==KINGDOM TO FREEDOM==
A Story of Dr. G.S. Melkote by
S. Gopal Melkote.
Barhampore, now in Orissa‐the land of Lord Jaganath‐ was where Gopalayya and his wife Parvathamma lived. Gopalayya was working here in the Postal Department, having moved from Mysore State, a Kannada speaking Brahmin ‐ from a traditional family. On the 17th October 1901, they were blessed with their 3rd son – Subbukrishna. By the Hindu calendar (Lunar) it was the 7th day of Dassera (Navaratri Festival) and the day celebrated all over India as ‘Saraswathi Pooje’ i.e. worship of the goddess of knowledge and wisdom. The auspicious day definitely proved to be so, for the young Subbukrishna – Subbu to the family and close friends. But, as fortune favours the brave, young Subbu had to learn to fight to overcome his bilateral mild club foot disability. His doctors after surgery gave him specially made shoes with metal braces to overcome his problem and it proved to be successful, but left him with one leg slightly shorter. From here on, throughout his life he tasted success, though he had to put up with lots of hurdles. His boyish days and the teens spent as usual in studies and sports. He was a good student. In Barhampore, he played along with his neighbour’s children – one of them being V. V. Giri, slightly older than Subbu. The companionship which began during their boyhood days continued till the last – both went on to become leading Trade Union leaders and members of the Lok Sabha.
Gopalayya was transferred and so the family moved and Subbu and his brothers joined the Chamarajpet Middle School, Bangalore. It is said that men are known by the company they keep and so one of young Subbu’s classmates was Nittoor Srinivas Rao, the well known Chief Justice of Karnataka, and the first Vigilance Commissioner of India. At home, Subbu, his two elder brothers, one immediately elder to him is A. G. Ramachandra Rao and his younger brother Srikantha – S. G. Atri and three younger sisters lived happily. There afterwards, with determination and encouragement he over came the disability and never looked back in life. The eldest brother,Narayan Rao,who appeared for the Bombay Matriculation Exams , got the First Rank and won the Gold Medal. A.G.Ramachandra Rao, in his studies went on to bag the Gold Medal in B.A.. He proved his teacher’s confidence in him – he being Sri.Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. Subbu won the Gold Medal in Medicine and S.G.Atri in Agriculture. In the family, it had become a habit to win Gold Medals –as Subbu’s cousin; M. S. Sitaram Rao, Chief Engineer‐ Hyderabad won the gold medal in his graduation at Nizam’s College, Hyderabad and later in Engineering at Guindy Engineering College, Madras. What more could the parents wish? – but a lot more was in store .For a short while the family moved to Chitradurga, near Bangalore, where one of Subbu’s schoolmates was S.Nijalingappa. After schooling, during which Subbu represented his school team in Football and with a good academic record, joined the Central College, Bangalore for his Intermediate studies.
About this time 1916‐17 or 18, a Medical School (College) was set up in Hyderabad and Subbu’s elder uncle had retired and made Hyderabad his home. Mysore State at that time still did not have a Medical School with Surgery. As the head of the family, his uncle gave the nod and he joined the Medical College in Hyderabad as G. S. Atri (Aatreysa Gothra). Amongst Atri’s classmates was a maharastrian student, whose name was Aatre. The confusion started and a solution found, Subbu or G. S. Atri – changed to G.S. Melkote. Melkote is a well known temple town in Mandya district in the State of Mysore, where the family came from. Even to this day, on Ugadi(New Year) the Panchanga Sravana(First reading of the Almanac for the New Year) is performed by the family.
In an orthodox and traditional Brahmin family, during the years 1918‐19, a student of medicine had to face a lot of hardships. After returning from college every evening, having to learn the human body, handling not only the then untouchable castes, but even the corpses, one had to go through a bath, chanting hymns for cleansing the mind and body, etc. before entering the house for food.. He had to work hard to stand up for what is right, overcoming and winning over the opposition had become a habit with him. His Guru and professor, Major.M.G.Naidu,(Muthyala Govindraj Naidu) Sarojini Naidus husband, had a very high opinion of the capabilities of his young student and he reposed his confidence in him. His professor’s name had a special feeling and a strong influence on the young student; about this later . He was awarded the Drake Brookman Gold Medal for topping the final year exams. About this time, he got married to the third daughter of Sri. T. Srikanthaiah, working at Aurungabad (professor of Kannada at Osmania University) and Smt. Shankaramma. The teen aged bride Vimala – after her wedding, travelled to Hyderabad by train under the 50% concession due to her age.
After completion of his studies, Dr. Melkote, joined the Government service as a Physician in a hospital in the old city of Hyderabad. Very soon after, he was contradicted by his British boss, over the line of treatment of a complicated case, and proved himself correct, as the patient recovered. The boss gave a piece of his mind to the young doctor and challenged that he would not succeed in the medical profession – at least in Hyderabad. The medical staff of all hospitals had to go to Osmania Hospital to get their salary, and Dr. Melkote was paid the same amount as others, inspite of his being a doctor and inspite of having secured a Gold Medal. He demanded a better and equivalent pay, as other doctors, but his boss saw to it that it was refused. Disgusted, as his national pride was in question, he resigned from service and did not get his pay for the 72 days of service he had put in.
