MYSURU: Gandhian G Made Gowda (92), who was the face of the farmers’ agitation during the Cauvery water dispute with Tamil Nadu, breathed his last at a private hospital here on Saturday after a brief illness. Made Gowda had remained the voice of farmers in the region for more than six decades.
In a recent interview to The New Indian Express, he had strongly pitched for the Mekedatu project and opposed privatisation of the Mysore Sugar factory. The veteran leader is survived by his wife J P Padmamma, two sons and two daughters, including former MLC Madhu Made Gowda.
According to family members, the last rites will be held at the Athmalingeshwara temple premises at Hamunatha Nagar in KM Doddhi at 3 pm on Sunday. The mortal remains will be kept for public viewing at his house in Bandegowda Layout.Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa has condoled the death of Made Gowda and said that it is a huge loss to the farming community and the state.
Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah and former prime minister HD Deve Gowda also condoled the death of Made Gowda. The former MP had attained national stature and commanded respect not only among farmers, but also among top political leaders, cutting across the party lines. He was instrumental in building a spacious Gandhi Bhavan in Mandya and KM Doddi, opening a free library and conducting activities to encourage rural talent. Though Gowda was known for his outspokenness, the welfare of peasants, the poor and women was always on top of his mind.
A native of Kalamudana Doddi (KM Doddi), he graduated from Maharaja’s College and did a law course at the Government Law College, Bengaluru. He won from Kirugalavu constituency entered the Vidhana Soudha along with H D Deve Gowda in 1962. He represented the seat till 1989 and contested the Parliament election from Mandya and won in 1989 and 1991. He was also Minister for Forest in Chief Minister Gundu Rao’s Cabinet from 1981 to 1983.
Made Gowda founded the Bharathi Education Society and brought in a revolution in education by starting schools and colleges in the district. He also started a naturopathy college and also a super speciality hospital in KM Doddi. He plunged into the Cauvery agitation and strongly opposed the interim order of the Cauvery tribunal and was the man behind the months-long stir that drew the attention of both the Central and State Governments.
He managed to bring all farmers’ organisations on board and was the driving force behind the stir. He also protested against the then Chief Minister S M Krishna and was critical of governments for betraying farmers by releasing water to neighbouring Tamil Nadu.
Made Gowda was president of the Cauvery Raitha Hitahrakshana Samithi and staged fast unto death, demanding justice to farmers of Mandya district. Many Chief Ministers and Ministers used to make a beeline to his house and seek his suggestions before formulating the state’s strategies on the Cauvery issue.