BILLY PORTER! In 2013, Porter had an amazing Broadway comeback in the role of Lola in Kinky Boots, winning the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical for his sizzling work. All week, we’re highlighting the ten most-clicked stars who appeared on Broadway in 2013 (in no particular order!). Today’s fan favorite is… In the video below, Porter talks about his favorite things and moments from the year! View Comments
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Mini-Circuits has collaborated with 3D imaging sensor company Vayyar Imaging to offer microwave transceiver project kits with broad applicability for students and university programs spanning topics in electromagnetic theory, RF/microwave engineering, RF systems, and radar technology.The first project kit, UVNA-63 includes all the elements students need to build a fully functioning vector network analyzer, develop S-Parameter algorithms, and perform real-time measurements of 2-port RF devices. The kit comprises of Vayyar’s high-performance transceiver chip with a variety of RF components from Mini-Circuits along with control software, and a development environment for Python and MATLAB. The project addresses a gap in most RF curricula between classroom theory and the sophisticated equipment engineers use in the lab to perform complex measurements with the push of a button.The UVNA-63 vector network analyzer project kits are available now for pre-order and will be delivered in September, for the upcoming semester. Pre-orders may be placed on the Mini-Circuits website. For more information, click here.
Arsenal manager, Unai Emery, has been told to get Leicester City midfielder, Wilfred Ndidi.According to Sky Sports pundit, Jamie Redknapp, the Gunners have been “crying out for years” for a player like Ndidi.The Nigerian was in superb form on Saturday, as Leicester beat Arsenal 2-0.The 22-year-old completed the most tackles (7) in the encounter, managed a 100% passing accuracy in the final third and also made key interceptions (3) and successful take-ons (3).“He does a great job. He’s the sort of player that I think Arsenal have been crying out for for years.“He’s 22 years of age, got great pace, good energy, can pass the ball.“I think about the game earlier in the season when he gave the ball away against Chelsea and I thought ‘I wonder how he’ll react’. He ended up scoring a goal after it.“For such a young man he plays with so much assurance and the sort of player that [Adams] would have loved to have in front of you.“You [Adams] played with the magnificent Patrick Vieira. At 22 years of age, he’s got it all,” Redknapp told Express Sport.
Pittsburgh’s Michael Young (2) plays against Georgia Tech in the first of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)PITTSBURGH (AP) – Jamel Artis and Cameron Wright led all scorers with 20 points apiece and Michael Young added 16 as Pittsburgh beat Georgia Tech 70-65 Saturday.Pitt (13-5, 3-2 ACC) held Georgia Tech scoreless for over five minutes after Robert Sampson’s layup for the Yellow Jackets with 6:14 to play. The Yellow Jackets were scoreless for 5:12 before Charles Mitchell made two free throws with 1:12 left in the game.Sampson led Georgia Tech (9-8, 0-5 ACC) with 16 points, Marcus Georges-Hunt scored 13 and Charles Mitchell and Quinton Stephens each had 10.The contest featured 10 ties and seven lead changes.Pitt seemed to take control in the first half and took a nine-point lead with 8:29 to play in the period.Georgia Tech responded with a 13-4 run and the teams went into the halftime break tied at 31. The Yellow Jackets only made seven field goals and shot 37.5 percent but converted 11-of-13 free throws to stay in the game.Georgia Tech shot 39.6 percent for the game while the Panthers connected on 43.6 percent of field goals.After shooting 0-for-6 from 3-point range in the first half, Wright and Artis made 3s for the Panthers to start the second half.The Yellow Jackets later took a four-point lead on a 3-pointer by Travis Jorgensen, 46-42, with 13:20 to play for their largest advantage of the game.Pitt tied the game on a layup from Young with 9:21 left in regulation and did not trail again.TIP-INSGeorgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets have lost five games in a row to start conference play and haven’t won since beating Charlotte 67-66 on Dec. 30.Pittsburgh: Jamel Artis scored 20 points to tie his career-high in scoring. It was his second 20-point game after scoring 20 in Pitt’s over Manhattan Dec. 17.UP NEXTGeorgia Tech plays at No. 2 Virginia Thursday.Pittsburgh plays at No. 4 Duke Monday.
By Kyra Gillespie The atrocities occurring on Manus Island are as much a local issue as they are a national…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.
Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market If you’ve gotten your fill of the Forbidden City online, move ahead a little in conceived time and a few miles in virtual space and visit Beijing’s Yuangmingyuan, or Old Summer Palace. Digital Yuanmingyuan is a collaboration between the Summer Palace’s staff and researchers at the adjacent Tsinghua university. Unlike the Forbidden City, the Palace is a ruin, having been destroyed during the Opium Wars. The project is an attempt to reconstruct it in a shareable space it never had in real life. Currently the site contains a provisional environment built from 146 digitized photos and 22 video clips. The developers hope to launch the full environment on October 18, the 150th anniversary of the Palace’s destruction, according to China Daily. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#Visualization#web “(T)he digital reconstruction will be further expanded, incorporating drawings, photographs, historical records and archaeological findings, along with information gathered overseas by scholars and researchers.”Although built in the early 15th century, the Old Summer Palace was used as a primary place of government during the Ching Dynasty, from the early 18th century to the mid-19th. The Ming Dynasty, who built the Forbidden City, used it as the seat of day-to-day government, but the Ching only used it for formal ceremonies.Destroyed in 1860 during the Opium War, a time of foreign control over China, the ruins stand as a symbol of oppression. One can hardly avoid thinking of the reconstruction as a symbol of Chinese repossession of power. Yuanmingyuan photo by Bridget Coila curt hopkins Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…
Sanskrit pandits on the lawns of Mysore University: the past is not deadIn forthcoming issues India Today will present special reports on the states providing a broad overview of each state’s political, economic, social and cultural conditions as well as a critical analysis of the strengths and shortcomings of its,Sanskrit pandits on the lawns of Mysore University: the past is not deadIn forthcoming issues India Today will present special reports on the states providing a broad overview of each state’s political, economic, social and cultural conditions as well as a critical analysis of the strengths and shortcomings of its development efforts. We begin this series with Karnataka. Bhabani Sen Gupta undertook an extended tour of the state meeting politicians, farmers, bankers, and writers to produce this survey of a state still firmly rooted in its cultural heritage, at the same time emerging as a development model for the rest of the country. He found that Karnataka is in many respects a success story although its accomplishments are little known and the state has not received the nation-wide recognition it deserves. It is one of the few states that has legislated workable land reforms and sincerely implemented schemes to benefit the rural and urban poor. Its industrial progress centering around Bangalore – especially in the last decade – has been rapid and diversified. Culturally the state has experienced a renaissance in recent years – Kannada filmmakers with their starkly realistic approach have eclipsed the Bengal cinema and Kannada novelists have won world-wide acclaim for powerful depictions of the human condition. The state has also undergone a political awakening in recent years. The political ferment has been heightened by a drastic change of leadership styles as a flashy, publicity-oriented Chief Minister Gundu Rao, replaced the calmly efficient aristocrat, Devaraj Urs. The following four-part survey presents the diversity of today’s Karnataka:This land is of ancient vintage. It bears the footprints of one of the oldest civilisations, the hoofprints of many dynasties who have left their temples and forts, cave murals and figures of gods and goddesses carved out of stone, making it one of the richest treasure houses of archaeology and architecture.advertisementThe varied Kannadigas: traditional gentleman and silk weaverEtymologically, Karnataka means ‘the region of black cotton soil’. The black and yellow rocks that are scattered in the hills of Karnataka are among the oldest in the world, older than the Andes and the Himalayas.The road to Bellary, part of the rockies, is flanked by weird formations of rock as if whimsical giants had kicked huge pebbles or thrown them about at random. These gigantic rocks are now piled precariously one upon the other, at times topped by an arcane fortwall.This land is steeped in history. Kannada country, ruled and nourished by successions of dynasties indigenous and foreign – Satavahanas, Kadambas, Pallavas, Chalukyas, Rashtrakutas, Hoysalas – which wielded political power for more than a thousand years in the Deccan, exerting profound influence in all directions – north, south, east and west. There is music in the names of the rivers: Kaveri, Hemavathi, Yagachi, Krishna, Tunga, Ghataprabha, Malaprabha, Kalinadi, Bomanahalli.The shortest of the rivers, Sharavati, is 112 km long. The Kalinadi falls from an elevation of 900 m and courses eastward for 65 km till it reaches the dam at Bomanahalli. Here, in the poet Dom Moraes’ words, “it twists away from its previous course towards the south-east, and, eventually, like a brown snake shedding its skin, empties itself into the waters of the Arabian Sea”.Strong and swift, it breaks into “sudden foam on sudden , rocks, a broad river sunk in its gorges between high hills burdened with dense forests, little waterfalls bursting out of their hairy flanks and dropping in stringy slivers to the