The challenge to succeed in his profession and also to involve himself in the National cause for freedom and liberty spurred him to start his own private practice. Very soon, the medical practice was a success. True to his professional ethics, he became the family doctor to the rich, the poor, Muslims, Hindus, men, women and children. This not only brought him popularity but also financial gains. He thus not only involved himself in the treatment of the sick but also turned his attention to the cause of the nation by doing his mite to liberate the country from foreign domination. Due to which, his contacts with the freedom fighters outside Hyderabad grew and whenever they visited Hyderabad, his house was where they stayed. Many a hero of the Indian freedom struggle frequented and enjoyed his hospitality, – R. R. Diwakar, S. Nijalingappa, N.S. Hardikar (congress Seva Dal), S. K. Patil, B.V. Keskar, D. P. Mishra, Achyut Patwardhan, Sardar Venkatramiah of Mysore, Ashok Mehta, Jai Prakash Narayan, Kamala Devi Chattopadayya to name a few. As a result, his wife, Vimala Bai Melkote, who had to look after the needs and comfort of her guests became totally involved in the freedom movement, social work, Khadi movement, etc. She was born in Aurangabad – the Marathi speaking district of Hyderabad state and lived mostly in areas abounded by Tamil, Telugu, Marathi and Hindi speaking people. She went to school even after her first daughter and son were born and was a student of Madapati Hanumantha Rao and appeared for her matriculation exams of the famous Maharishi Karve University. The few students that the stalwart Madapati had, formed the nucleus of todays Madapati Hanumantha Rao school in Narayanguda, Hyderabad. Much later, she was made a member of the First Governing Body of the Raja Bahadur Venkatarama Reddy Womens College. Vimala Bai’s mother tongue was Kannada, but she became proficient in Telugu, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil and English. As such she became an interpreter whenever national leaders visited her home.
The Nizam of Hyderabad was the most faithful ally of the British government in India and naturally got a lot of special favours & focus. He had his own currency, railways, postage, radio broadcasting and his own military. He permitted the British to set up one its bases and a huge army garrison was established near Secunderabad and so the British viceroys and others frequently visited Hyderabad. This set up was planned by the British as a counter just in case, if at any time, the Nizam went against. As a result, the Nizam issued a “Firmaan” (official notification or Gazzette) banning all political activity and freedom of speech in the state. Due to this, a lot of freedom activity and public support to it, was happening in the Circar districts of Andhra, (Madras Presidency) which was directly under the Dominion States of the Government of India. During 1928‐29, the Congress Party organized a huge protest meeting at Ramchandrapuram near Rajamundry and was addressed by Pandit Nehru, apart from other national leaders. The young doctor, a nationalist, could not but get influenced by it and attended the meeting. As expected, it resulted in violence and in the confusion of the mass upsurge, many got injured. The tall figure that he was, he tried to shield Pandit Nehru being hit by a lathi and the lathi fell on his head, virtually splitting his skull. He fell down profusely bleeding and was unconscious. A potter took pity and nursed the young doctor with rural, herbal and home remedy for nearly a month.
During this time, Mrs. Melkote had lost all contact with her husband, as he took time to recover from his wounds and regain his memory. They had given up hope of his survival. But after nearly 40‐45 days, he surfaced in Hyderabad to the pleasant surprise of all. It was during this time or a little earlier that a call was given to boycott all foreign goods and to use the local hand‐made materials (Swadeshi). He gave up all his suits, ties, shoes, etc. and started using Khadi, the homespun cotton fabric and the Gandhi cap which he started to wear now, even as a practising physician became his habit till his last. He was of the firm opinion that the Gandhi Cap was a National Pride and symbol.
In 1936, he developed severe abdominal pain and his medical practice suffered and to meet his expenses he had to sell his assests‐ Car, Radio, Fridge, Fans, etc. and his elder brother was so concerned that he took him to Bangalore for treatment and was admitted to the Victoria Hospital, under the eminent surgeon, Dr. Subba Rao. For surgery they opened his stomach and found nothing wrong. They stiched up the incision, but it did not heal and his condition became serious.As a last resort, inspite of Dr. Melkotes protests, his brother took him to Ramana Maharishi, at Tiruvanamalai. The Maharishi blessed him and asked Dr. Melkote to apply some medicine to his infection at the back of his shoulder. They both got relief from their ailments. – The first meeting proved fruitful and decided the future – the Saint became his guru. He visited him many times – the guru and the disciple were silently communicating by sight and by intuition. These silent messages were a source of encouragement and strength that the doctor got throughout his life. But more about this later.
In Hyderabad, over the years, Dr. G. S. Melkote, became a sought after doctor and he to provide better medical service to his patients, moved into a very spacious bungalow in the heart of Hyderabad. In fact, being referred by his Professor Dr. Major Naidu, he treated the nawab Sir Nizamath Jung, a nobleman of Hyderabad. The Nawab Sahib – a scholar and a bachelor – was so impressed that he invited the young doctor to stay next door to him and to work from there. The place – Madina Bagh in Narayanguda, was to be his home for the next nearly 50 years. But his dream of setting up a 100 bedded hospital never materialized. Even when he was a Cabinet Minister in Hyderabad (after freedom) he continued to live at Madina Bagh.
