The 103 year-old Gandhian, who kept the ‘conscience of Karnataka till his very last breath, and was the tallest public intellectual, who appeased none and spared none‘ would be remembered for his enthusiasm for public causes till he remained alive
Born on 10 April 1918 in Harohalli village in the then princely state of Mysore, he was jailed for the first time during Quit India movement – for his association with a group involved in making bombs and who spent 14 months of his life then – never stopped working for people even after independence.
In 1975, he had even challenged the then prime minister Indira Gandhi when emergency was declared, civil liberties stood suspended and who faced jail under the draconian Defence of India rule.
One of the issues closest to his heart remained getting land rights for the poor and the landless.
Before the first wave of Covid 19 struck he has been a prominent figure at protests against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and has been openly critical of BJP-led central government’s policies.
He was cremated with state honours but it was clear as mirror that the BJP government in Karnataka always felt uncomfortable with his presence .
When murderers are draped in the tricolour and eulogised as great heroes it is no surprise that the likes of H Doreswami, the real legendary freedom fighter, is denigrated as a Pak agent
A year before last a leading BJP legislator had hurled choicest abuses at this legendary freedom fighter, and when the issue was raised in the Karnataka assembly, forget issuing any unconditional apology for his remarks the legislator not only remained adamant but received support from many of his colleagues.
Subhash Gatade is a social activist