MSG, synonym of austerity

MSG, synonym of austerity

M S Gurupadaswamy (third from right) with Rajiv Gandhi, Sharad Yadav, Madhu Dandavate and others. DH photoIt was a VIP marriage. Among the motors that were ferrying elite invitees, most of them were swanky wheels.

Amid them came a 1986 model fiat, only to irk a cop who was manoeuvring the traffic. He stopped the car, asking the driver to wait till the affluent went inside. The driver, who was used to it, told the cop- sir, this is the car of... and, the former cleared the way.

The man inside was none other than, M S Gurupadaswamy, popular as ‘MSG’ among his followers. The marriage was conducted just a year ago and the dignitaries who attended the ceremony included Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa too.

The brown coloured fiat car (CTM 3999, later painted white) purchased under MPs quota, remained Gurupadaswamy’s favourite throughout his life. He resorted to book the car under the quota, only for the benefit of fast delivery. In those times, one had to wait for months to get a car. He was against selling of property- be it movable or immovable, recalls his younger sister Suvarnamma. Till he fell ill, he was managing the affairs of 25 acres of land in his native. Whenever he got time, he used to take his siblings and close relatives to the place to spend some time. He had turned down many advises to sell the land, the lady recalls with a feeling of pride. “Nobody dared to oppose annayya’s decision. Another brother Nataraj Murthy, who was younger to MSG, and served as a district magistrate, too always obeyed his (MSG) decisions”, recalls Suvarnamma.

Austere life

Unlike others, he practiced a simple lifestyle. The modest house on Ramanuja Road, where he lived till his end, belonged to his wife Rajashri. Rajashri’s grandfather was working in the Palace and the particular house was the quarters of palace staff. When the Maharaja sold the property owing to abolition of princely rule, the occupants bought the houses they were living in, said Virupakshamurthy, a retired sub-registrar and a relative of MSG.

Love for Mysore

MSG’s love for Mysore, especially the house was such that, though he had a ready suite booked for his stay at Hotel Lalithamahal Palace as a Union Minister, he found solace in staying overnight here. When he retired from politics, he returned to the very house to spend rest of his time, recalls his close associate and former MLC D Madegowda. It was on August 15, 2010 he left Mysore for treatment in Bangalore. Since then, he rarely visited Mysore. He last visited Mysore in the first week of April and had telephoned his friends in prior to meet during the visit. Madegowda was one among them.


Gurupadaswamy’s day began with yogasana, the art of keeping body fit, he practiced since his younger days. It was followed by turning on the radio set, before attending to daily routine. Though he lost his eyesight due to age related ailment a few years ago, it couldn’t deter him from remaining active. He was staying glued to TV only to update his knowledge on current affairs, and was tabling his view, if there were anybody for the company. An ardent fan of legendary playback singer Mukesh, he was humming a particular song, close to his heart always.

Close pals of Malangi

Many do not know M S Gurupadaswamy and veteran politician M Rajashekaramurthy, who passed away recently had many things in common. They belonged to same village- Malangi and were close relatives. They were also a witness to the first ever electoral system. Iron willed, though they opposed each other on political front, were closest of the pals. When MSG was hospitalised a year ago, Rajashekaramurthy had been to enquire his health.

“I  have heart related ailment and death may come any moment. I wanna die before you”, this was exactly what  Murthy said, Suvarnamma told Deccan Herald.

Rajashekarmurthy passed away on December 6, 2010 six months before MSG. The irony here is, Rajashekarmurthy was elder to MSG by six months.