water beneath”.’Moped’ girlsThe Tungabhadra leaps up, at the damsite, in a “huge curve of pain and terror”. The “long tongues” of the Ghataprabha lick at the dry parched land in rainless Belgaum and Bijapur districts in the rockies.Living Past: Traversing the dry thirsty terrain, author R.K. Narayan halts at the town of Shorapur, on the road to Bellary, and muses on the possibility of a short novel “of a world that looks minor but expands in retrospect as history, and in prospect as a centre of various modern developments; but at the moment, remaining a circumscribed community, with the peasant-class in the surrounding villages, living in the world of their own. In a geographically limited space, life is capable of acquiring great intensity”.The past is not dead: it lives, though buried, in the depths of tradition. Or so is one told. Apparently, Kannada society is still deeply traditional, loud colourful flashes of modernity notwithstanding. “We are the least threatened people in the south,” avows a young university lecturer when asked how the Kannadiga is different from his compatriots in the neighbouring states. “We are deeply rooted to our soil and we still do not generally venture out.” He is a Lingayat. Unlike in Tamil Nadu or Kerala, the Brahmin or other high castes here do not feel threatened and are not migrating in large numbers for jobs to the north.advertisementNor is the Kannadiga more than a peripheral partner of the carpet-bagging culture of Bangalore. “We are a tolerant people. We don’t mind sharing our wealth with others,” says a 32-year-old chartered accountant working for a multinational company.The women of Karnataka: labourers wearing palmleaf caps and (right) a well-to-do matronOf the 34 million people who live in Karnataka, 20 million are Kannada-speaking. Over six million speak Telugu or Tamil or Malayalam or Marathi. Tamil, however, is the language of the bazar, the street and the offices, a leftover from the past when most of the south belonged to the erstwhile Madras province.There are more Hindi-speaking people in Karnataka than Malayalees and almost as many Punjabis as Bengalis. Nearly 11 per cent of the population is Muslim and over 3 per cent Christian. “Our face is turned to the north,” affirms a leading journalist. “This is the land that nourished Sankaracharya, the greatest protagonist of the Brahmanic religion.”Huge Projects: “They are a lazy lot, these Kannadigas,” growls a Tamilian who owns a medium engineering plant on the outskirts of Bangalore. “They just won’t work. They have no ambition. Our workmen are either Keralites or Tamils or Telugus.”Hoarding for a Malayalam porno film in Bangalore: provoking feminist protestsMost of the 75,000 employees of the ‘Five Sisters’ – the five major public sector undertakings located in Karnataka – are non-Kannadigas; in the officer cadres Kannadigas are few and far between. Says a secretary to the state Government: “These huge projects have given Karnataka a lot of prestige, and integrated the state firmly with the rest of the country. But, when you come to think of it, the local people have got very little out of them. They add no more than a mite to the revenue of the state Government. They have helped push the price of land in Bangalore up beyond the reach of the legitimately rich. All the slums you see in Bangalore are inhabited by Tamils or Telugus. The great bulk of ancillary industries is owned by non-Kannadigas. The boys who are coming out of the universities and professional colleges and cannot find jobs have begun to resent this. It will not be long before their resentment takes political colour.”The ‘moped’ girl of Bangalore is a unique feature of the modernizing present; in no other city in India can one see so many young women riding Enfield ‘mini-Bullets’. Few of them, however, are Kannadigas. There is a long tradition in Karnataka of capable women; a Portuguese horse-trader who spent three years in Vijayanagar from 1535 saw women wrestlers, soothsayers, accountants and historians. There is also the long tradition of accomplished female courtesans (suleyars) whose presence “brought sunshine and delight” to society.advertisementThe devadasi tradition is still alive in more than one district. In Chin Chansua village, 20 km from Gulbarga, 50 Harijan women walk naked in broad daylight on an auspicious day in April to the temple of Mahaput Tai, watched by thousands of men including some who travel long distances to witness the “festival of group nakedness”.Graceful Women: The Kannadiga woman is pretty when she is not beautiful; some, when they stand still, look like the statues in the temples. In personality, grace and energy women seem to outshine men in any mixed crowd.Puttappa, Bendre and S. Karanth: the elitist creationA fledgling ‘women’s lib’ movement is trying to make the Kannadiga woman aware of her dignity as a human being. “Don’t Use Our Body to Sell Your Products” scream posters stuck on the walls of Bangalore, which is probably India’s most permissive metropolis.A booming flesh trade draws prostitutes from all over the south and Maharashtra. Prostitutes solicit openly in front of posh hotels. There are several bars in the Residency Road area in whose parking lots cars are double parked every evening, bumper to bumper.Drinks are served to intimate couples in the cars, and nobody minds what goes on in the expensive darkness. Several old movie theatres, gone to seed, show blue films. Sex spoofs made in Kerala mint money in Bangalore.Some of the younger women have risen in protest. Five feminist groups are active; they run a magazine, which is said to be “of women, for women, by women”. Their campaign against obscene film posters has met with some success.”In most Kannada middle class homes, the woman is a docile, domesticated animal whose function is to bed with the husband, rear children and cook,” says Yeshupriya, a 26-year-old activist in the women’s movement.”Young girls are sent to college only to qualify for marriage. Few have a role awareness, or any ambition of their own. My mother is a working woman. There was a time when I was the only other earning member of the family. Yet my mother hardly consulted me about anything but always consulted my brother who was still a student.”Others are less pessimistic because they are less militant. According to Miss Kala, the vivacious public relations officer of the Institute of Management, the women’s movement is already having an impact on the younger generation. “Young girls, are becoming rapidly aware of their importance as human beings; many of them want to be independent and self-supporting.”This is confirmed by a 41-year-old woman working in a government department who got married only three years ago. She is for more rights for women, but is shocked and puzzled by the suicide of a young married woman living near her own house. “She had a love marriage, which is bad for women,” she says, hiding her cavity-prone teeth with her fingers.Dubious Distinction: She betrays no reaction when she is told that Karnataka has the dubious distinction of leading the country in the number of female suicides. Nor is she aware of the high incidence of insanity, nervous breakdowns and psychic disorders among rural women, which has begun lo claim official attention.Population statistics show that the male-female ratio in Karnataka runs very close till the age of 25, after which the gap begins to widen in favour of the male: in the 30-55 age group, there are pronouncedly fewer women than men. Evidently tradition weighs more heavily on women than men in Karnataka as in the rest of the country.Belur sculpture: ancient splendour”I don’t know if I am ambitious, but I day-dream all the time,” says an M.A. student at the quiet sprawling campus of Bangalore University, and adds, without looking at the three other boys who are with him lo idle away a couple of hours in the coffee house, “We all do.”Conversations reveal that they dream of adventures a la Bombay movies -of girls, of living in a foreign country, of making a lot of money. None seems to be close lo his father. “Fathers and sons keep a certain distance in our society,” says one of the youths. “Our mothers are too conventional. We can’t talk to them about anything serious.” The students in Karnataka are among the least politicised in India; the universities are not littered with political graffiti as they are in the north.But young men and women are caught in other tensions. “The biggest tension of young people is the growing asymmetry between their home life and the world out-side,” says a professor at the Institute of Management. “They are caught between two worlds – the world of their parents and grandparents, of tradition and convention, and the merciless cut-throat competitive money-greased world outside.”Elitist Creation: Nowhere in India have the Graces flourished more fabulously than in Karnataka; nor does it lag behind other tales in the tougher arts of soldiery and sport. And yet the social base of the creative arts is still elitist and narrow, with the sole exception of music which has a universality here unmatched anywhere else in the country. The Kannadiga has a penchant for the massive. Among the three Kannadigas who have won the country’s highest literary honour, the Gnanpith award, D. R. Bendre, apart from composing 26 volumes of poetry, translated the Mahabharata into Kannada, and K. V. Putlappa, once vice-chancellor of Mysore University, author of 20 collections of poems, wrote an epic- Ramayana Darshan, which has been translated into Hindi, English and Sanskrit.In Kannada fiction which is about 86 years old, the most famous name is Sivaram Karanth, the third winner of the Gnanpith award, but equally well-known are U. R. Ananda Murthy and T. R. Subba Rao, author of more than 100 novels. In Indo-Anglican writings, Raja Rao, R. K. Narayan and the brilliant young poet A. K. Ramanujan, are known and read the world over.Since the 14th century, south Indian music has been known as the Karnataka School of Music; in Hindustani music too, the Kannadiga has his place of distinction. There is no more authoritative study of Indian music than Sarangdeva’s Sangeetaratnakara, a work more than 600 years old.Benegal and Karnad: avant-gardeBhimsen Joshi, Gangubai Hangal and Mallikarjuna Mansoor are among the front-rankers in contemporary Indian music; All India Radio has in its archives in