Why we cannot forget S R Bommai

Bommai’s notable contributions in drought-proofing Karnataka are well-documented by political commentators within the state.

Published: 06th June 2023 09:36 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th June 2023 10:13 AM   |  A+A-

Somappa Rayappa Bommai

Somappa Rayappa Bommai

By Express News Service

It was 11 March 1994. Somappa Rayappa Bommai had won. He was fighting for justice which had evaded him even as the chief minister of Karnataka. Long and drawn-out was the path to victory... SR Bommai, the 15th chief minister of Karnataka, emerged triumphant in a landmark judgement delivered by the Supreme Court of India.

In this momentous case, the court engaged in extensive deliberation, delving deep into the intricate provisions of Article 356 of the Constitution of India and its interrelated matters. The apex court articulated explicit limitations on the authority of the Centre to dismiss a state government under Article 356. This case reverberated with immense magnitude, leaving an indelible imprint on the intricate tapestry of Centre-state relations. 

Whether Bommai, born on this day in 1924, emerged victorious or suffered defeat holds little significance. What truly matters is his ability to forge a new paradigm in politics, in accordance with the prevailing demands of the time.

As an unwavering champion of justice, he persistently fought for what he believed in, even during his tenure as chief minister of Karnataka.

His visionary ideas and actions exemplified his unwavering commitment to the welfare of Karnataka, serving as a testament to his indomitable passion for the state. Guided by the revolutionary and radical activist, as well as the eminent political theorist, Manabendra Nath Roy, his efforts stand as a testament to his dedication to the progressive transformation of the region.

Since an early stage, his dedication to Karnataka impelled him to actively engage in numerous mass movements that ardently championed the state’s interests. Being intimately involved in these movements, which ultimately led to the establishment of Karnataka, Bommai consistently prioritised the welfare of its people.

In his capacity as the Chief Minister of Karnataka and through his influential ministerial roles, he orchestrated profound and enduring transformations that continue to shape the state’s trajectory in the contemporary era. Throughout his tenure in the state government, Bommai deftly seized opportunities to steer Karnataka towards a path of socio-economic progress and expedited industrialisation, thereby etching an indelible legacy through his visionary policies. Notably, his instrumental role in inviting Texas Instruments to Bangalore served as a catalyst for the revolutionary IT boom.

Under the leadership of Ramakrishna Hegde, Bommai orchestrated the remarkable industrial makeover of Karnataka. Guided by his statesmanship and a clear understanding of the aspirations of the state’s populace, Bommai recognised the necessity for an inclusive and evenly distributed model of economic growth.

His profound empathy for the plight of farmers was cultivated during his tenure as an opposition leader in the Karnataka Assembly. Bommai fearlessly confronted the government’s failures, exposing their shortcomings within the Assembly.

In 1985, as the head of the Revenue Department, Bommai implemented numerous measures aimed at streamlining the complex procedures surrounding revenue documentation, land taxation, land measurement and property registration.

Bommai’s notable contributions in drought-proofing Karnataka are well-documented by political commentators within the state.

Instrumental in the formation of Karnataka’s first non-Congress government, Bommai exemplified versatility and statesmanship. A man of immense compassion and foresight, he silently laboured for the betterment of the state and its underprivileged citizens, playing pivotal roles in state politics during the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. 

Despite his remarkable achievements, he departed the scene with humility and minimal fanfare. The New Indian Express will be unveiling a coffee-table book today, ‘SR Bommai: The Radical Humanist’, reflecting on the life of SR Bommai.

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