The change in residence and his clinic meant more work and popularity. His natural urge to serve the nation, dragged him more towards the National movement for freedom. He actively participated in the day to day activities of the Congress party at Hyderabad and he went to the Annual Session of the Indian National Congress,at Karachi (Pakistan) , as a delegate of the State Congress . On his return to Hyderabad, he had to shoulder the burden of more pending work in his clinic. He decided to name his clinic. The choice was “Gopal Clinic and Nursing Home” named after Gopal – his father, and Gopal – his professional guru and Professor Dr.M. G. Naidus clinic. Dr. Naidu had almost transfered his clinic and reffered all his patients to Dr.Melkote. The spacious 40 rooms that Madina Bagh had, housed not only his residence but also a maternity section, a surgical theatre, a dispensary for treating patients and a few staff quarters. The entire setup was well staffed for 24 hours service, both to the ailing people and the political visitors. His genial personality, a welcoming smile and a thorough knowledge of medical science, with a sincere approach, made him one of the leading medical practitioners in Hyderabad. Dr. Lateef Syeed, DR.M.G.Naidus contemporary and the Nizams personal physician‐and a nationalist‐ at one instance asked Dr. Melkote to accompany him to the King Koti Palace for joint consultation and treatment to the Nizam. People thronged to his clinic from far off places. This naturally gave him a firm economic footing. He became the DOCTOR for the young and old, the poor and the noblemen, the urban Hyderabadis and the rural villagers. People came here not only to get treated for their health problems, but friends and co‐workers came for their political guidance and help. Thus MADINA BAGH became a beehive of round the clock activity. For the public and patients to contact him easily, specially during any urgency, he got the telegrams address registered as ‘CLINIC Hyderabad’. In a sense Madina Bagh became the medical and political Motel.
In 1942, the Quit India struggle was launched and in Hyderabad, the State Congress President, Swami Ramananda Tirtha came to Hyderabad from Udgir(Marathwada) to hand over a letter, wherein he wrote to the Nizam to cooperate and declare democracy and join the Indian Union. Expecting trouble, a copy of the letter was secretly dispatched to Dr.Melkote, in case Swamiji was arrested, and as soon as he reached Nampally Railway Station he was arrested. A difference of opinion cropped up amongst the congress members and Dr. Melkote, alone had to sign the letter and send it. He was immediately imprisoned. The previous evening, he had, by a strange coincidence, interviewed a young freshly passed out student from the medical school, to assist him in the clinic and had clearly told the young doctor that he may have to look after his clinic alone as he may be arrested any time. When the young doctor – M.Vishwanath Rao‐ reported for work the next morning, he had to take over the full responsibility of Gopal Clinic. A mass political uprising, protests and disturbances was the order of the day, even by the women. Ladies in Hyderabad, where the muslim rules dominated, never came forward in public due to the Zenana and Purdah system. But a few ladies, not deterred, came forward to offer Satyagraha along with many men. They were all arrested and in Hyderabad – D. G. Bindu, H. C. Heda, Ramkrishna Dhoot, Krishna Chari Joshi and a few others and amongst the ladies Vimala Bai Melkote, Gyan Kumari Heda, Padmaja naidu,Vanamali,Kamalamma and a few others. There was no special arrangement in any jail to provide facilities for the lady (political) prisoners and a make shift arrangement was made by keeping them out of the city limits at the Kishanpershad Deodi (Bunglow) near Maulaali.(very near to present day E.C.I.L)
The Quit India struggle saw Dr. Melkote’s elder and younger brother in Mysore state also in action. The younger S. G. Atri was arrested and the elder – A. G. Ramachandra Rao went incognito as per plans. The news of the three brothers and their second daughter in law being sought by the Governments for their activities to achieve freedom was kept from their ageing parents, but a few days later, the news leaked out. Their father, already suffering with high blood pressure further got complicated and within a few days collapsed. The news reached the doctor in jail in Hyderabad. He was not released nor granted permission to attend the funeral even for a temporary period. They laid down a condition for him to declare in writing that he would not involve himself in the freedom movement anymore. The doctor was made of sterner stuff and he flatly refused. But wiser counsels prevailed with the government and he reached Hassan, Mysore State just in time to see for the last time his father’s body, being engulfed in the funeral pyre. During the rituals for the departed, the police kept a strict watch over A.G.Ramachander Rao’s movements and later arrested and put him in jail. During the Quit India struggle, a mass of people had gathered on the beach, much against the governments wishes, to witness the well known Aruna Asaf Ali hoist the Indian Flag at Bombay. Due to the violent police intervention there was complete chaos. Amidst a state of riots, no law and order and confusion, she escaped from Bombay. The British Government served a warrant of arrest against her – dead or alive. After about eight days of hectic journey, she reached Hyderabad at Dr. Melkote’s house – for safety and for rest. When Mrs. Melkote saw her at the door step, she could not recognize Mrs. Aruna Asaf Ali – such was her condition and appearance. The local police got scent that she may be in Hyderabad. And in Hyderabad, where else but Madina Bagh. They came in search, but she was admitted in the ladies patient’s room at Gopal Clinic with a board hanging outside “Patient Serious – Don’t Disturb”. Here it should be said to the credit of the local police and other officials who were sympathetic to the cause of liberation of Hyderabad and India – that they turned a blind eye on many an occasion. Many people from all walks of life including students, teachers, doctors, advocates, officials, Hindus,Muslims, Parsees – all became Dr. Melkote’s patients, supporters and sympathizers in more ways than one. Even Mrs. Melkote’s younger brother T. Chandrashekar, participated in the mass protests and was working incognito, as the Hyderabad Govt. had issued a “shoot at sight” order against him.
