UDUPI: The people of Udupi have played a significant role in the Non-Cooperation Movement launched by Mahatma Gandhi in August 1920. For Udupi, this was the first mass movement wherein locals actively took part in large numbers. The early meetings were held on the rocks at Ajjarakad and Mukund Nivas. Later on, public meetings were held at Car Street of Sri Krishna Mutt.
During the Non-Cooperation Movement, Hiriyadka Ramaraya Mallya had started ‘Satyagrahi’, a cyclostyled newspaper of nationalist temper. Its editors and the team had to face tough penal action by the government. As there was a call to withdraw students from government-controlled or aided schools during the Non-Cooperation Movement, many nationalist schools were started in Udupi after September 1920. Likewise, lawyers boycotted courts and foreign-made clothes were dumped in bonfires.
Among the prominent people who took part in the movement were R S Shenai, Santyaru Ananthapadmanabha Bhat, Kubera Panduranga Rao, S U Paniyadi, Tonse Mukunda Pai, M Vittal Kamath, Satyamitra Bangera, Kochikar Pandurang Pai, Nayampalli Anand Rao, Udupi Govind Rao, A V Baliga, Tonse Raghunath Pai, Tonse Upendra Pai and Nanalal Govindji.
The Salt Satyagraha was observed in Udupi from April 13, 1930. It was launched with a massive gathering of Satyagrahis marching from Car Street to the sea shore at Vadabhandeshwara in Malpe. In August 1942, the tempo of the just-launched Quit India Movement reached a high in Udupi.
A young man named U Shesha had defied the curfew and hoisted the Tricolour on the 40-foot high monolith pillar of Sri Anantheshwara Temple in Udupi, according to U Vineeth Rao, researcher, Gandhian Study and Research Center, MGM College, Udupi.