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Dr.M.VISVESVARAYA

The Retired Dewan Has Not a Moment's Leisure

In 1918 Sri MV retired voluntarily. People think retirement means rest. MV lived for 44 years after he retired from service. He was 101 when he died. Except in the last few days when he was very weak, he wore himself out for the country.

From his boyhood Visvesvaraya was eager to learn new things. (When he was past one hundred, a relative was going to Madras; he asked MV, "What shall I bring you from Madras?" Said Sir MV, "Bring a good Modern English Dictionary.") As Dewan he had visited foreign lands twice. After retirement he went abroad so many times, for some work or the other. Japan, America, England, Sweden, Italy, Germany, France - he toured ever so many countries. Wherever he went, he had a notebook and a pencil in his hand. He made notes of any new information; and then - he had but one thought: how can this new knowledge help India? And when he was back he had but one aim - to carry out the new plans. How could he find time to think of personal matters?

Ten years after he retired from government service, floods in the Bhadra put a stop to the work in the Steel Factory in Bhadravati. It fell to Sir MV's lot to set things right. The General Manager of the factory, an American, said it would take at least six months to reopen the factory. Sir MV thought the period was too long. The officer was stubborn. Sri MV removed him. In a few days he got the factory going. Many officers in the factory belonged to other countries; naturally they were not as interested in the working of the factory as Indians. MV got a number of engineers of Mysore trained. In three years Mysoreans took the places of the foreigners.

It was MV's dream to start an Automobiles Factory and an Aircraft Factory in Mysore State. He worked in this direction from 1935. The Hindustan Aircraft Factory (now called the Hindustan Aeronautics) in Bangalore, and the Premier Automobile Factory in Bombay owe much to his efforts.

Suppose we make a list of all that Sir MV did for the country when he was in service; and another list of all that he did after he retired. Which list will be the longer? It is difficult to say.

The rivers of Orissa were frequently in floods; they caused a lot of trouble to the people. It was necessary to tame the rivers and to use the waters for the welfare of the people. MV studied the problems and prepared a report. This report paved the way for the construction of the Hirakud and other huge dams. New Delhi is the capital of India; the Government wanted to develop it in a planned way and make it a beautiful city also. A committee was formed to advise the Government; and Visvesvaraya did valuable work as a member. Big cities have municipalities and corporations to look after them, haven't they? Sometimes they do not have enough money, or do not use wisely the money they have. Then they get into serious difficulties. A number of municipalities and corporations were able to get out of difficulties because of MV's guidance - Bombay, Karachi, Baroda, Sangli, Marvi, Bhopal, Pandharpur, Ahmednagar, Nagpur, Bhavnagar, Rajkot, Goa .......

We hear so much about five-year Plans. If a country is to progress, planning is necessary. Where shall we begin? What is the most important need of the country?

What comes next? How much money do we

need? How shall we get the money? Do we, have the experts we need? Otherwise How shall we get the experts? How shall we train our young men? Where shall we get the machines? How can we make sure that money is spent properly? All these and a thousand other questions have to be considered. If we want to build a house, we prepare a plan; we estimate the cost; we get the money; we get the materials; and then we start the construction. Building up a country also requires planning and preparation. It is said that the first country to plan in this way was Soviet Russia. Her first five-year Plan dates back to 1928. Eight years earlier - in 1920 - MV had thought a good deal about planning and published a book, 'Reconstructing India'. In 1934 he wrote another book, 'Planned Economy for India'. Even at the age of 98 MV was writing books on planning.

Service of the country was this great man's 'tapas'. When he reached the age of 100, people all over India showered affection and respect on the Grand Old Man. The Government of India brought out a stamp in his honor.

Visvesvaraya passed away on 14th of April 1962. He was 101.


Dr.M.Visveshvaraya - One of the makers of Modern India
About Dr.M.Visvesvaraya
Introduction
The Struggle For Education
The builder Of Fortune Begins as an Engineer
As The Dewan Of Mysore - And Ideal Administrator
You are Here! The Retired Dewan Has Not A Moment's Leisure
Bharata Ratna ( The Gem Of India)
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