Delhi and Dharwar 70 hours of taped Mansoor music. The richly costumed Yakshagana dance, rescued from its death throes in the ’50s by K. S. Karanth, is now a sturdy rival of Kathakali, taught systematically at the Institute of Performing Arts, Manipal.Splendrous Sculpture: The temple sculptors of old Karnataka had no problems with the sex of angels. For them, all angels were female and each one more beautiful than the other. The cave paintings of Badami; the breathtakingly exquisite female forms at Sravanabelagola, which is better known in the country for the massive monolith of Gomateswara; the wall carvings and friezes of the Hoysalesvara temple at Halebid; the bracket ladies and the Navaranga Pillars of Belur, the Virupaksha temple and the Lotus Mahal at Hampi and coming down to our times, the Maharaja Palace in Mysore are among the finest and the most splendrous that India has in architecture and sculpture.The Kannadiga’s passion for the massive has survived through the centuries. Ranjan Gopal Shenoy, master craftsman and national award winner in sculpture, has just finished carving a 20-metre-high Buddha in 64 pieces to be erected at the Tubosaka Dera temple at Nara, Japan.Returning to the performing arts, M.S. Sathyu, Shyam Benegal. Girish Karnad and B.V. Karanth are among the best known names in Indian cinema and theatre. Fantastic varieties of Kannada culture can be seen at the folklore museum of Mysore, which few tourists care to frequent.There is also an equally neglected literary museum in the city where manuscripts of writers, dead and alive, including their shoes, clothes, and even underwear are reverentially preserved under glass. As regards Karnataka’s contribution to the defence forces, every third male adult in Coorg is a soldier, which is also the home of Generals Cariappa and Thimayya. Karnataka is also the home state of a galaxy of Indian cricket Test stars – Chandrasekhar, Prasanna, Vishwanath, Roger Binny, Brijesh Patel – and India’s outstanding badminton player Prakash Padukone.Unprofitable Business: The stars in the Karnataka cultural firmament, however, do not eliminate the darkness. “We have no market here for Kannada books,” laments one of the five big publishing houses, which do only a modest trade. Only about 15 authors are in some demand; perhaps one or two can live entirely off their royalties.Royalty is paid “periodically”, that is, irregularly, at the rate of 15 per cent of gross sales only to writers who have made a name. A print order is generally of 1,000 copies which take three years to sell. “Publishing is the least profitable of all business in Bangalore,” adds another of the big five.Authors complain that they are cheated by the publishers; an effort to form a writers’ guild hasn’t made much headway because Kannada writers have not learnt to cooperate to promote their own interests as writers in Kerala have.(From left to right) Vishwanath, Chandrasekhar and Padukone: stars who can’t light up the stateSocial purpose fiction does exist, however, Dalit writers expose the tyranny of the high and intermediate castes. A group of intellectual writers create ‘Bamdaya (revolutionary) sahitya’ which does not sell; there is also a “rationalist” school of novelists who fight superstitions and godheads.About 40 women writers manufacture what is known as ‘aadage mane sahitya’ (kitchen literature), spoofs exalting traditional middle class moralities and values. “This is the cultural staple of our women who patronise everything that goes against them,” snarls a young woman college teacher who writes short stories of protest and defiance, and worships Kamala Hemige, the leading protagonist of this avant-garde movement among feminists.The new wave cinema opened refreshing vistas of exposure and protest. A recent new wave movie, Muru Darigalu (Waves of the Sea), praised by the critics and shunned by patrons, flopped at the box-office. Directed by Girish Kasaravalli, it is the story of Neemu, played competently by Sriranga Krishnamurthy on her debut, a wilful, headstrong girl from a rural middle class family who charges against society as the waves of the sea charge against the shore, only to be bewildered by society’s stubborn and stoic refusal to recognise her individuality and lust for freedom.New Wave: “The new wave is on the wane,” moans Lankesh, 46, whose new-wave film, Pallavi (Refrain) once won seven awards including the nation’s highest. Lankesh is now a wiser and richer man who has developed a paunch and smokes Dunhill cigarettes; apart from directing commercial films, he runs a weekly as well as a publishing firm.The economics kill the new wave movie, Lankesh tries to explain. The producer can collect his money only after the distributor and the Government have taken their own. Besides, production costs are rising sharply, while government subsidies of Rs 1 lakh for a black and white movie and Rs 1.5 lakh for a colour movie are “peanuts.” The mood of the Kannadiga film-goer is an enigma: “You never know what he wants and what he will take.” Lankesh’s hit movie People Who Come From Nowhere, which picked up Rs 2 lakh in two weeks, was about a “modern farmer”. Unable to get a city job, an educated man turns to farming without knowing what it’s all about. He hires a labourer whose skill and devotion make the farm a success. But all kinds of conflicts, social, cultural and emotional, break out between members of the farmer’s family and the proletariat which comes from nowhere.Lankesh’s flop movie was about a call-girl. The censors scissored off 1,500 ft of the film and killed its box-office chances. “The Kannadiga has no appetite for sex,” says Lankesh, “whether on the screen or in print. He likes it hush-hush. The crowds you see at the sex films from Kerala have very few Kannadigas among them.”Karnataka, says Lankesh, has about 1,500 cinemas, but only 30-35 Kannada films are produced in a year as against about 100 in Kerala. The non-Kannadiga won’t watch a Kannada movie, but the Kannadiga must watch each and every Tamil film coming to town or village.”The rich traditional music of Dharwar is dying,” lamented Pandit Basavraj to Dom Moraes. “Only four musicians are left in Dharwar. I am one. When we are dead, the tradition will also be dead.” This shocking tiding is confirmed by Mallikarjuna Mansoor.However, Karnataka music is far, far from dead. It is the most alive cultural wave in this land, its most integrating fluid. The Kannadiga, the Tamil, the Telugu and the Malayalee do not mingle socially, except when they assemble in thousands to listen to their musicians. Vast open or canopied spaces become huge lakes of music. People sit for hours waggling their heads in ecstasy. The gods watch with misty eyes.POLITICS: EMERGING POLARISATIONUrsA mist hangs on Karnataka, which can be mistaken for a mystique. It is a political mist. It mixes with thin clouds of social stirrings. The harmonies of Karnataka, for decades the main source of its strength, are no longer a theme for chamber music.It has not lost all of the tender and lyrical scores, but has gathered pungent, even explosive, dissonant tunes. The Kannadigas are still among India’s most gentle, most tolerant and most rooted people. But a deep, painful restlessness rumbles beneath the quiet surface of Karnataka’s social fabric.Karnataka is Indira Gandhi territory if there is any in the republic. From a distance the fortress of Congress(I) still looks erect and secure. Scrutinised closely, its ramparts have cracks that could cleave the edifice to a crumbled imperial ruin.Like Nabokov’s prose, the graffiti scribbled on the social walls of Karnataka conceal more than they reveal. Bangalore stoops with its prodigal, technicolour weight. Its affluence is a glittering enclave increasingly estranged from the humbler rhythms of Kannadiga life. The wheels of this opulent island are lubricated with black money which flows in abundance into its arteries from Bombay, Madras, Hyderabad and Delhi. People say that corruption has become pervasive; from the minister to the peon, nothing moves unless the buck has changed hands. Men and women, used to being governed reasonably well for more than a decade, are appalled as the quality of administration slithers down with alarming speed.But the balance of discontent on which Devaraj Urs had rebuilt Karnataka in seven and a half years of his chief ministership – giving the state a period of quiet seminal change comparable to what Pratap Singh Kairon and Bidhan Chandra Roy had, in earlier times, given to Punjab and Bengal – is splitting, at rural and urban seams. Urs, unkinged in January 1980, now surveys his lost estate with the gloom of Shakespeare’s Richard II, as Bolingbroke, in this case a robust man of 44 named Ramarao Gundu Rao, turns uneasy on the throne, the last remains of a brittle glory trembling on his face. The violets that strew the green lap of Karnataka’s Congress(I) spring – to labour a Shakespearean metaphor – have been drawn, according to Bangalore intellectuals, from the “Sanjay mafia.” Gundu RaoGundu Rao swears his total loyalty to the prime minister as loudly and warmly as Devaraj Urs used to do in the first six years of his chief ministership. “I am a blind follower of Madam. She is the ruler of Karnataka. Bereft of her blessing, nobody is anybody in my state,” affirmed Gundu Rao in an exclusive interview.Irony: There is an element of irony in the fact that to see an imprint of Indira Gandhi’s progressivism one has to go all the way to Karnataka for the greening hasn’t happened in Congress-ruled northern, western or eastern India. Bangalore is Indira Gandhi’s Trafalgar. Here, in the Glass House of Lal Bagh, in the heart of India’s “garden city”, she split the Indian National Congress twice in ten years, in 1969 and 1978.From Congress through Convention Congress to Indira Congress, the transfiguration of the ruling party was watched silently by two ancient mango trees planted by Tipu Sultan. (Also by a tall pine couple named by the local people as Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bhaduri). A guide was telling a herd of tourists collected inside the structure: “This glass house has come to be known as the Split House. Don’t hold a marriage party here!”When Indira Gandhi broke with the Syndicate in 1969, Karnataka was “enemy” territory – firmly in the clasp of the high Lingayat caste whose nationally known leader was S. Nijalingappa, a