BENGALURU/DHARWAD:Former Union minister Dr Sarojini Mahishi, who earned a place in the hearts of many for her report advocating ‘sons-of-the-soil’ theory in jobs for Kannadigas, passed away in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, on Sunday.
She was 88 and was ailing for some time.
She was a four-time Lok Sabha member from Dharwad North constituency and was also elected to the Rajya Sahba. She served as the vice-chairperson of the Rajya Sabha (1982-84). She also served as the president of the Sansadiya Hindi Parishad and the Delhi Karnataka Sangha. Dr Mahishi has translated a number of Kannada and Marathi works into Hindi. Most prominent among them is the translation of Mankuthimmana Kagga of D V Gundappa.
In 1983, the then chief minister Ramakrishna Hegde had appointed her to head the committee which recommended reservation of jobs for Kannadigas in PSUs, private companies and multinational companies.
The report made 58 recommendations, including 100 per cent reservation for Kannadigas in all state government establishments and PSUs. It also advocated 100 per cent reservation for Kannadigas in Group ‘C’ and ‘D’ jobs in Central Government departments and PSUs operating in Karnataka, a minimum of 80 per cent and 65 per cent reservation for Kannadigas for Group ‘B’ and ‘A’ jobs respectively in Central Government units and PSUs operating in Karnataka. All personnel officers in all industrial units in the state should invariably be a Kannadiga, the report recommended and said industries should appoint local people on priority.
However, her report has remained a distant dream for Kannadigas as successive governments have failed to implement it.
The state government, in its new Industrial Policy, had announced its commitment to implement the report. But the promise appears to remain just a promise as no concrete action has been taken so far in this regard.
Meanwhile, the ongoing fifth Horanadu Kannadigara Maha Mela at Delhi has mourned the death of Dr Mahishi. The meet observed a 2-minute silence and paid respect to the departed soul.
Karnatak Vidyavardhaka Sangha president Patil Puttappa, who is presently attending the meet, recalled that Dr Mahishi was elected to the Lok Sabha four times and was a popular public servant.
Recalling Dr Mahishi’s closeness with former prime minister Indira Gandhi, Puttappa said her death is a great loss to the country and in particular to Karnataka.
Delhi Karnataka Sangha president Vasant Shetty Bellare said her contribution to the success of the Sangha was immense.