin

Editorial in The Hindu on 17 April 1962, on Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya, who passed away 50 years ago this week:

“Dr Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya is no longer physically with us, but the noble record of his work will long endure and continue to inspire succeeding generations. He was truly of his time and yet far ahead of it, a living synthesis of old-world courtesy and simplicity and the dynamic qualities of a pioneer of planned progress.

“As a professional engineer, he achieved monumental feats of design and construction, like the Krishnaraja Sagara Dam. Mysore has good reason to cherish him for his many services to the State as both engineer and administrator, his six years as the Dewan of the former princely State being marked as much by his genius for organisation as by a passion for service.

“Though industries and education were his major concern (he was the founder of the University of Mysore), rural uplift that is so much in the air to-day was also among his early preoccupations. His book, Reconstructing India which has been greeted as “a thorough and comprehensive statement of India’s requirements” provides a blue print for social reform and uplift of women and the depressed classes, as much as for building a political and economic system from the village upwards.

“The idea of the Mysore Government to make the native village of Dr Visvesvaraya a model village is appropriate, though the centenarian did expect every village in every State in India to be so reconstructed. It is significant that he won his early laurels as an engineer under the Bombay Government, before his home State claimed him.

“The heritage of his example is there for posterity to cherish and emulate. India has much need of more men of his calibre, wisdom, vision and above all his unshakable integrity.”

Also read: Sir MV on India’s 11 basic wants

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A small lesson from Sir MV for our munde makkalu