stalwart of the old Congress. In the parliamentary poll of 1971 and the state election of 1972. Indira Gandhi conquered Karnataka along with most of the country and installed in the office of chief minister a little known man of 54, who was not even a member of the legislature.She picked him up from a microscopic caste of a mere 5,000 people scattered in three districts, Mysore, Mandya and Hasan. Thus came Devaraj Urs to the centre of Karnataka politics, breaking 18 years of Lingayat and Vokkaliga rule. With Indira Gandhi’s backing, Urs brought about a silent revolution in Karnataka the like of which the Congress has promised to the whole country but delivered nowhere else.Urs built a broad political coalition of the weaker segments in the higher castes, Harijans and Muslims thereby banishing the two traditional ruling high castes, Lingayats and Vokkaligas, from the centre of political power. He cemented the new caste and class coalition with the only meaningful land reforms carried out under Congress rule anywhere in India, and with several other innovative measures to lift the poor and the deprived.Urs mixed the dynamics of social change with development inputs – generously given by the Centre and boldly mobilised within Karnataka – to create a sustained momentum of development. Karnataka climbed to the top of the statewise development ladder, elbowing down even Punjab, and remained there for five successive years.Said J. D. Sethi, a member of the planning commission during the Janata regime which was not overly friendly towards Devaraj Urs, “Karnataka’s performance is all the more remarkable because it has tried to raise the growth rate with social justice.”It’s a pity that so little of Karnataka’s silent revolution of the 1970s is chronicled and documented. The mass media and the Karnataka Government have joined together to untell the story to the people. Devaraj Urs commissioned two famed writers to compose ecstatic profiles of Karnataka.Agitating farmers: a reflection of the overall political awakening sweeping KarnatakaThe result was Dom Moraes’ The Open Eyes: A Journey Through Karnataka in 1976, followed within a year by R. K. Narayan’s The Emerald Route, embellished with sketches drawn by his brother, R. K. Laxman, the cartoonist.Both volumes shimmer with ripples of crimson prose; Dom Moraes even captures the spasms of pain, terror, beauty and joy residing in the ancient bowels of the Kannada earth which has seen many civilisations and empires go unto the dust. R. K. Narayan has presented Mysore, essentially his own city, to his readers as Malgudi. The Open Eyes has been “withdrawn from circulation”; its offence is that “it does not tell the story of our development”. The official who gives the explanation blushes to hear his own words for the real reason for the banishment of The Open Eyes is the praise Moraes bestows on Devaraj Urs. Gundu Rao has engaged H. Y. Sharda Prasad, information secretary to the prime minister, to write the text of a third prestige publication on Karnataka, which has been lavishly ornamented with photographs by T. S. Satyan, one of the country’s best professional photographers.The Emerald Route studiously skirts around the story of Karnataka’s development and social change as if it is a fearful god better left alone. Sharda Prasad, too, one is told, follows the tracks of R. K. Narayan. It so happens, then, that the story of the only state where a social transformation has been wrought during Indira Gandhi’s national helmsmanship and under the tepid warmth of her brand of socialism, remains untold except in dry, tasteless bureaucratic prose. The social transformation of the ’70s broke for ever the domination of the high Lingayat and Vokkaliga castes, but did not mount an assault on the caste frame of Kannadiga society. Urs advanced the startling theory that in India caste means class and class means caste, thus taking the sociology of M. S. Srinivasan and Andre Beteille to their logical, if unscholarly, conclusion.Gundu Rao, less sophisticated, is more blunt: “We may talk about socialism, but our politics is based only on castes.” He comes of a liberal Brahmin sect in Coorg, and is the first Brahmin chief minister of a southern state in decades. He had been nourishing chief ministerial aspirations since 1975, and was planning a patient long-term strategy to climb to the summit.Being a Brahmin is a built-in disadvantage. Gundu Rao keeps his alert eyes darting in all directions to spot and engage threatening pretenders. Several central ministers from Karnataka have their eyes riveted on the crown that Gundu Rao uneasily wears. In Karnataka politics, a coalition of the weaker castes is not enough to capture and retain power; there must be “marginal” support from either of the two main high castes.Coping: Gundu Rao is not a man bereft of political acumen. Tall and handsome, his scruffy face is furrowed by ambition and resolve. Before becoming chief minister he was a minister in Urs’ cabinets for seven years. He is not intellectually equipped to comprehend the complexities of government, less of development and social change.But he has learnt how to manipulate inner-party tensions and differences, and rivalries and animosities among political personalities. He is also equipped with coping techniques. He has a certain natural charm and his brown eyes betray glints of ruthlessness and adventure, qualities which probably drew him to Sanjay Gandhi.He reduced his first challenger, S. Bangarappa, a flamboyant pretender of 47 years, with relative ease. Bangarappa, a Lohia socialist from Shimoga turned Congressite in 1976, a minister in three cabinets, stabbed Devaraj Urs when the embattled chief minister needed his support and help most. He defected to Congress(I) and Mrs Gandhi put him in charge of Congress(I) in Karnataka.But when it came to the question of choosing a new chief minister, she smiled on Gundu Rao, one of Sanjay’s choices for the highest offices in the newly won states. Bangarappa found that Gundu Rao was not even prepared to take him in the cabinet. “Madam prevailed upon me to join the ministry,” he said in an interview.They did not get on well from the beginning. Bangarappa claimed that he resigned because the chief minister was “corrupt”; not even 10 per cent of the people were pleased with Gundu Rao’s “mafia rule.” After Bangarappa’s resignation from the ministry and his refusal to quit as president of the adhoc KPCC(I), an upsurge of dissident activity bubbled up in several districts, particularly in South Canara, North Canara, Shimoga, Mandya and Hasan. They were no more than bubbles. Bangarappa is now a nervous man of many fears, but still hopes to avenge his ignominious dismissal.If Gundu Rao’s political future is better than his present circumstances, it is because his rivals neutralise one another in the claustrophobic climate of Congress(I) politics in Karnataka. Veerendra Patil, B. Shankaranand, and C. K. Jaffar Sharief are central ministers.They blockade one another and are collectively blockaded by the godfather-like F. M. Khan, a rich coffee planter from Coorg, now an MP, who stands so solidly behind Gundu Rao that in Bangalore living room parlance they are clubbed together as the Gang of Two. K. H. Patil, who had toppled the Urs ministry as PEC president in December 1977, is now a chastened man.B. Basavalingappa, for long a bitter critic of Indira Gandhi, was readmitted to the portals of Congress(I) early this year to take care of the Harijan flank of Gundu Rao’s political support base. But the chief minister is shrewd enough not to lean too visibly on a man who is reputed for corruption, inefficiency and highly personalised anti-Brahmin insolence. To countervail him, Gundu Rao propped up another Harijan leader. K. H. Ranganath, speaker of the Legislative Assembly.Politicians in India are like cats; you can never tell from the sound of them whether they are fighting or making love. Karnataka is no exception. This traditionally Nehru territory has been unusually and confusedly politicised since 1977- two Lok Sabha and two state elections have taken place in four years.There is hardly a political leader who has not defected from one party to another during this time. The massive vote that the Congress(I) got in the parliamentary and state polls of 1980 does not mean that the electorate will vote for it massively next time too. They voted for Indiramma because they had no local leader who deserved their respect and support.”Arasu” – Devaraj Urs – was seen by most voters as a betrayer of Indira Gandhi. Their simple loyalties were ravished when they heard Urs denigrate the one whom he had praised for years. The men who are in power proclaim their loyalty to Indiramma louder than King Lear’s two elder daughters. But something is fatally missing. There is no good government.There is no efficient administration. There is no honesty and integrity in politics. The air reeks with ministerial corruption. Mrs Gandhi probably doesn’t know how much her image has suffered in Karnataka in 20 months.Farmers’ Agitation: Considerable restlessness and some class militancy are visible in this long-placid state. The farmers’ agitation has grown into an organised movement of peasants of all categories; the peasant rally in Bangalore in February was an impressive show, and an indication of the beginning of left mobilisation of the rural poor.Seventy thousand employees of the public sector undertaking in Bangalore struck work this year for 75 days. Forty thousand bidi workers are being organised by the communists who are trying to link up these poor exploited people with the tobacco growers’ movement for better price for the crop. There have been long strikes of teachers and medical students.The peace that had reigned in Karnataka for 25 years is broken. More than 60 people were killed in police firings alone in the 14 months up to April 1981. The police fired on crowds at the rate of almost once a month. Indeed, more people have died from police bullets in Karnataka during Gundu Rao’s regime than in all the other preceding regimes put together.Mrs Gandhi’s estate is not as secure now as it was in January 1980. She needs vigorous surrogates in Bangalore, the cradle of her personalised political leadership. She has none. Urs built Karnataka for her in her image; its present rulers are losing it out, by their incompetence and corruption.If