About this time – the Second World War – a temporary truce was arranged between the British Government of India and the congress party. All those imprisoned all over India were released. There was a temporary lull in the freedom struggle all over India and in Hyderabad too, only to reorganize and regroup the activities. It was now that Dr. Melkote’s medical practice was in full flow. But he kept himself abreast of the latest political developments. By now, Dr. G. S. Melkote – Dr. Melkote in shortbecame a household name in Hyderabad. His patients came from all walks of life. Nawab Habeeb Pasha,Deen Yar Jung Bahadur, Raja Dhanraj Girji, Pingle Venkatrama Reddy, Bankatlal Badruka, the two brothers Chelani & Malani of Secunderabad, Dilsukh Ram, Mir Sadat Ali of the Nizam’s personal security and Mr. Vicajee, Kurien, Taraporewala, Gadwal Raja, Ranisaheb Chincholi, Raja Rameshwar Rao, Raja of Palvancha, Raja of Gudgunti, Abdul Khayyum Khan, D. D. Italia, Biligrami, Mir Akbar Ali Khan, the Chenoys, Ali Yavar Jung, Pannalal Pitie, to name a few of the more eminent names. One instance where a patient turned into his close friend and admirer is Syed Moinuddin Quadri, (Dr.Lateef Sayeeds nephew). Some of his very close friends and the younger generation that followed and cooperated with him till his end were – S.M.S.Vijayam, Dr.Pargonkar, DR.B.K.Phatak, Dr.Bankatchandra,G.Krishna Iyengar, Dr. Bahadur Khan, Dr.Waghray, Satwalekar, Dr. Gauri Bai Kirtane, Dr. Jayashree Bai Kirloskar, J.K. Praneshacharya, V. B. Padki, Manvi Narsing,Rao, N. Narotham Reddy, Amolak Ram,M.S.Rajalingam,Kodati Narayan Rao,Abhayankar,Damodar, T. R. Pimple, J. B. Upadhyaya, K.V.Narsing Rao,Ashatai Waghmarey,S.K.Vaishampayan, Jaganath Rao Chanderki, Veerendra Patil, Madapathi Ramchander Rao, Shyam Apsangekar, Konda Narayanappa, L.K.Shroff, B. H. Inamdar, S.Udapachar, C.Sudershan, G.Venkatswamy, Birdichand Choudry, V. H. Desai, M.Narasimlu and a host of many more. In his profession and for the spread of proper medical and health facilities, he was very closely associated with Dr.Shantabai Satwalekar andDr.U.R.Pargonkar,(pathologist. Govt.Laboratory) who, introduced his colleague,Dr.B.L.Narasimha Rao,to Dr.Melkote. The friendship was to last a life time. Dr.Narasimha Rao was deputed to undergo a special training in Tropical Diseases at Calcutta, his wife was not too well, had two young daughters to look after. He had no choice but to go for training. He left the responsibility to Dr.Melkote. But, alas, within a few days the tragedy struck and Mrs.Narsimha Rao passed away. The two young sisters were adopted by Dr. and Mrs.Melkote. Later the elder sister was married at Madina Bagh and soon after Dr.Narsimha Rao too passed away. A little later, the younger of the two sisters was also married. The good fortune of performing the Kanya Dana, was very satisfying and fulfilling to Dr.&Mrs. Melkote as a service to a very dear friend. The sisters grew up with Dr. & Mrs Melkotes children at Madina Bagh and now live happily in Hyderabad with there family, children and grand children . Another notable figure of the freedom movement, Sidhanhalli Krishna Sharma, was so active and wrote extensively for the freedom movement and so the Nizams Govt. issued a ban on him and externed him from the state. But he carried on his work from Bangalore and secretly visited Hyderabad a few times. The situation in Hyderabad was tense and uncertain for the freedom fighters. His son Mohan was suffering with Typhoid and Dr.&Mrs. Melkote took him to their home and nursed him back to normalcy. Cooperation, concern and comaradeship was the general life style in Hyderabad. It is during this period 1942‐46 that his medical practice was at its best. This naturally led to a very healthy financial position. He equipped his operating theatre with the most modern gadgets and instruments. The current world news‐ one was to hear normally‐ was censored to suit the Allied positions and at times it was one sided too. To listen to the other side and more particularly to listen to” Azad Hind Radio” setup by Subhas Chandra Bose, he bought a big and powerful H.M.V.radio. Having come up from humble beginnings, he knew what hardship and suffering was and so, many a poor family came to him for treatment for free. He very actively supported the poor students. He also supported the sale and development of Khadi and other handicrafts and its workers. Mrs.Krishna Bai Karnik , was a young widow working for the welfare of a girls hostel in Dharwad,(Karnataka) which was started by Freedom fighters under the Gandhian principles. She was using only Khadi and other hand made materials. She used to visit Hyderabad to collect money for her hostel. As a Gandhian, she always walked around and used to stay at Madina Bagh for her food and shelter. As a true Gandhian she never accepted any help for herself (personally) and the condition she laid down to stay at Madina Bagh was that after her days work, she would cook and serve for all those who were staying at Madina Bagh including Dr.Melkotes family. It was about his time that Dr. Melkote visited Wardha and was blessed by Gandhiji. It was here that he met Vinobhaji.
