A soldier's saga of fight for motherland

A soldier's saga of fight for motherland

Manjunath Kalkura

This is the story of Thenkanidiyur Manjunath Kalkura (T M Kalkura) who died fighting for the land which was due to him.

Though he died 21 years ago, he did not get the honour which he was supposed to get. Though he owned about 42 acre farm land, after the Land Reforms Act, the land was given to the tillers. However, as per the rules, he was supposed to get 10 acre land under military rehabilitation compensation. Unfortunately, he failed to get the land which was due for him during his life time. The family members have been fighting for it for the last six decades.

T M Kalkura was a teacher at Udupi Christian High School and Kolalagiri School. Later, he had also worked in Udupi Muncif Court and Bellary District Court. He joined the Army during World War II and worked in mechanical engineering division in Indian Army for 12 years and 235 days. He had served the Army till 1956. However, a man who had fought for the country was sent back without even giving pension. He was in Army from 1939 to 1945 during World War II. After India gained independence, he continued to serve the Army. The government had passed an Act in 1947 which stated that all those who served as soldiers should be given five acre fertile land or 10 acre land. Accordingly, Kalkura had applied for 10 acre military rehabilitation land in 1949. He had even asked the authorities to sanction land at Haluvalli and Shiria. However, owing to the negligence of the government officials, the facility never reached this solider who had fought for the country.

In fact, Kalkura had written letters to the President, Prime Minister, Chief Ministers, Deputy Commissioners on the negligence attitude of the government and injustice meted out to him. In fact, Governors like Dharmaveer and Mohanlal Sukhadia had directed the officials to set right the loopholes. Udupi Tahsildar had earmarked 5.5 acre land to the solider. However, it was not handed over to Kalkura citing the reason that the files have been damaged.

Though T M Kalkura passed away on June 18, 1990, his son T Balasoorya Kalkura has continued the fight started by his father. However, the government has not shown any concern towards the family so far.

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