Mysore's tryst with the freedom struggle was rather late but, curiously, continued even after India attained Independence on August 15, 1947.

On a day when the city kept its date with Independence, its journey getting there makes for an interesting read.

While parts of India administered by British was witnessing the freedom movement, it picked up relatively late in Mysore State. Following the death of Maharaja Mummudi Krishnaraja Wadiyar, the power of ruling was restored to his successor Maharaja Chamaraja Wadiyar in 1881, which led to the formation of a representative assembly, a body to discuss and receive feedback on the policies concerning the people. The administrators also launched measures for social reforms, which cushioned upheavals witnessed in other parts of India for equity and justice. These measures are believed to have impacted the freedom movement apart from resistance from the administrators.

Interestingly, Magge Venkatakrishnaiah influenced the administrators to launch such measures but also took lead in gathering steam for the freedom movement. A tall leader among the freedom fighters from this part, he took lead in hosting the first session of Congress in Mysore amidst resistance.

When tall leaders were jailed during the freedom movement, Mysore State was relatively insulated, veteran freedom fighter, M N Jois has recollected in a write up in a souvenir brought out during centenary celebrations of Ananthalaya founded by Venkatakrishnaiah. But despite this, he launched the political movement. Though Mysore has many scholars and writers and intellectuals, there was no support for the freedom movement when he gave the much needed impetus, Jois noted in his writing.

In the aftermath of 1881, Tataiah, as he was fondly called, supported dewan Rangacharlu to set up the representative assembly and took active interest to ensure that several social reform measures were implemented. It was during the 1920s when the `Quit India' movement picked up in British administered parts that it started to percolate to Mysore. According to records, Mysore hosted the first session of the Congress in 1928 when it joined the mainstream in the fight against the British.

It is now history that Subbarayanakere along with Anathalaya become the nerve centres of the freedom movement with leaders like Agaram Rangaiah, Tagadur Ramachandra Rao, M N Jois meeting there. India was in celebrations in the aftermath of August 15, 1947, but it was subdued celebrations in the princely state. Finally when the Tricolour was unfurled publicly at Subbarayanakere, it was early September. The city commemorates its freedom struggle at the site.

It is also the venue where the `Mysore Chalo' agitation, the last phase of the freedom movement, was declared to be over with Mysore Maharaja Jayachamaraja Wadiyar accepting to install a responsible government. History has it that at the start of the `Mysore Chalo' agitation, nationalists hoisted the national flag publicly for the first time on September 3 at Subbarayanakere. But police intervened later and removed it. But as the agitations intensified, the Maharaja agreed to install a responsive government, which was announced by K C Reddy at Subbarayanakere.

Courtesy : Times of India