15th August 1947, uncontrolled and wild celebrations of joy and victory heralded the Independent India – but Hyderabad was denied this, as the Nizam refused to accede to the Indian Union. He was planning to keep Hyderabad an Independent union may be under the British and had appealed to U.S.A. for support. As Pakistan was badly in need of finances, he paid Rs.Twenty Crores as a loan and guarantee of their support to him. He had also stationed a bomber plane in Pakistan to be used against India if needed, as he dreamed of hoisting his Asafjahi Flag on the Red Fort in Delhi. The other states where problems were faced are Junagadh in Gujrat and Kashmir. People of few other princely States and the people of Hyderabad started protest meetings and this led to an agitation in order to put pressure on the rulers to join the Indian Union. A separate agitation and struggle had to be organised. In Hyderabad there was again a mass upsurge and protests and the State Congress President, Swami Ramananda Tirtha – (who now lived at Madina Bagh), Dr. Melkote, Burugula Ramkrishna Rao,Harishchandra Heda,Gyan Kumari Heda and many more were arrested. Mrs. Vimala Bai Melkote and their elder son, Satyanarayan (a young student activist) was beaten and put behind bars. There was a total breakdown in the law and order, as thousands of freedom fighters were put in jails all over Hyderabad City and the Karnataka, Maharashtra and Telugu speaking districts. The Nizam became a puppet in the hands of aggressive anti national muslim leaders supported by the British, who were dreaming of a separate independent Hyderabad under the British. Many atrocities were committed and thousands lost their lives. Talks and negotiations were going on and a stage had reached when a few leading freedom fighters, who had the full confidence and backing of the general public were released conditionally, to help the talks and negotiations. As the talks and negotiations made no progress, rumours circulated that they would be imprisoned again; hence they went outside Hyderabad state to the three regions around Hyderabad. Bombay‐Bangalore, Bezwada (now Vijaywada) and Madras. All the camps started their activities and put a lot of pressure by organising a total strike in all walks of life.
K.M.Munshi was appointed by the Govt of India. and stationed in Secunderabad as their Agent General for negotiations with the Nizam and his supporters and advisers. The flow of men, material and food into Hyderabad was effectively stopped and soon life was paralyzed. Day light killings and violence was witnessed every day. The Hyderabad Radio controlled by the Nizam’s Govt. was falsely broad casting news of the peoples support to their cause and the good and peaceful conditions that prevailed in Hyderabad. The Nizam’s expected support from outside was a disappointment or only a trickle and barely enough to sustain. During this time Dr. Melkote was asked to coordinate all activities in the three camps and the central Government in Delhi. It was now that his whirlwind tours to the three camps and Delhi started. He ably filled this role as he had a robust health and an unmatched zeal to work for freedom. He now came into a very close and active contact with Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel, Rajendra Prasad, B. C. Roy, G. B Pant, G. L. Nanda, U. N. Dhebar, Pattabhi Sitaramayya, C.Rajagopalachari, S. K. Patil, B.V.Keskar, Shantilal Shah, G.B.Mavlankar, Achut Patwardhan, D.P.Mishra and many more. As he had to be travelling regularly and report the situation and coordinate its functioning from the Andhra borders, he frequently visited Bezwada (now Vijaywada) and came into direct contact with A.Kaleshwar Rao, B.Gopala Reddy, and others. During these tours, he had a great urge to go and seek the blessings of his guru – Ramana Maharishi at Tiruvanamalai which was very near to Madras. But the busy work kept him from fulfilling his desire and one day as his train from Madras to Delhi was cancelled, he rushed to see his guru and seek his blessings once again. He arrived late in the evening and went straight to see him. The Maharishis welcome smile cleared all Dr. Melkotes doubts. It was as if he had a call from him. Early next morning, Dr. Melkote had a strong intuition that he was urgently wanted by his leaders in Delhi and so had another quick darshan of his guru, who understood his disciple’s urgency and blessed him. When Dr. Melkote picked up his bag and went towards the exit, he was surprised, as a visitor to the Ashram was waiting for him to take him to Madras by car saving a lot of time. He reached Madras to see a telegram waiting for him from the Government of India, V. P.Menon, the Member (secretary) in the States Department (Home). He was in time to catch a flight to Delhi and arrived at Delhi late at night and was pleasantly surprised as an official was waiting for him with instructions to take him straight to Sardar Vallabhai Patel, the Home Minister of India. Patel sent him back to the airport with instructions to fly him to Bombay and Poona to meet Major General J. N.Choudhury, Commander, of the Indian army in Poona. Sardar Patel, the iron man of India, clearly fore saw the futility of further negotiations with Nizams Govt. and was convinced that any further delay will complicate the situation. The operation by the Indian army to free Hyderabad was termed as ‘Operation Polo’ popularly known as Police Action‐ was launched and Dr. Melkote accompanied Maj Gen.Choudhury to Hyderabad. The Indian army faced little resistance and successfully entered Hyderabad city on the 17th of September, 1948 – the Nizam officially signed the document of surrender and accession to the Indian union. The challenge was