Press Esc to close
Saturday 01 October 2016
News updated at 7:19 PM IST
Weather
Max: 29.7°C
Min : 20.5°C
In Bengaluru
Generally cloudy

Wearing simplicity on the sleeve

Last updated: 12 September, 2009
R Mohan Babu

Karnatakas former Chief Minister S Nijalingappa was a man of simple living and high thinking.

When most ministers take their own sweet time, sometimes months together, to vacate their official residences and continue to enjoy the benefits even after demiting office, Nijalingappa was a class apart. The veteran Congressman politely declined the offer of free government accommodation in Bangalore after his wife passed away in 1989 and moved to his own house in Chitradurga. He had built the house in 1932 from his earnings as a practising lawyer.

Once, Congress President Sonia Gandhi expressed her desire to meet the nonagenarian leader. When security staff visited his house for the customary checks before her visit, they were firmly told by SN: “I have just half a dozen cups and saucers. The delegation should not exceed that number. I can’t afford more.” Sonia Gandhi honoured the pre-condition.

SN’s diary reveals that he refused a salary of Rs 10,000 a month in 1959 (a whopping sum at the time) and allowances as chairman of Indian Oil Corporation. He preferred a token salary of just one rupee! He told then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru that there would be no match between principle and practice, while talking of socialism, if he accepted a huge salary when poverty and destitution stalked the country.

The man, who dared to lock horns with all-powerful Indira Gandhi leading to the historical Congress split in 1969, did not own a car and would hitch a ride to Bangalore with friends. He never depended on his sons-in-law (one of whom retired as chief secretary).
When he suffered a fracture prior to his death in August 2000, he insisted on getting admitted to the government-owned Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital in Bangalore. He politely declined the offer of free treatment in a private super-specialty hospital, made by the then chief minister.

Veteran trade union leader and former Defence minister George Fernandes is also known for his simple ways. Unlike most politicians owning swanky cars and SUVs, he will hop on to an Ambassador.

Simple living


A few more politicians from the state, who are remembered for their simple style of living, include former minister H G Govinde Gowda, V S Krishna Iyer and T R Shamanna. Krishna Iyer and Shamanna, who represented the prestigious Bangalore South parliamentary constituency, are known for their easy accessibility and simplicty. Krishna Iyer lives in his old house, renovated when he was an MP some two decades ago. He travels in a Maruti-800 car driven by his relative, who also doubles up as his PA. Shamanna wore simplicity on his sleeve and mostly moved around in a three-wheeler.

Govinde Gowda, who hails from coffee rich Chikmagalur and owns ancestral property, never flaunted it. He refused to contest elections saying he could not afford to the expenditure.


Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Siddaramaiah inaugurates flight service 'Akasha Ambari' from Bengaluru to Mysore...

Siddaramaiah inaugurates flight service 'Akasha Ambari' from Bengaluru to Mysore...

Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar at private durbar, as part of Dasara celebrations...

Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar at private durbar, as part of Dasara celebrations...

Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar at private durbar, as part of Dasara celebrations...

Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar at private durbar, as part of Dasara celebrations...

Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar at private durbar, as part of Dasara celebrations...

Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar at private durbar, as part of Dasara celebrations...

A hair stylist Kailash Kashid creates a special hair cut slogan of Maratha Kranti Morcha...

A hair stylist Kailash Kashid creates a special hair cut slogan of Maratha Kranti Morcha...

Actor Salman Khan plays with his sister Arpita's kid at an event for the tie-up between...

Actor Salman Khan plays with his sister Arpita's kid at an event for the tie-up between...

Artisans work on a giant model of Hindu god Ganesh during preparations for the upcoming Durga Puja..

Artisans work on a giant model of Hindu god Ganesh during preparations for the upcoming Durga Puja..

The palace witnessed very little visitors on the day and thus children enjoy playing at the...

The palace witnessed very little visitors on the day and thus children enjoy playing at the...

Temples submerged at Gwari Ghat due to floods caused in Narmada River by heavy rains...

Temples submerged at Gwari Ghat due to floods caused in Narmada River by heavy rains...

Indian Army vehicles move towards border areas in Akhnoor sector on India Pakistan Border...

Indian Army vehicles move towards border areas in Akhnoor sector on India Pakistan Border...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523