Featured: Vi. Si. (V. Seetharamaiah) Page 2 of 6
However, his choice of Economics in M. A. did not go down well with his Philosophy lecturers. In fact, S. Radhakrishnan is rumored to have remarked, “Look at this fellow. He has deserted us for Economics. He has prostituted his intellect.”! (Of course, they meant well, but were bitter at losing him to a stream different from their own. Vi. Si. was a coveted asset, no doubt.).
Vi. Si. taught for a while at Sarada Vilas High School, Mysore. This was to supplant his income during his M. A. course at University of Mysore, which he eventually completed in 1922. University of Mysore was synonymous with Maharaja College and in Vi. Si.’s own words was “Oxford of Karnataka”! It’s faculty line up, during his student days was thus:
•Principal: Prof. C. R. Reddy
•Economics: Prof N. S. Subba Rao
•Philosophy: Prof M. Hiriyanna
Dr. S. Radhakrishnan
Prof. A. R. Wadia
•English Literature: Prof J. C. Rollo
Prof B. M. Srikantaiah
•Kannada: Kanakanahalli Varadachar
During this time, Vi. Si. came into contact with other intellectual giants like T. S. Venkannayya, A. R. Krishna Sastry and Ralapalli Ananta Krishna Sharma. All these personalities are fondly remembered with the greatest reverence and affection in Vi. Si.’s later memoir “College Dinagalu”. In this recollection, he describes his days at Maharaja college and more so Mysore in the words of William Wordsworth: “Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive. But to be young was very heaven”. After completing his education at Mysore, Vi. Si. felt that a Law qualification would ensure a more robust financial situation for him in future. With this in mind and with some money saved from his earnings, he set sail for Bombay to complete his L. L. B. degree. For maintenance in Bombay, Vi. Si. secured a part-time employment at the office of ‘Deputy Comptroller of Currency’.
This being a Government job, there was an assured income for a while. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, upon hearing this remarked: “He ought to hang on to the Government job, considering how difficult it is to get it in the first place”! However, Vi. Si. was destined to neither complete the L. L. B degree nor hang on to the coveted Government job. A bout of Malarial fever unrelenting in its intensity saw Vi. Si. give up everything and head back home. After a prolonged convalescence, Vi. Si. was yet again, ready to head back to Bombay. This time, his longtime mentor and well-wisher T. S. Venkanayya interjected and convinced him about his talents, interests and his sense of belonging here in old Mysore presidency as opposed to having to start from scratch in Bombay amidst complete strangers!
Maharaja College Group Photo with V. Seetharamaiah
Vi. Si. agreed to this suggestion and he dropped his “Bombay plans” altogether. These recollections of his days in Bombay are written with nostalgia in his later book “Mumbaivasa: Nenapugalu”.
He again joined Sarada Vilas High School as a teacher and continued on their faculty from 1923 till 1928. It was in these five years, young Vi. Si. forayed into writing poetry and prose in Kannada. His writings would see the light of day through publications like “Prabuddha Karnataka”, “Aruna”, “Rashtra Bandhu” and “Artha Sadaka”. B. M. Srikantaiah, even though an English teacher by vocation, always nurtured a love for Kannada in his heart. Way back in 1911, B. M. Srikantaiah had penned an article (Eng. Transl.) titled “Let the Kannada language raise its head again with pride”. He was also among the pioneers of Hosakannada writing. In 1927, B. M. Srikantaiah became Registrar of University of Mysore. Among the many things he did as Registrar, he took it upon himself to introduce “Optional Kannada” subject, start a separate Kannada division/ department in the University and eventually a M. A. course in Kannada. T. S. Venkannayya was among the first of the Kannada teachers to teach in this department.
V. Seetharamaiah with G. S. Shivarudrappa
V. Seetharamaiah at Diamond Jubilee celebrations of Mythic Society, Bangalore
V. Seetharamaiah with Chidananda Murthy at Mythic Society, Bangalore
2 Oct 1899
4 Sept 1983
Maharaja College, University of Mysore
Central College, Bangalore
University of Mysore
Govt. Arts & Science First Grade College, Honnavara
Kannada poems, essays, translations, critical reviews, biographical sketches, monographs and guide books on economics and political science.
“Krishnacharithra”, “Aralu Baralu”, “Mahaniyaru”, “Geetegalu”, “Deepagalu”, “Pampa Yatre” , “College Dinagalu”
‘Karnataka Sahitya Akademi Award’, 'Rajya Sahitya Akademi award', 'D. Litt', "Rooparadhaka”