successfully met and all returned to breathe the free air in INDIAS Hyderabad. It was a perfect birthday gift for Dr. Melkote. Peace to a large extent prevailed but a few pockets of discord and sporadic violence continued. Maj Gen. Choudhury was appointed military Governor of Hyderabad. The Hyderabad state congress office was setup‐ where else but at Madina Bagh! Dr. Melkote was made the Liaison Officer between the Military Governor, the State Congress and the Government of India. During 1949 & 1950 Pandit Nehru visited Hyderabad, and Madina Bagh as Prime Minister. A little later Sardar Patel, the Home Minister and the strong man of the Congress and India visited Hyd. & Madina Bagh. It was Sardar Patel, when he came to know that the congress office was situated in Dr. Melkotes house, that he advised them to vacate the sprawling building and lessen Dr. Melkotes burden and sacrifices. Responsibility and hard work always brought the best out of him. He had a natural urge to tend to the sick and suffering not only medically but otherwise too. Now that the state was merged into the Indian Union, he very much craved to return to his profession and restart “Gopal Clinic”. But he just had no time to plan. The people and the state congresswanted him. He plunged himself fully to take care of the people’s needs. The wounds of the freedom movement had to be healed. His natural urge to serve the underdog was evident and he started to organize the Trade Union movement in Hyderabad State. He was made President of INTUC, Hyderabad,the Hyderabad City Congress Committee, the Harijan Seva Samithi and many more. He successfully contested the elections to the Hyderabad Municipal Corporation and when the first general election was held in 1952, he was elected to the assembly from the Mushirabad constituency in Hyderabad city. The first popular government was formed with Burugula Ramakrishna Rao as Chief Minister. Dr. Melkote was sworn in as Finance Minister – the first Hindu to hold this position in Hyderabad. As Minister for Finance, he was the Ex‐Officio Chairman of the Hyderabad State Bank, The Hatti Gold Mines in Raichur and the Singareni Coal Mines, Kotagudem. He presented two State Budget proposals for 1952‐53 and 1953‐54. In Karnataka, his elder brother A.G.Ramachandra Rao won the election and was appointed a Minister for Law, Education and Labour with K. Hanumanthayya as the Chief Minister. In two adjoining states ‐ Mysore and Hyderabad‐ the two brothers took oath as Cabinet Ministers on the same day and the proudest woman in India was probably the mother, Parvathamma. The two brothers could achieve this position only because the youngest; S.G.Atri, stood like a rock to shoulder the joint family responsibilities.
Before independence, the Nizam of Hyderabad being the biggest ally of the British was given various previlages. One such was to have his own currency – Hali Sikka, i.e. Hali currency. At that time all over India, the British System of weights and measurement was in vogue. The British India currency had 16 annas to a rupee – the exchange rate of Hali to Indian currency was 18 annas Hali to one rupee Indian. As Finance Minister, it fell to his lot to merge the two currencies. He gave the slogan – ONE COUNTRY, ONE PEOPLE, ONE CURRENCY. Later on, a cabinet reshuffle was effected and Dr.Melkote was allotted the Labour and P.W.D. portfolio. It was during his time as P.W.D. Minister that Pandit Nehru laid the foundation for one of the largest irrigation and Hydro‐Electric dams in India ‐Nagarjuna Sagar.
Four and a half years later,in 1956, The States Reorganisation on linguistic basis was decided and both the brothers were opposed to the linguvistic division of states. Both lost their Cabinet posts on the same day. Fortunately the mother did not survive to see that day. A healthy mind and a healthy body is what any nation will dream of for its citizens. With its glorious past, its traditions and ancient sciences – Dr. Melkote believed in it and started his research in the science of Yoga and Ayurveda. Inspite of his busy schedule, he found time to pursue his hobby, teaching English Grammar to school children, playing football and cycling with them. From medicine, to labour, to yoga, to culture and sports, to education and economics was a far cry. But he took them all in his stride. He was General Officer in Command of the Hyderabad Seva Dal, President of the Hyderabad Branch of the Indian Medical Association, Founder President of the Patanjali Yoga Research Institute, Nutan Vidya Samithi – New Science College and People’s High School , the New Evening High School set up specially for the busy daytime industrial and other labour workers in Hyderabad and colleges in Sidipet, Nirmal and Nizamabad in the districts of Hyderabad, the Lakshmi Venkatesh Desai College in Raichur, was President of the Institute of Economics, the Football Association of Hyderabad, the Ball Badminton Association of Hyderabad, the Rotary Club, the School for Social Work, the Karnataka Shikshana Samithi – Nrupatunga school, the Jawaharlal Nehru Polytechnic, President Ramakrishna Vivekananda Samithi, President of the Shivananda Leprosy Home,Kukatpally, President Kanya Gurukul Ashram, member Osmania University Syndicate, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, President of the Exhibition Society, the Sarvodaya movement, the Karnatak Khadi Samithi, Patron of the Vishwa Bharati University Nellore, and Founder Member of the Committee to start the Gandhi Medical College, etc. etc. In 1956,he was one of the first to receive Vinobha Bhave at Pochampally , from where the Bhoodan Movement was launched. Having served the State’s interest, he turned his attention to the wider sphere of