Siddavanahalli Nijalingappa or S. Nijalingappa was the fourth chief minister of Mysore state. He served as the chief minister for two terms between 1st of November 1956 to 16th of May 1958 and between 21st of June 1962 and 29th of May 1968. He was succeeded in the Chief Minister’s office by B.D. Jatti and Veerendra Patil after his second term.
Personal Life of S. Nijalingappa
He was born on the 10th of December 1902 in Siddavanahalli , a village in Chitradurga. Nijalingappa’s thoughts were molded by both traditional and modern forms of education. He received his education from Central College in Bangalore in 1924. After a degree in the liberal arts, he received his law degree from Poona College in 1926.
His hard work had taken him through college. Although he could have easily gotten government employment, he chose to practice law.
Political Achievements of S. Nijalingappa
He began his political career as a mere spectator to the local Congress sessions. Thereafter his interactions with Dr. N. S. Hardikar led to him taking an active interest in the organization. He began as a volunteer and rose through the ranks quickly to serve as the President of the Pradesh Congress committee and the President of the All India Congress Committee in 1968.
His leadership extended to the Mysore Congress as the President. He was a member of the historically important Constituent Assembly between 1946 and 1950. In 1952, he wrote history as the first Lok Sabha candidate from the Chitradurga constituency.
Nijalingappa’s Efforts to Uniting Karnataka
His contribution to uniting Karnataka as a single entity was recognized and acknowledged widely. He was a staunch believer in the formation of linguistic states. He spearheaded the movement for the formation of linguistic states in Mysore. His contribution led to his election as Karnataka’s Chief Minister twice. During his terms as Chief Minister, Nijalingappa effected sweeping changes for the greater good.
The development of transport, irrigation, industries and agricultural projects throughout the State accredited to Nijalingappa. During his term as chief minister, he settled numerous territorial disputes between the neighboring states. The Sharavathi power project was nurtured and supported by him, reiterating his interest in agricultural and power projects.
S. Nijalingappa’s Contribution to the Tibetan community
Apart from the advancements, Nijalingappa is remembered for his contribution to the Tibetan community in India. He offered refuge to Tibetans by offering them land so they could re-settle and live in Karnataka. Present day Karnataka’s Tibetan population owes their numbers to this great leader. It therefore, comes as no surprise that his memorial along NH-4 on the outskirts of Chitradurga was inaugurated by the Dalai Lama.
Post his terms as Karnataka’s Chief Minister, Nijalingappa lingered in politics till the split of congress into Congress-I and Congress-S. Once he gradually retired from politics, he was offered the post of the Chairman of Sardar Vallabhai Patel Society. Today he is remembered as being a simple man who stayed true to his values and integrity to the very end. He passed on in his residence at the age of 97 on the 9th of August 2000.