Mangalore: B V Kakkillaya - An Indefatigable Spirit Spanning Nine Decades

May 30, 2008
Pics: Ganesh S Perla

Mangalore, May 30: Politics was religion for him for decades. Moreover, he had a vision to uplift the poor and backward communities of Dakshina Kannada. He believed that one should be there in politics to uplift the weaker sections of the community and that is precisely what he did. B V Kakkillaya, a freedom fighter, politician, thinker and writer stands unique among all the politicians for this reason. His rich experiences of life spanning almost nine decades are founded on the dream of establishing a secular socialist nation.

Kakkillaya is on the threshold of completing 90 years (On May 30, 2008) and even now every breath he takes is with the dream of having a secular and socialist India. His fans and followers are eager to take this opportunity to discuss various aspects of secular India while also trying to find solutions to the present problems.

He is sad about the present political thinking and the attitudes of the youth. According to him, people are totally disoriented and lack proper direction. A youth today desires to have a bike, mobile and a girlfriend. He does not envision dreams of taking the nation forward. At the same time, today politics has failed to fulfil the basic needs of the poor, he says in a melancholy tone.

During the freedom struggle, he was the voice for coastal Karnataka and spent six years in jails at Cannanore, Vellore, Bangalore, Ranebennur, Dharwad and Kadalur. The spirit of freedom struggle took birth in his house itself. His elder brother Shrinivas Kakkillaya removed all the portraits of swamijis and kings hanging on the walls of their house in Bevinje near Kasargod and replaced them with the portraits of freedom fighters. Even when he joined St Aloysius College in the year 1937 for intermediate studies, he became an active member of the student movement against the British rule. Anti-British feelings were strong in those days and B V Kakkillaya joined All India Students’ Federation to voice his indignation. He was a key member of the freedom movement in not only protesting against the British, but also showed his patriotism and humanism by serving selflessly in the flood-affected areas during his college days.

Communist Party of India (CPI), of which he became MLA for two terms in Bantwal and Vittal constituencies, has been totally banned by the British rulers. But CPI was active in gathering freedom fighters and thus helping the Congress party in leading the freedom movement. Freedom fighters like Bhagat Singh, Subhashchandra Bose, Lala Lajpat Rai and others were the heroes for them while film stars like Durga Kote were involved in calling the people to participate in the national movement, through their films.

Even when the interim government was formed in the country in 1935, the then Madras government had enacted a very impressive Farmers’ Debt Relief Act. This Act clearly stated that the bankers should not charge more than 6.15 percent interest from the farmers for the loan taken by them. Today the state governments have failed to safeguard the interests of the farmers and this is evident by the alarming rate of increase in farmers’ suicides, he lamented.

When the post-Independence era began, the nation was facing severe shortage of food  owing to hoarding and blackmarketeering by businessmen. B V Kakkillaya himself participated in unearthing the food grains hoarded by the rich class and distributing them to poor. He even had to go through the gruelling task of coping with prison life, only because he tried to help the poor. He even helped the government in introducing the ration system effectively, immediately after Independence.

Land Reforms Act was enacted in the state when he was the MLA in Vittal constituency between 1978 and '83. He was in the forefront when it came to implement this Act effectively in his constituency. Accordingly, thousands of tenants became landlords. That is one of the reasons why his name is etched in the golden annals of Vittal constituency.

However, Kakkillaya today is sad about the fact that farmers who are the real owners of the fertile lands are losing them to businessmen, builders and land developers. Even Special Economic Zone is grabbing lands of the poor farmers. Therefore, the responsibility of the present government towards farmers has increased manifold. Moreover, real estate lobby is controlling political leaders, and it is futile to expect anything good from the politicians, he opines.

Communalism is a major issue about which Kakkillaya is passionate and more worried nowadays. People of all religions together fought for freedom once upon a time and shared the same food in jails when they were imprisoned. But it is disheartening to see the youth of today fighting in the name of religion. All the organizations which create enmity between people on the basis of religion should be banned, he urges.

Though he is on the verge of turning 90, age has not diminished his spirit nor affected his activities. Moreover, he is actively observing the political affairs happening around him. His admirers and friends have decided to celebrate his 90th birthday at Town Hall on Friday May 30 and Saturday 31 at Town Hall. His four brothers Dr Shrinivas Kakkillaya (Mangalore), Dr Venkatakrishna (USA), Dr Harish (USA) and Dr Subrahmanya (UK) have decided to make this event a grand occasion by organizing debates about current political, social, economical and literary issues.