national work. During the second general election in India in 1957, he contested from the Raichur constituency in Karnataka to the Lok Sabha. No haste, no rest, onward he marched to Delhi triumphantly to be sworn in as a member of the Lok Sabha. His arrival was heralded by his appointment as the Organizing Secretary of the central INTUC. Very soon he was nominated to the governing body of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), the Indian Council of Medical Research, National Council for Ayurveda and a few important committees of the Lok Sabha. Soon he was elected President of the Delhi Electricity Workers Union, the Delhi Municipal Workers Union, the Northern Railway Workers Union, and the Lady Harding Medical College Workers Union – where many problems were pending for long. Dr. Melkote followed the path of negotiations and compromise. It was hard for a doctor to call a strike in a major hospital in Delhi. But not only in the interest of the workers, but also for the hospital’s proper working it became necessary and when his own Congress party Government was functioning, he did give a call for strike and led the procession to demand justice from the Ministry of Health – all the demands were acceded to.. These were the times when communal forces started to surface and disrupt the peace and progress of India. He undertook hectic tours all over the country to mobilize the industrial labour from becoming communal and anti‐national. In 1962, the third general elections were announced and Dr. Melkote from Raichur returned to Hyderabad city constituency as a congress candidate for the Lok Sabha. By now, Dr. Melkote was a national leader, with no regional bias, much less religious bias.. Hyderabad constituency consisted of the old Hyderabad city with a majority muslim population. The President of the local Ittehad‐ul Muslimeen party was his main rival. Nearly 35 years earlier, he had resigned from the Government job and did not get his salary and was warned not to continue living in Hyderabad as there was no future for him. This government hospital was located in Doodh Bowli in the old city of Hyderabad. The public reposed their faith in Dr. Melkote and gave him a thumping majority. His genial personality and a ready smile endeared him to all. Nobody could claim to be his foe. He was now 60 years and to celebrate this and his victory in the elections, a public function was organized by his well wishers. A special commemoration volume was published paying tributes to him. Many messages of greetings were received – Hiren Mukherjee, senior Opposition Leader of the CPI in the Lok Sabha, who said “for all our differences on the political matters, I consider Dr.Melkote, as my friend, philosopher and guide”. Barrister Mir Akbar Ali Khan, Member of the Rajya Sabha, announced a large donation of money and about 25‐30 acres of land just outside the city limits to set up a polytechnic. He wanted a trusted, capable person with organizing capacity, to head his institution. Who else but Dr. Melkote was entrusted with one more responsibility, which he could not refuse.
His friend and colleague, Member of the Rajya Sabha, V.K.Dhage formed a trust to cater to the needs of orphan children and the unwed mothers‐Dr.Melkote was made Chairman of this trust‐The Hyderabad Childrens Aid Society and the RadhaKisan Balika Nivas Trust. He was made Chairman of the Reception Committee, to celebrate the fiftieth year of Vivek Vardhani Institutions, which is managed by the Maharashtrians. National integration was what everyone dreamed of. But it was in Hyderabad that it was achieved with success. If Hyderabad city with a predominant muslim population elected Dr. Melkote to the Lok Sabha, then in the neighbouring Secunderabad Lok Sabha constituency consisting mainly a hindu population, successfully elected with a thumping majority, Bakhir Ali Mirza. He constituted a trust to promote education and the responsibility to head the trust was thrust on Dr. Melkote. He continued his work as member of the Lok Sabha and by now he was known for his simplicity, sincerety, hard work and plain speaking.His ideas and clarity of thought on various aspects of national development were well appreciated in the debates in Parliament. He was selected to represent the Indian view at various International conferences‐The International Labour Organisation, Geneva, International Family Planning Conference, Commonwealth Universities Conference, London, The Commonwealth Parliament Conference, at Australia, Leader of the Trade Union Delegation to Switzerland, Moscow, Yugoslavia, etc. He visited Japan, Sri Lanka, and Singapore and went on a lecture tour on Yoga, Ayurveda and ancient Indian Sciences to USA. He was Founder President of the Indian National Defence Workers Federation, affliated to INTUC. This was the time when relations between India and China were disturbed. China started some intrusions on the Indian borders. To boost the morale of the Defence forces he toured extensively along the Indian borders. Certain fissiparous tendency started to creep into the defence forces. Dr.Melkote’s leadership of this group was enough guarantee of this group ever going antinational. At the Congress party meeting Dr.Melkote raised this question of improper managemt,but as he never belonged to any group, he did not get enough support. He persisted and on Prime Minister Nehrus request, submitted his report with proof in writing, on enquiry his doubts and complaints proved to be correct. The misdeeds slowly but surely trickled down to the media and the press. There was a public out cry and long heated discussions in parliament. One day parliament had to sit extra hours to thrash out the problem and late in