BENGALURU: Be it the Quit India movement or a protest against dumping garbage in Bengaluru’s neighbourhood, freedom fighter HS Doreswamy did not stop or hesitate to raise his voice. Irrespective of the government, Doreswamy lent his voice to various pro-people agitations for the past 78 years.
Born on April 10, 1918 in Harohalli near Bengaluru, Doreswamy was taken care of by his grandparents after he lost his parents at the age of five. After getting a BSc degree from Central College in Bengaluru, he taught science and mathematics at a high school in the city. He was part of the Quit India movement and was even jailed for 14 months. Post imprisonment, he worked as a journalist.
After the country got independence, he entered activism. He was even sent to jail when he wrote a letter to then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi during the Emergency in 1975. In the 1980s, he was involved in various movements for the rights of farmers, workers of the unorganised sector and other marginalised communities. Later, he actively participated in the India Against Corruption movement.
In Karnataka, for more than a decade, the late freedom fighter took part in agitations where he raised his voice against the encroachment of water bodies, land grabbing and many other issues. He played an important role in stopping garbage from Bengaluru being dumped in Mandur village. He was also part of the agitation against the eviction of tribals in Kodagu.
Last year in February, Doreswamy, 102 years of age then, sat on a five-day dharna in Bengaluru against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). This February, Doreswamy lent his voice in support of climate activist Disha Ravi, who was arrested. Just before he was hospitalised in May, he wrote a column for a local newspaper.
A Life of Struggle
1942: Took part in Quit India movement
1943: Sentenced to 14 months in jail after he was named in a case of using bombs and burning files belonging to the British
1947: As a journalist, he took part in ‘Mysore Chalo’ movement to bring pressure on the Mysore Maharaja to accede to the Union. He used to publish from undisclosed locations
1950s: Took part in unification of Karnataka
1975: During Emergency, he was sent to jail for four months for writing letter to the then PM Indira Gandhi.
1980s: Took part in agitation involving farmers rights
2014: Led an anti-encroachment protest in Bengaluru
2014: Participated in protest with Mandur villagers to stop dumping of garbage from Bengaluru
2016: Then 98 years old, he travelled more than 500 km from Bengaluru to Belagavi to stage satyagraha at the Suvarna Vidhana Soudha, demanding land for landless people
2017: Took part in agitation against encroachment of lakes in Bengaluru
2017: He was part of the agitation raising voice against Gauri Lankesh’s murder
2020: Took part in agitation against Citizenship (Amendment) Act, National Register of Citizens and National Population Register
2020: Participated in agitation against farm bills