Karnataka passes out of Indira Gandhi’s pale, can Andhra Pradesh remain a Congress(I) fortress for long? The south has been sustaining Mrs Gandhi’s leadership since 1969 together with Maharashtra and Gujarat. If the south slips away from her clasp, her hold on Indian politics will become tenuous.LEGISLATIVE MAKE-UPThe grandiose Vidhan Soudha building in Bangalore: a mixed bagThe Karnataka Legislative Assembly, elected in 1978, is predominantly a house of middle-aged men and women. The majority of them are farmers or lawyers, not highly educated. An average MLA is the parent of 3.6 children.Autobiographical data available of 224 MLAs reveal that 86 of them are farmers and 54 lawyers. Ten are both. Twenty-five MLAs appear to be professional politicians, which shows that politics is still not an all-time occupation for the vast majority of our legislators. Twenty-three describe themselves as businessmen, five are teachers and only three practise medicine.Ninety-three of the MLAs are in their 40s, followed by 60 who are in their 30s. Only 11 are really young, in their 20s, but 39, being in their 30s, are on the right side of middle age. Twenty are in their 60s and only one in his 70s. Of the 224 MLAs, reading is the hobby of 52, social work of 32 and sports of 31.Educationwise, 33 are matriculates, 22 non-matriculates, 10 passed intermediate arts while seven read up to the primary stage. At the other end, 28 are BAs and only one appears to have a postgraduate degree. Six describe themselves as undergraduates. Two have ten children each, 57, six or more. Sixteen are bachelors.POLITICIANS: A STUDY IN CONTRAST Urs and Gundu Rao: implacable foesThere can be no sharper study in political and personality contrasts than of Devaraj Urs, builder of today’s Karnataka, and Gundu Rao, unmaker of the Karnataka of tomorrow. The two face each other from the dividing line in the legislative Assembly, the young chief minister’s bombastic, pugilist style pitted against the elderly opposition leader’s pensive sarcasm and avuncular loftiness.For over an hour last spring Gundu Rao told this reporter what a paper tiger Urs really was, how his personal political ambition, once unbridled from the restraining hands of Madam, drove him inexorably to kamikaze politics.Urs, in a three-hour tour de horizon, spoke about Karnataka’s development saga and left him off at the end. Gundu Rao spoke only about Urs, ‘Madam’ and himself. Urs told the story of the “welfare state of Karnataka”, which also happened to be the story of his life, and the tale of his hubris – Indira Gandhi.Urs lives in a large tree-shaded house in an exclusive neighbourhood in Bangalore. He starts his day at 8 in the morning and retires at 11 in the night. At 66, this tall, stocky, bald man has a princely air about him; the imposing nose on top of firm lips and a resolute jaw indicate determination and courage. The chiseled face is sad from bereavement and political adversity; the brown eyes are wells of loneliness. Urs sees on an average 100 people every day; it used to be 1,000 when he was chief minister. He refuses to believe that he has passed into history.R. Gundu Rao resides in the palatial residence specially renovated to suit his flamboyant tastes. A man of considerable energy, he is physically and mentally restless. Even as he talks, his mind is working out some knotty calculations. He is a man of noise and bluster, of volatile temperament and fiery brash language. Crowds mill about his house from morn to late night.He is at once fascinated and awed by the jostling, ubiquitous favour-seekers and wire-pullers who revolve around him all the time. “How can a man who is always surrounded by 500 people get any time to think?” he wailed at a public function. But he would not reduce the number to 499.Devaraj Urs comes from the subcaste of the Wodeyar maharajas who ruled Mysore under British tutelage for 67 years. He lost his father when he was nine. At the age of 25 he was elected to the Mysore assembly. “I had strong feelings against the caste binds of Indian society even when I was very young,” Urs reminisced. “I love the earth of Karnataka and I stayed in my village rather than shift to Bangalore till I was more than 40 years old.” He had been a minister since 1962, serving under Nijalingappa for whom he has considerable respect. When the Congress split in 1969, his pulse quickened to the throb of Indira Gandhi’s socialism, which fired his own thinking.At the Bangalore session of the Convention Congress, he decided to join the forces of Indiraji. He built the new Congress organisation in Karnataka “almost alone”, he said, adding, “I was happy to get an opportunity to build.” Political socialisation of Karnataka began only in 1972, after the great victory of Mrs Gandhi’s party in the election.Realignment: Installed as chief minister, Urs moved quickly and deftly to effect a fundamental realignment of social forces. Hitherto the legislature was dominated by the high castes, a coalition of the urban and rural rich; Urs was the first among chief ministers to conceive of “backward castes”-the weaker sections of the high castes, and to give them reservation of jobs as well as seats in institutions of higher education including professional colleges.He built a broad based coalition of the backward castes, Harijans, tribals and Muslims and cemented the coalition with liberal distribution of patronage. Armed with this new socio-political power base, he launched land reforms and other welfare measures to reduce economic disparities and yoke the mass of people to the wheels of development.”I did the opposite of what Karpoori Thakur did in Bihar,” mused Urs. “In Karnataka, the proper ambience for major social reforms and the reforms themselves fed one another and strengthened both. In Bihar, the backward class movement only united the Harijans and the higher castes. Bihar’s social fabric was torn to pieces by the tensions and conflicts of the ’70s. In Karnataka, on the other hand, a major social transformation took place with the willing cooperation of all sections of the people.””We had to begin from scratch in the matter of improving the lot of the poor. and exploited castes who also happen to be the poor and exploited classes,” Urs continued. The land reforms, the housing and house sites projects for the poor, old age pensions, the making of higher education free for Harijans and tribals, the schemes to provide off-season work to the rural people, which broke the back of rural unemployment, the massive extension of bank and other institutional credits to the poor, all these and other measures were taken in the relatively short period of seven years, making Karnataka a state where you do not see the kind of bleak and hopeless poverty that stares you in the face in most of the other states. Winds of positive change blew away the clouds of corruption and nepotism from people’s vision.In pacing up development activity. Urs said he laid down two basic guidelines. The first was: “Development must be for people; what does not change people’s life for the better is not development.” The second guideline was that at least 50 per cent of the development resource must be spent in the villages. “I said, no big buildings please.” When his attention was drawn to 182 skyscrapers under construction in Bangalore in 1981, Devaraj Urs smiled sadly. “These things have been happening after my time,” he whispered.He had a lot to say about Indira Gandhi that wasn’t nice to hear, but he said it without malice. “Why couldn’t she get land reforms done anywhere else in her domain? Would there have been land reforms in Karnataka without Devaraj Urs?” He paused, and then remarked somewhat distantly, “Not once when we met would she ask me anything about development or social justice. All her inquiries were about who was or might be up to what mischief against her.”Faithful: “Karnataka has always remained faithful to the Nehru family,” reflected R. Gundu Rao, sitting in his bedroom at Karnataka Bhavan in New Delhi’s Diplomatic Enclave. “In this, we are in the company of Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat rather than Tamil Nadu and Kerala.”In February 1972, Mrs Gandhi’s leadership won for her party a surprise landslide victory. She picked up Devaraj Urs as the first representative of a minority caste to form the Government. “It was Madam who broke the long-standing higher caste hold on political power in Karnataka.”According to Rao the Urs ministry was unstable and it lasted only because Urs enjoyed the backing of Madam. After the 1977 parliamentary election, Urs emerged as an individual in his own right and immediately started harbouring higher political ambitions.When the Janata government appointed the Grover Commission, Urs was visibly afraid that his acts of omission and commission would be exposed, said Rao, charging that Urs then started a hushed dialogue with the Janata leadership. The Grover Commission involved nine ministers, “but not me, they could find nothing against me,” heaved Rao.In the 1978 election, “People used to say Urs was- Madam’s man and I Sanjay’s man; our two constituencies were called the Rae Bareli and Amethi of Karnataka.” Urs, the chief minister said, was not particularly willing to .’see Madam contest from Chikmagalur for the Lok Sabha and when she was expelled from Parliament, Urs decided to leave her.”I opposed him. I told him that we are a major power in Karnataka only because we have her as our leader. In any case I could not think of leaving Madam when she was in distress. I am not a cynic in politics. In politics we must have permanent friends and permanent enemies.” He and Urs divided on the crucial question of whether Indira Gandhi’s days were over. “I told him bluntly that he was committing a breach of trust.”Kalpanath Rai, one of the general secretaries of AICC(I), who was present for the latter half of the interview, intervened to say, “We were nervous about our chances in Karnataka both in 1978 at the time of the state poll and later in January 1980. The one man who was not nervous at all, whose faith in our victory was not shaken a bit, was Gundu Rao.”Gundu Rao said that the fact that Urs’ party came a mere third in the poll and that 75 per cent of its candidates lost their security deposits-even stalwarts like former central minister T. A. Pai did not surprise him. “I knew what was coming.”Most Dedicated: Gundu Rao was leader of the Opposition just for one session during which he moved a motion of no-confidence in the Urs Government and in Urs himself as a defector. Kalpanath Rai said that Gundu Rao was among those few youth leaders who prevailed upon Mrs Gandhi to split the Congress a second time in 1978.Gundu Rao vehemently denied that his government was unstable. “We enjoy a very strong political and administrative position,” he claimed. Little did he anticipate that in a few months’ time his claim would sound hollow. People in Karnataka, said Gundu Rao, judged politicians only by one yardstick: how loyal were they to Indiramma.That loyalty of men “plain and not honest” could embarrass and even hurt Indira Gandhi in Karnataka and elsewhere probably did not cross his mind. He affirmed that there was a little corruption in his state: “Eighty per cent corruption, has been removed.” But soon after he made this assertion, two of his ministers were charged with corruption, and he had to dismiss them, not on his own moral judgment, but on orders from the High Command of the Congress(I).He still keeps in office several ministers whose probity has been seriously questioned. Gundu Rao said that there had not been a “single case of ministerial interference in postings and transfers of government officials-a record in all India.” Yet a “file clearance drive” mounted by his cabinet elicited public ridicule without increasing administrative efficiency.To Indira Gandhi’s jubilant political shores in 1980 thronged many doubtful, hollow-hearted men. Now, in less than two years, one by one they are turning into attorneys pleading for their own doom. Desperately holding on to today’s mantle of power, they await tomorrow’s cold tidings. Antulay in Bombay, Rao in Bangalore. DEVELOPMENT: PROGRESS IN PATCHESPaddy cultivation: more irrigation needed”We have everything to sustain Karnataka’s high rate of growth except capital,” asserts D. N. Nanjundappa, who was the pivotal man in the state’s planning process for nearly 10 years and now vice-chancellor of Karnataka University. “We are rich in human and natural resources, our resource mobilisation effort is one of the best in the country. We have a more or less tension-free society – a middle-middle class state. The only input we lack is capital. We could do much better if we had more capital.” “Has the change of government affected the growth process or the planning process? Do you find yourself as effective with the present regime as you presumably were with the previous one?”Nanjundappa, who was until recently secretary to Karnataka’s department of planning and president of the All-India Economic Conference, takes time looking for an important file; when he speaks, his voice shows its timbre, “The political change hasn’t reversed the momentum of development. In fact, we have added to the momentum.”Karnataka has done well in the last decade, but its development base is still narrow and tenuous. Its economy is overwhelmingly agrarian. Nearly 68 per cent of its workforce is engaged in agriculture and only 32 per cent in other occupations. Half the state is dry. Of the other half only 14 per cent is irrigated. Only 7.8 per cent of the 19-plus million hectares of land sown come within the frontiers of the green revolution-that is, produce high – yielding crops. The great bulk of land holdings is of 13 hectares.Disparities Unchanged: Indeed, disparities in land ownership have not been narrowed by the land reforms. Less than 450,000 holdings add up to some three million hectares while 900,000 holdings-tiny ones-cover only 500,000 hectares. Still Karnataka has a more balanced agrarian pattern than most other Congress-ruled states. It had four million cultivators and three million agricultural workers in 1977-78, and an insignificant number of share-croppers.For nearly a decade, the green revolution has stolen the limelight-there has been a 200 per cent increase in four-wheel tractors since 1966 and almost a 90 per cent decline in the use of power tillers. Well over two lakh electric pumpsets irrigate land that grow high-yielding crops. Only five districts have 20 per cent or more of the sown land assuredly irrigated. The most parched districts are in the north-Gulbarga with a mere 2 per cent rainfall in a year, Dharwar with 6.96 per cent.The 66 major and medium irrigation projects completed or under construction or awaiting approval are far too inadequate to water the vast parched stretches of land on which subsist the Kannadiga poor. In recent years considerable importance has been given to small irrigation schemes-wells and ponds-with agreeable results, provided, of course, the rains do not miserably fail.Prosperous farmers: still a minorityBoth the land reforms and the farmers’ movement have to be seen in the context of Karnataka’s landscape. According to S. Bangarappa, who was revenue minister until he was elbowed out of the Gundu Rao Ministry early 1981, eight lakh applications for new tenancies have been received under the land reform laws.The land tribunals which, it is widely alleged, have lost much of their integrity under the present chief minister (they were not above corruption when Devaraj Urs was in power), have disposed of one-half of the applications. Two lakh tenants have received land as a result of the tribunals’ decisions. This is the net achievement of the most comprehensive and successful land reforms carried out anywhere in India under Congress rule.”The land reforms in Karnataka haven’t changed the exploitive agrarian relationship,” carps Hari Kumar, young left-liberal editor of Deccan Herald. “The reforms haven’t cut down the large estates, plantation land has been kept out of their pale. The new tenants own pitifully tiny plots of land. You know how hungry the Indian peasant is for land-you give him one acre, and he breaks down in joy and cries. But how many of these two lakh tenants can keep their land from the greed of the land-rich who’re ready to buy any land they can lay their hands on? Very little has been done to build an infrastructure to support the small farmer.”Rosy Life: The farmers’ agitation erupted suddenly and spontaneously one summer ago in the little known towns of Nargund and Navalgund in Dharwar district. It was yet another confirmation of the warnings of Daniel Thorner, Wolf Ladejinsky and others that the other side of the green revolution is red. Irrigation pushed up the value of land in the once-thirsty Malaprabha command area.Irrigation also brought down the land ceiling from 21.6 hectares (of semi-arid land) to few hectares (of wet land). Malaprabha farmers invested large sums of money borrowed from the land development banks, cooperative societies and the Government to improve their lands; tractors began to upturn the land that for centuries had submitted only to bullock-pulled ploughs.For a while life was incredibly rosy, the yield was high, “Vralakshmi” cotton fetched fancy prices and no one pressed the farmers to pay back the loans. Difficulties, however, set in rather soon. Production fell because of waterlogging which the planners had not foreseen. Fertiliser prices rocketed to the sky. The banks and the Government asked for repayment of loans and payment of the betterment levy and the water tax.The farmers rose in protest. The agitation soon turned bloody. As many as 18 people died in police firing; three policemen were killed by violent crowds. Never before had violence visited Karnataka on such a big scale. The Government yielded with a series of concessions-no betterment levy, no water tax, no repayment of lakkavi loans by small and marginal farmers.In November 1980 a government White Paper listed measures taken to substantially reduce the disparity between agricultural and industrial products. It conceded that agriculture was a risky enterprise especially in Karnataka where one out of three crops suffered for adverse weather.In February 1981 Gundu Rao strongly pleaded for the farmers’ case for higher prices for agricultural products at a meeting of the National Development Council. By that time a qualitative change had occurred in the farmers’ movement. It became a struggle of the peasantry for a long-denied better deal. The opposition parties including the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and the Communist Party of India (CPI) brought an impressively large number of poor, small, middle and (some) rich peasants to Bangalore and held a massive rally at Cubbon Park, near Vidhana Soubha.A state with abundant mineral wealthLarge numbers of peasants walked for days from all districts to the capital; a group traversed 560 km for 22 days from Nargund town in Dharwar. The “Long March” had an ominous message for Congress (I); the peasant was looking elsewhere for political support and had begun to realise the explosive power of his own collective strength.The police firing on tobacco growers of Nipani in April further widened the gap between the peasant and the Government. On April 22 the Government issued an ordinance making the refusal to pay taxes, fees, land revenue, or any act of incitement industrialised in the country. It has about 5,000 registered factories with an industrial workforce of some 350,000.Nearly 2,000 of the factories are in the Bangalore region, employing 1,75,000 workers. A typical core-peripheral relationship exists therefore between Bangalore and the rest of Karnataka. One-third of all small industries and more than half of the medium and large industries are located in Bangalore.The task clearly is to adopt Friedman’s reverse-direction concept-diversion of factories from the core to the periphery. Some activity in this direction is visible. The Karnataka State Finance Corporation (KSFC), for example has advanced Rs 46 crore in loans for industries located in 10 districts and has reduced financial support for enterprises based in Bangalore.The annual survey of industries made by the state Government’s Bureau of Economics and Statistics for the year 1975-76 (the latest available) shows that 4,286 factories had a fixed capital of Rs 677 crore and a working capital of Rs 290 crore. The total output of all these factories was valued at Rs 860 crore.The main industrial products of Karnataka are pig iron, ingot steel, finished steel, varieties of ferro-alloys, cement, paper, silk fabrics, sandalwood, sandalwood oil and soap. Karnataka tops the Indian