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Death of two freedom fighters

During the last week, Mysore lost two important personalities – Mrs. Vishalakshamma, industrialist and social worker and Mr. H.D.Tulsidas Dasappa, former Congress MP. Both were associated with the freedom movement and social and cultural life of Mysore.

Mrs. H.N.Vishalakshmamma (84), wife of late H.N. Iah and managing partner of Aravinda Parimala Works, died at her residence on the night of April 13. She was the first lady freedom fighter of Mysore City.

Influenced by a lecture of the Sringeri Swamiji at a function in Mysore, she had established Shri Bharathi Vrudhashrama, a home for the aged, and dedicated herself to take care the homeless aged serving as its President. She was actively engaged in social, educational and cultural activities as well, including the Chinmaya Institution of which she was the patron. Besides several local organizations, the Mysore City Corporation had honoured her in recognition of her contribution to the freedom struggle.

She is survived by H.N. Ramatheertha, presently President of the Mysore Chamber of Commerce& Industry, Chinmaya Vidyalaya, H.S. Rao and Sunanda.

Another bereavement Mysore suffered was that of former Congress MP Tulsidas Dasappa. A month ago, he was diagnosed with rectal cancer and admitted to a hospital in Bangalore where his end came on April 18. His body was brought to Mysore and the last rites were performed on the next day at his farm in Srirampura with State honours.

Mr. Tulsidas, who was 75, is survived by his wife Sarojamma Dasappa, daughter Sowmya and son Amaresh Dasappa. His other son, Lokesh Das had met watery grave at a waterfall near Ranchi, where he had gone on a picnic while being a student of B.Sc., (Forestry).

Tulsidas was the younger son of the well-known Congress leaders and freedom fighters of erstwhile Mysore State, H.C. Dasappa, who subsequently became the Union Railway Minister and Yashodaramma Dasappa, who had quit the Nijalingappa Ministry as Social Welfare Minister protesting against lifting of prohibition. They were also ministers in the State Cabinet. Like his parents, Tulsidas was a genuine Gandhian and a principled politician, a rare type to be seen these years.

Born on July 16, 1929, in Bangalore, he came under the strong influence of Sri Ramakrishna Ashram from his very early days, where he had his early education and later at the Mahajana Educational Institutions and the Maharaja's College, Mysore, before studying law in Delhi. Instead of legal profession, he took to public life and pursuit of politics, a hallmark of his family which had close links with Prime Ministers Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi. In fact, Indira Gandhi had visited their home “Yasho Vilas” in Vanivilasa Mohalla, Mysore.

Tulasidas Dasappa joined the freedom movement in his school days alone. He became a member of the Vanarasena and entered freedom struggle in 1938. Later, he participated in the Quit India Movement in 1942 and was imprisoned in Mysore. In 1959, he entered active politics by becoming the State Convener of the Youth Congress. He was President of the Indian Youth Congress between 1969 and 1971. Elected to the Lok Sabha from Mysore constituency thrice in 1967, 1971 and 1977, Tulasidas Dasappa had earlier served as the General Secretary of All India Youth Congress.

The Congres leader never sought to draw any mileage out of his position or the influence he commanded. If only he had done that, he would have easily adorned top positions. He also never strayed from the Gandhian political ideology and principles that he had set for himself. Following the footsteps of his role model parents, he never compromised on them like. Given to the principle of social justice, he was free from hatred, prejudice and jealousy.

In 1985, he retired from active politics. After his retirement from politics he engaged himself in social service. The bereavement of his son Lokesh Das was an unbearable loss for him.

He began a quiet life living with his other son Amarish Das along with his wife Sarojamma, and often visiting Mysore spending peaceful days at his farm on the outskirts of Mysore, a hobby he loved and a place which was dear to him. Identified as an unassuming and quiet social reformer, organiser, lover of good literary works and music, he will remain in memory for long as a gentleman politican. joins all others in mourning the death of this gentleman politician. He presided over the silver jubilee celebrations of “Samachar” English Daily as President of its reception committee. Even though those were the Emergency days of Indira Gandhi, Tulsidas was forthright in expressing his political views at that function.

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