A tribute to the unsung heroes

A tribute to the unsung heroes

The Maharaja also got a statue installed in honour of Bhujangarao Jagadale, a constable

The statue of police constable Bhujangarao Jagadale in Mysuru. DH Photo/Savitha B R

The Covid pandemic has brought humble workers into the limelight.

Be it nurses, ambulance drivers, gravediggers, postmen, newspaper boys, civic workers, police constables or boys delivering gas, food and essentials, they all have been going on doing their jobs risking their lives. Recognising the altruism of these grassroots workers, many voluntary organisations in Karnataka have even honoured them.

But this is not the first. Karnataka has had a tradition of honouring the common man for their extraordinary devotion to work, especially in the erstwhile Mysuru kingdom.

A postman and a sepoy have been honoured with life-size statues made of limestone, sand, and lime plaster in Mysuru city. These statues can be found in the campus headquarters of the Mounted Police unit of the Karnataka Armed Reserve Police. The statues erected in 1907 are a testimony to the contribution of postman Basappa, also known as Anche Basappa, and police constable Bhujangarao Jagadale.

Basappa was a postman during the reign of Maharaja Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar. Irrespective of the weather, Basasppa ensured that the mail was delivered to the citizens regularly by walking to every doorstep. Popularly known as ‘Postmama’, he never took a leave during his service and often served as an ‘agony aunt’ listening to the problems of the people and suggesting solutions. Such dedication prompted the Maharaja to honour Basappa with a statue. 

Anche Basappa’s photographs can also be seen at the Museum of Postal Training Centre located in Karanji Mansion, a heritage building near Nazarbad Police Station.

The Maharaja also got a statue installed in honour of Bhujangarao Jagadale, a constable who performed the guard of honour for the Maharaja. 

Jagadale served as a Mounted Guard of the Maharaja in 1907 and later headed a group of Mounted Police Force. He was part of the erstwhile Mysuru Rulers Polo team and used to play with the Maharaja. Jagadale’s statue was installed close to the statue of Basappa.

On the recommendation of a heritage committee, both the statues which were erected along the road were relocated to the premises of the Mounted Police Headquarters about two years ago by the Department of Archaeology, Museums and Heritage.

Postman statue in Belagavi

More than a hundred years after the statue of a postman was installed in Mysuru, another statue in honour of the ‘hardworking postmen’ came up in Belagavi. 

The eight-foot bronze statue weighing 350 kg was erected in January 2019 and the circle where it was installed was later renamed as Postman Circle. The statue was sculpted by Vinayak Manohar Patil of Belagavi and the officers and personnel of the Department of Posts pooled funds for the statue.

The statue is a tribute to the selfless service rendered by the postal department workers across the country.

Unknown soldier

In Bangaluru, a bronze statue of the ‘Unknown Soldier’ with head inclined and hands resting on the rifle was found at Minsk Square. It was installed on July 13, 1925 as a tribute to the men of Bangalore who were killed in World War II (1914-1918). After the Metro Rail station came up on Cubbon Road, the statue was shifted to Indira Gandhi Musical Fountain Park.

At the entrance of the Bangalore Palace also stands a life-size statue of a man in a turban with a majestic moustache. The statue in a glass enclosure dons a ceremonial military uniform sporting several medals. The statue is that of N Venkataswamy Raju, an inspector with the Mysore Royals, who served from 1887 and 1927. He also fought in the Second Anglo-Afgan War alongside Field Marshal Lord Roberts. 

It was recently reported that a temple has come up for ‘Corona Devi’ in the neighbouring state. Perhaps the unsung Corona Warrior, like the Unknown Soldier, deserves a statue for their dedication to a cause that is nothing less than a war.

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