states, and occupies the fourth place in the world, in the production of silk-a rural-urban enterprise that sustains four lakh families.The state’s long-standing demand for an adult steel plant at Vijaynagar is only now being looked into by the Centre; in the Union budget of 1981 -82 it is given a baby’s lollipop allotment of Rs 60 lakh. A 3-million tonne steel plant will cost Rs 1,580 crore at 1976 prices; the Sixth Plan proposes a pittance of Rs 2 crore towards that end.Karnataka’s prosperity clearly lies in the improvement of its vast semi-arid lands. More than 50 per cent of the current year’s budget outlay is, rightly, for irrigation and power. Agricultural improvement would depend on how competently the state can manage its on-going and new irrigation and watershed schemes.Huge quantities of water flows into the Arabian Sea from the rivers of Karnataka. If these waters can be harnessed to quench the thirst of the dry lands, Karnataka’s agriculture can overtake that of Punjab and Haryana. Irrigation development of the river basins is therefore of the utmost importance. A belated beginning has been made in that direction.The chief ministers of Karnataka and Maharashtra have jointly agreed to set up a Western Ghats Development Corporation with an initial capital of Rs 2 crore. The Karnataka Government has decided not to spread its limited resource too thinly on too many projects, but to concentrate on a limited number in each district.Social Balance: In the past there was an air of contentment in the Kannada country. A poet of Karnataka wrote many centuries ago, “For hunger there is the town’s rice in the begging bowl/For thirst, there are tanks, streams, wells/For sleep, there are the ruins of temples . . ./For soul’s company,I have you, O Lord, white as jasmine.”This placid philosophical contentment did not always conceal the misery of the hungry and the sick. Not far from the Jog Falls handsome women of the Halakki Vogal nomadic tribe still sing in a melancholy refrain, “From morning to evening we work, but we have nothing to eat.” Though half the population of Karnataka are labelled poor they do have food to eat.They are better off than the poor in most of the other states. A conspicuous evidence of change in the poor people’s condition in Karnataka is the Janata houses that dot villages and towns in each district-brick walls, tiled roof, tiny patches of green-houses whose proud owners pay back construction loans at the minute rate of Rs 4 a month. The trappings of Indira Gandhi welfarism have, however, left untouched the enclaves of the affluent and the islands of the rich. The social balance of forces remains intact.But something else has happened too. Millions of common folk who have seen change have begun to change themselves. Not only are they asking for more; they are mobilising their collective strength to snatch away from the jaws of the rich larger slices of the loaves of growth and development. Mobilisation follows caste and class lines or both.The peasant is no longer in mental bondage to any political leadership or party. An urban-rural, rich-poor polarisation is forming in Karnataka, gathering sudden momentum from incidents like Nipani. The poor man’s video-tape of memory is storing images of bullets and blood. The bruises that scruff the once-placid face of the mythical middle-middle class state are but the wounds of development. Change has made the face furfuraceous. The belches of Bangalore are no longer soft sounds of contentment.Deep rumblings of discontent are curling up in the bowels of urban and rural Karnataka. The rulers do not seem to comprehend whence the rumblings come and why. In the emerging polarisation, strength is being matched with strength, power with power. The lines are not clear yet, and, at present, Karnataka holds “for neither, yet for both.” But watch out for 1983, too disconcertingly close to Orwell’s 1984, for the probable passing out parade of another empire in the land of myriad imperial ruins.BANKS: CREDITABLE ROLEMiners of the Kolar gold fieldsBanks have played a crucial role in Karnataka’s development, particularly the Syndicate Bank, creation of the Pais of Manipal, a Kannadiga institution as sturdy and hoary as the Nandi bull of Mysore. Today Karnataka has a network of nearly 2,000 offices of nationalised scheduled commercial banks, some 800 cooperative banks and nearly 200 primary land development banks.The nationalised banks had given advances to farmers in 1975 to the tune of Rs 113 crore. The cooperative banks had disbursed Rs 254 crore in credit and the primary land development banks Rs 23 crore in loans. While,the bulk of this institutional financial back-up has gone to the rural rich, the poor have benefited in Karnataka more conspicuously than in most other Congress-ruled states.Nationalised banks have sponsored a number of rural development complexes. A visit to one of them, at Singanayakanahally, in Bangalore district, can be a rewarding experience. Here, a cluster of 48 villages-inhabited by 3, 600 families, is served by Ryathara Seva Sahakara Sangha Niyamitha (RSSSN) – a rural cooperative society – sponsored by the Syndicate Bank.Eighty per cent of the villages are poor, 10 percent rich, and the remaining 10 per cent not so poor. Forty per cent are farm workers, 35 per cent small or marginal farmers. The society was formed by amalgamating- five rickety rural institutions.This was done at the initiative of the Syndicate Bank which joined its powerful resources to back up the society’s lending kitty, and placed a young officer of infectious enthusiasm as its managing director. He and his staff ensure that loans are used on what they are given for.Successful Society: The society has 4,199 families as members of whom 1, 124 are Harijans or tribals. Family-members have contributed Rs 3.68 lakh of its total share capital of Rs 4.65 lakh, the Government Rs 0.97 lakh. The society has so far disbursed Rs 23.38 lakh in loans, of which the Syndicate Bank’s share is Rs 18.33 lakh.Until June 1980, the society had loaned money to 1,599 persons, of whom 279 were Harijans or tribals. Loans were given for a variety of economic schemes -crops, dairy. sheep rearing, piggery, poultry, grape orchards, gobar gas, wells, bullock-carts and so on.The Syndicate Bank alone runs 13 such rural cooperative societies. Other banks are also in the field, notably the Canara Bank whose contribution to Karnataka’s economic development is next only to the Syndicate’s.”The rich do not come to us,” says the managing director of RSSSN at Singanayakanahally, without hiding his happiness that they don’t. He walks the india today team to a village and introduces Makappa, 52, proud owner of a brand new two-room cement-plastered house which mocks at the 60-year-old mud-and-brick hut his father had built and which is still erect.Chikammtrappa, his father, who is 96, poses for a family picture with Makappa’s wife and petite daughter. “I have two sons,” Makappa says, “One is in high school, the other helps me in the field. Previously no well placed man would take my daughter in marriage to his son. Now I am getting good marriage proposals.” Makappa lives off his three acres of land. “They are entitled bylaw to a number of subsidies.” says the managing director of RSSSN, “they just do not know anything about it. It is part of our business to make them aware of what they can get and help them get it.” He adds, “Makappa has never defaulted in the repayment of his loan. People like him don’t.”The cooperative society has helped a number of farmers grow grapes. One of them is S. K. Naranappa, 42, who owns a 12-acre grape orchard and makes, if the crop is good, Rs 30,000 to Rs 40, 000 a year. He employs six workers every day and pays each of them Rs 3 plus food and clothing: a child worker gets Rs 60 a month and food.Makappa and son: good marriage proposalsThe food the workers eat is rice, dal and dahi-water. Grapevines are costly to cultivate; a one-acre orchard takes an initial investment of Rs 30,000 and an annual keep-fit expense of Rs 15, 000. It is a hazardous enterprise; untimely rain or a shower of hail can ruin a crop and its owner. Yet grapevines now stretch mile after mile in Karnataka, voluptuous with green-gold fruits.Innovative Scheme: To return briefly to the Syndicate Bank. It was started in 1926 by a young doctor, T. M. A. Pai, who wished to create a bank for poor people. He innovated a “pigmy deposit scheme”; collectors went around the villages to pick up pigmy deposits, as wee as two annas a day.The poor villager’s two annas became Rs 350 after seven years-a fortune in those days! The Syndicate Bank moved into the villages long before others did. It was also the first to hire women on its banking staff. It has now more than two dozen branches all over the country manned entirely by women.Over 20 percent or abetment to defer or refuse payment punishable by two years’ rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs 3,000. The ordinance was clearly meant to pre-empt a repeat of the 1980 decision of farmers not to pay taxes, levies or revenues. Thus for the first time in Karnataka. an attritional relationship has developed between the rulers and the peasants.Karnataka is overwhelmingly an agricultural state; not much of its industrial potential has been exploited so far. With the result that, despite five major Central Government enterprises located in the Bangalore area, the state is one of the less the Syndicate Bank’s loans are now for agriculture.The man who married Syndicate Bank to agriculture is the late T. A. Pai, to whom goes the credit of initiating the green revolution in South Canara district in the latter half of the 1960s. A former Union Industry Minister, T. A. Pai was one of the master builders of what Karnataka is today, the sculptor of such catchy slogans as “Every village a school, every home electricity”; and “Every well a pumpset. every home a good cow.”The Pais have transformed Manipal, in Mangalore district, into a major centre of advanced professional and artistic education, T. A. Pai died suddenly of a heart attack in early June, and once remarked: “It socialism will improve the lot of the people, I am for it. If communism will make people work harder and more effectively, I am for it. But I have my doubts about that. I believe in learning from the world’s experience and our own. without any ideological bias.”