The city is glad to honour a great thinker, politician without blemish and writer par excellence.

by Melka Miyar - Daijiworld Media Network Mangalore
To submit your article / poem / short story to Daijiworld, please email it to mentioning 'Article/poem submission for daijiworld' in the subject line. Please note the following:

  • The article / poem / short story should be original and previously unpublished in other websites except in the personal blog of the author. We will cross-check the originality of the article, and if found to be copied from another source in whole or in parts without appropriate acknowledgment, the submission will be rejected.
  • The author of the poem / article / short story should include a brief self-introduction limited to 500 characters and his/her recent picture (optional). Pictures relevant to the article may also be sent (optional), provided they are not bound by copyright. Travelogues should be sent along with relevant pictures not sourced from the Internet. Travelogues without relevant pictures will be rejected.
  • In case of a short story / article, the write-up should be at least one-and-a-half pages in word document in Times New Roman font 12 (or, about 700-800 words). Contributors are requested to keep their write-ups limited to a maximum of four pages. Longer write-ups may be sent in parts to publish in installments. Each installment should be sent within a week of the previous installment. A single poem sent for publication should be at least 3/4th of a page in length. Multiple short poems may be submitted for single publication.
  • All submissions should be in Microsoft Word format or text file. Pictures should not be larger than 1000 pixels in width, and of good resolution. Pictures should be attached separately in the mail and may be numbered if the author wants them to be placed in order.
  • Submission of the article / poem / short story does not automatically entail that it would be published. Daijiworld editors will examine each submission and decide on its acceptance/rejection purely based on merit.
  • Daijiworld reserves the right to edit the submission if necessary for grammar and spelling, without compromising on the author's tone and message.
  • Daijiworld reserves the right to reject submissions without prior notice. Mails/calls on the status of the submission will not be entertained. Contributors are requested to be patient.
  • The article / poem / short story should not be targeted directly or indirectly at any individual/group/community. Daijiworld will not assume responsibility for factual errors in the submission.
  • Once accepted, the article / poem / short story will be published as and when we have space. Publication may take up to four weeks from the date of submission of the write-up, depending on the number of submissions we receive. No author will be published twice in succession or twice within a fortnight.
  • Time-bound articles (example, on Mother's Day) should be sent at least a week in advance. Please specify the occasion as well as the date on which you would like it published while sending the write-up.

Comment on this article

  • shaileshkumar, pajingar

    Sat, May 31 2008

    Wishing you a very happy birthday. May God give you many more healthy years to guide all of us and help us to take right path in our life. I am well wisher of Mr.B.V.Kekkilaya and always followed the path shown by him.

  • sumana , udupi,abudhabi

    Sat, May 31 2008

    Happy birthday.I wish him good health and long life

  • Francis, Mangalore

    Sat, May 31 2008

    Happy 90th birthday to B.V kakkillaya . I have not heard much about him , but really by reading this article it touched my heart. This should be an article for present youth and all politicians. To think and atleast follow the vision of great freedom fighters who have fought the british raj to gain Independence to see all poor and farmers upliftment. If you want INDIA to develop keep religion out of politics and treat all HUMAN as creatures of ONE GOD , ONE NATION with equality. To serve by following the indian consitution guidelines. I wish good health and to B.V Kakkillaya live for more years and be an example of living legend.

  • venkatakrishna rao, mangalore

    Fri, May 30 2008

    happy birthday to you sir..

  • Rons Bantwal, Mumbai

    Fri, May 30 2008

    Dear Editor & Mr. Melka Miyar Thanks for the Article of Mr. B V Kakkillaya (CPI), Ex. MLA : Vittal Constituency, In 1982 I’m a supporter of Kakkillaya. Real leader of D.K. Rons Bantwal


    Fri, May 30 2008

    Congratulations Mr.B.V.Kakkillya,he is great leader of poor people and always active in raising questions for the poor people in assembly during 70/80s. I wish him good health and long life...

  • stany, faragipet/dubai

    Fri, May 30 2008

    Happy 90th Birthday B.V. Kakkillaya, Your are the one MLA Done The good Job in Vittal Constituency.

  • Austin Prabhu, nanthur/Chicago

    Fri, May 30 2008

    Happy 90th Birthday B. V. Kakkillaya! Nice to read about your achievement and the fight for the less fortunate. In those days if you had joined the Congress Party, you would have become the minister. Keep up the good work and wish you all the best in your endeavors.

Leave a Comment

Title: Mangalore: B V Kakkillaya - An Indefatigable Spirit Spanning Nine Decades

You have 2000 characters left.


Please write your correct name and email address. Kindly do not post any personal, abusive, defamatory, infringing, obscene, indecent, discriminatory or unlawful or similar comments. will not be responsible for any defamatory message posted under this article.

Please note that sending false messages to insult, defame, intimidate, mislead or deceive people or to intentionally cause public disorder is punishable under law. It is obligatory on Daijiworld to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments, to the authority concerned upon request.

Hence, sending offensive comments using daijiworld will be purely at your own risk, and in no way will be held responsible.