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Featured: Vi. Si. (V. Seetharamaiah) Page 1 of 6
Venkataramaiah Seetharamaiah (Vi. Si.) was born on 2nd of October, 1899 in Budhigere, Devanahalli. He was second of four children. His parents – Venkataramaiah and Doddavenkamma were a devout couple, who came from a lineage of priestly class of Smartha Brahmins. Vi. Si. spent his first six years growing up in the care of his grandmother and his mother’s younger sister at Budhigere. His father, a priest used to work more often in Bangalore. Unfortunately, Vi. Si. lost his father when he was just eight years old.
He was then sent to Bangalore for further schooling in 1906. He joined the Municipal school in Chamarajpet, Bangalore where he got a double promotion. He was then sent to Anglo-vernacular school. Some of his notable classmates in school were K. V. Iyer, T. P. Kailasam and C. S. Venkatachar. Among his favourite teachers were the likes of Pandit Jayarama Venkatacharya and Doddabele Narayana Sastry. During these school years (1906 – 1916), he had the rare privilege of listening to Rt. Hon. V. S. Srinivas Sastri’s lectures, whose eloquence in English and large turban captured Vi. Si’s imagination at a young age.
Vi. Si. loved watching Cricket matches. While he loved playing Cricket as well, his frail constitution meant he could not keep it up for too long. Residing in Chamarajpet, Vi. Si. attended concerts of famous musicians of the time like Veena Sheshanna, Bidaram Krishnappa and Mysuru Vasudevachar. His favourite artists of the time included the likes of M. Venkatappa and A. V. Varadachar. This was in addition to his keen interest in attending Vedic recitals, Poetry recitals, Gamaka recitals and a few literary meets locally. He completed his Intermediate (S. S. L. C.) in 1916.
After schooling, many of his seniors routinely went to either Madras or Pune Universities for higher education. Vi. Si. sadly could afford neither. Fortunately for him, around this time, University of Mysore came into existence. Mysore was close by! He sat for the entrance examination to gain admission to University of Mysore. This exam was held at Bangalore Collegiate High School. One of the valuers of these answer scripts – J. Tate while correcting Vi. Si.’s English paper is said to have remarked thus: “Not bad, pull the young fellow’s nose and ask him to write simpler English & keep his sentences shorter” (This was high praise indeed!).
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”
V. Seetharamaiah at Mythic Society, Bangalore
Vi. Si. had heard of Prof N. S. Subba Rao who taught Economics. He was greatly impressed with Prof Rao and it was his desire to become a student of this famous economist. N. S. Subba Rao was educated at Cambridge University, England under the eminent economist Alfred Marshall. While at Cambridge, he was a classmate of another influential economist John Maynard Keynes. It was this crop of professors and teachers, under whom Vi. Si. wished to nurture his academic leanings.
Vi. Si.’s yearning to be at University of Mysore was handicapped thanks to lack of financial resources. To make ends meet, Vi. Si. worked for a while at the Mysore Government’s Education Department.
H. S. K. with
With his meagre savings and a favourable result in the University of Mysore’s entrance examination, Vi. Si. managed to secure a seat in the new University. In fact, he holds the distinction of being in the very first batch of the nascent University!
His teachers during his Bachelor’s degree at Maharaja College, Mysore included the likes of M. Hiriyanna and S. Radhakrishnan. For his Bachelor’s degree, his chosen subjects were Political Science, Philosophy and Economics. He completed his B. A. in 1920 and was awarded the ‘Sir Seshadri’ Gold medal for highest marks in Economics.
Even though, Vi. Si. had a keen interest and an undeniable aptitude for Philosophy and Literature, he was compelled to take Economics as his chosen subject for his M. A. Regrettably, it was his poor financial situation, which yet again, played a part in enforcing this decision. M. A. in Economics had a far greater probability of earning him a scholarship than did any other stream. It was the scholarship which dictated his choice. Yet, he did not mind it in the least. He always harboured a secret desire to be a student of Prof N. S. Subba Rao, someday.
V. Seetharamaiah with colleagues at Central College, Bangalore
V. Seetharamaiah with other eminent Kannada Litterateurs