On Monday, March 3 Get Schooled and the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) recognized the students and staff at Sacramento Charter High School for their proven commitment to college success with a star-studded celebratory event.Trevor Jackson and ZendayaAs part of a friendly competition sponsored by Get Schooled and CSAC, 96 percent of all Sacramento Charter High School seniors applied to three or more colleges and every student at Sacramento Charter High School participated, encouraging all students to start planning for the future.Held at Sacramento Charter High School, the day’s activities included a rally hosted by Zendaya, a dance clinic and community recognition of college acceptances. Zendaya is a quadruple threat: a top-selling recording artist, author, actress and dancer. Zendaya said, “I’m proud to have the chance to celebrate with the Sacramento Charter High School community and the investment they made in themselves and their futures.”This fall, Get Schooled, a national non-profit, and CSAC, the primary state agency administering state-authorized financial aid programs for students, sponsored the California College Campaign, a three-month competition involving 70 high schools across California aimed at improving college readiness and elevating awareness among all high school students about the importance of applying to multiple colleges. A study released by Harvard University in 2013 Small Differences that Matter: Mistakes in Applying to College, Amanda Pallais, 2013 suggests that students who apply to more than one college are more likely to attend a college that best matches their interests and academic strengths, thereby increasing the likelihood that they will ultimately earn a postsecondary degree or credential.Sacramento Charter High School’s student council spearheaded the effort by mobilizing their peers to participate in the competition and apply to college. As a result of their efforts, Sacramento Charter High School students seized the top prize, coming together to achieve a 100 percent participation rate in activities such as chats with college experts and college exploratory sessions. Most importantly, 96 percent of its graduating seniors applied to four-year colleges and universities. The friendly competition was supported by the California Endowment and USA Funds.“Sacramento Charter High School is an example of what can happen when an entire community comes together to support students in reaching their goals,” said Marie Groark, executive director of the Get Schooled Foundation. “Get Schooled and CSAC are excited to show the school community that their hard work and commitment to creating positive futures did not go unnoticed.”The school will use the $5,000 grant to provide college scholarships for their seniors and summer college enrichment program scholarships for their 9th – 11th graders.“Our goal is to have 100% of our graduates go on to a four-year college. So far this year, 92% of our seniors have been accepted to at least one four-year college, which is the highest rate of college acceptances in our school’s history,” said David Marks, College Counselor at Sacramento Charter High School. “We’re grateful for the momentum Get Schooled has given us to generate enthusiasm and excitement among our students to reach our college-going goals.”A second competition hosted this year by Get Schooled and CSAC wrapped up last week, with 45 California high schools competing to post the highest levels of student engagement around financial aid awareness and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and California Dream Act (CADA) completion. Get Schooled and CSAC will announce the winners of the Spring Campaign later in March and will host a similar star studded celebration later this Spring.
NEW YORK, N.Y. – The communities that are expected to become homes to a pair of big, new East Coast bases for Amazon are both riverfront stretches of major metropolitan areas with ample transportation and space for workers.But there are plenty of differences between New York’s Long Island City and Crystal City in northern Virginia.Set within eyeshot of the nation’s capital, Crystal City is a thicket of 1980s-era office towers trying to plug into new economic energy after thousands of federal jobs moved elsewhere.Rapidly growing Long Island City is an old manufacturing area already being reinvented as a hub for 21st-century industry, creativity and urbane living.Seattle-based Amazon, which set out last year to situate one additional headquarters but is now expected to open two, has declined to comment on its plans. But a person familiar with the talks said Tuesday that the company will split the second headquarters between Long Island City and Crystal City.A look at the two communities:LONG ISLAND CITYIt’s already the fastest-developing neighbourhood in the nation’s most populous city, and Amazon could pump up the volume in this buzzy part of Queens.If chosen, the neighbourhood stands to burnish New York City’s reputation as a tech capital. Landing Amazon would also cement Long Island City’s transformation from a faded manufacturing zone to a vibrant, of-the-moment enclave of waterfront skyscrapers, modernized warehouses and artsy-tech ambience across the East River from midtown Manhattan.“I joke that we’re experiencing explosive growth 30 years in the making,” says Elizabeth Lusskin, president of the Long Island City Partnership, a neighbourhood development group.But Long Island City also has been straining to handle its growth.Days before the potential Amazon news emerged, the city announced a $180 million plan to address Long Island City’s packed schools, street design and a sewage system that groans in heavy rain. But those projects will just catch up with current needs, says area City Councilman Jimmy van Bramer.“I know that there are a lot of people cheerleading for this, but HQ2 has to work for Queens and the people of Queens. It can’t just be good for Amazon,” says van Bramer, a Democrat.Once a bustling factory and freight-moving area, Long Island City saw many of its plants and warehouses closed as manufacturing shriveled in New York City.The neighbourhood’s rebirth began in the 1980s, when officials broached redeveloping a swath of the waterfront, while artists were drawn by warehouse spaces, affordable rents and a building that is now the MoMA PS1 museum. Silvercup Studios — where such TV shows as “Sex and the City,” ”30 Rock” and “The Sopranos” have been filmed — opened in 1983.Long Island City gained a new commercial stature, and the start of a high-rise skyline, when the banking giant now called Citi opened an office tower there in 1989. But the area’s growth lately has been driven by residential building.Some 9,150 new apartments and homes have been built since 2010, more than in any other New York City neighbourhood, according to the city Planning Department . Thousands more units are in the works.New York has striven for nearly a decade to position itself as a tech hotspot.Venture capitalists poured $5.8 billion into New York-area startups last quarter, more than any other region except the San Francisco area, according to the consulting and accounting firm PwC . Established tech giants, including Google and Facebook, have been expanding their New York footprints.Still, landing HQ2 would represent “incredible validation of just how far New York has come,” says Jonathan Bowles, executive director of the Center for an Urban Future think-tank .Waiting for a subway, Long Island City community board chairwoman Denise Keehan-Smith could envision Amazon benefiting the neighbourhood.“But I think we have to be careful about it,” she said.CRYSTAL CITYIf any place in America can absorb 25,000 Amazon jobs without disruption, it may well be Crystal City, Virginia, where nearly that many jobs have vanished over the last 15 years.The neighbourhood in Arlington County is bounded by the Potomac River and the nation’s capital on one side, by the Pentagon on another and Reagan National Airport on a third.Despite its prime location and abundant transportation options, the neighbourhood has been hit by a massive outflow of jobs. The Patent and Trademark Office began moving more than 7,000 jobs out of Crystal City in 2003. In 2005, the Defence Department announced plans to move roughly 17,000 jobs elsewhere as part of a base realignment.Arlington County has worked hard to bring in new employers, and had some success. The Public Broadcasting Service moved its headquarters to Crystal City in 2006.Still, large swaths of the neighbourhood remain vacant. Among other challenges, the area has fought to overcome a reputation for outdated architecture.Crystal City is populated by ’70s and ’80s-era office buildings. The buildings are connected by a network of tunnels populated with food-court style dining options, hair salons and newsstands. The tunnels leave the ground-level outdoor streetscape sometimes looking empty.Brookings Institution urban planner Jenny Schuetz suggested the buildings may require an upgrade, or even replacement. But she noted that while people often associate tech companies with converted lofts or state-of-the art workspaces, many big Silicon Valley tech companies actually work out of ’80s-era office buildings.For all the talk about antiquated architecture, people who’ve actually worked in Crystal City appreciate its convenience and its worker-friendly features, including the tunnels.“I loved it here,” said Christine Gentry of Greenbelt, Maryland, as she ate breakfast in a largely empty food court. She works for the Patent and Trademark Office and preferred the days when her office was in Crystal City.“Everything is accessible here,” she said. “When it was raining or snowing or sleeting, I never had to go out.”Perhaps no place better illustrates the vibe of Crystal City than the region’s only revolving restaurant, the Skydome atop the Doubletree Crystal City. Diners enjoy a panoramic view of the D.C. skyline, completing a full rotation every 47 minutes.Sam Getachew, the hotel’s food and beverage manager, said the restaurant fits the neighbourhood’s retro atmosphere.“It’s huge draw,” Getachew said. “People come for the curiosity of it.”The only downside, he said, is that “when customers get up to go to the restroom, they don’t know where they are when they come back.”___Barakat reported from Crystal City, Virginia.