the evening the Defence Minister Krishna Menon had to own up the entire responsibility and forced to resign from the cabinet. Outside, in the corridors of parliament, the press gathered around Nehru to get his reactions to the entire episode. Nehru sighted Dr.Melkote and beckoned to him to wait and dropped him home in his car, all the while thanking Dr.Melkote for rescuing him a third time‐once at the Karachi session of the congress, earlier at Ramachandrapuram ,near Rajamundry, Andhra Pradesh and now in Parliament,New Delhi. Nehru nicked named Dr.Melkote as “Pehalwan”(wrestler).The tall well built pehalwan was over 200 lbs, and was a member of the BHIM club in parliament‐Dr.Ram Subhag Singh was President of this exclusive club and some of the members were Jagjivan Ram,Y.B.Chavan,Philoo Mody. The members demanded more sturdier, bigger and more comfortable furniture for their use. But the pehlwan had a deceptive look, he was very quick to act and had a disarming smile, even his worst critics were helpless before him. His colleagues in the congress party and the opposition parties were his admirers and valued his opinion and ideas on problems facing the country. He kept constant company with the Lok Sabha Speakers!Ananta Shayanam Iyengar,Gurdiyal Singh Dhillon, Sardar Hukum Singh, ministers and members‐ Triguna Sen, Karan Singh,Morarji Desai,C.Subramanyam,Dinesh Singh,Hiren Mukherji,Deen Dayal Upadyaya,Prakash Vir Sastri,G.L.Nanda, Manubhai Shah,Satyanarayan Sinha,Khandu Bhai Desai, M.C.Chagla, I.K.Gujral, K.K.Shah,Uma Shankar Dikshit, Sadiq Ali and many more. He was a Member of the Public Accounts Committee. Was member of the Estimates and the Assurances committee and later its Chairman, and also few other important committees. He was made an observer for elections to the party leader for Bombay and Orissa, when the owner of Kalinga Airlines, Biju Patnaik was elected leader‐ Patnaik personally came in the plane to drop Dr.Melkote to Hyderabad. His involvement into the Trade Union Movement and The Indian National Trade Union Congress saw him being elected the President of the Tata Iron & Steel Company at Jamshedpur. He was also made Patron or President of the Industrial Units in Kanpur&Bombay. The annual session of the central INTUC was held in Hyderabad and Dr.Melkote was elected President. Dr.Melkote was all the time planning for the future and encouraged the younger generation, trained and guided them to take up responsibilities. As President of the Hyderabad INTUC, he selected three youngsters to help him in the trade union movement‐T.Anjiah became the Chief Minister of Andhra, G.Sanjeeva Reddy is now President of the central INTUC and G.Venkatswamy, was the Deputy Leader of the Congress Party in the Lok Sabha. All three are former Presidents of the INTUC,Hyderabad and Labour Ministers of Andhra Pradesh.
Dr.Melkotes younger colleague in Delhi‐Krishna Kant was Governor of Andhra Pradesh and then Vice President of India. Melkotes elder brother, A.G.Ramachandra Rao guided another youngster and he went on to become the Prime Minister of India‐Deve Gowda. Few can claim a better record. The New Science College, Hyderabad, with C.Sudershan as Principal, was recognized as one of the best colleges in India and was the first private college accorded an Autonomous Status under the University Grant Commission. Much earlier, he had encouraged and deputed Udapachar,Head Master, Nrupatunga High School, Hyderabad to undergo teachers training. Nrupatunga High School became the best school and in the Matriculation exams –the topper in both the Biology and Mathematics group was from this school and atleast 15 were in the first 20 ranks for the state. For its performance, Udupachar was selected for the National Teachers Day Award .The then Union Minister for Education, Dr.V.K.R.V.Rao, spoke every where in India, of these two institutions in Hyderabad, as examples of what dedicated, hard work could achieve. With a view to further improve the infrastructure facilities of these two institutions he organized two public functions to collect money. One was a musical evening by the popular singer Mukesh and the other by the famous danseuses Vyjayanthi Mala. Not only because people had faith in Dr.Melkote,but also because of the cause and the popularity of the artists that the two functions were a grand success. It was under his Presidentship of the Andhra unit of the Gandhi Smarak Nidhi, that a Stupa (pylon) was erected at the Gandhi Hill, Vijayawada, on the Centenary Celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi.
He was nominated Chairman of the reception committee to welcome the Pontif of the Kanchi Muth, Sri.Chandershekara Bharati, to Hyderabad. The Swamiji visited Madina Bagh a few times and stayed there for various public functions. Dr.Melkote when ever he was in doubt , sought clarification about the ancient Indian Sciences, on Yoga, Indian traditions, culture and other aspects from the Kanchi Swamiji. The President of the Ramakrishna Muth, Bangalore, Swami Yatishwara Nanda, when ever he visited Hyd. stayed at Madina Bagh. For his varied interests,commitment and dedicated work in the cause of the country, he was awarded the ‘PADMA SRI’ by the President of India‐what a coincidence that his boyhood friend who played pebbles with him had to do the honours ‐V.V.Giri. His involvement into various spheres of National Development kept him extremely busy ‐ Always rushing from one place to another to attend a committee meeting or to guide the labour problems. But the one thing that he constantly carried with him was a photograph of his Guru ‘Sri Ramana’. He used to visit Tiruvanamalai often, but when ever a major hurdle was crossed, or when ever he won the election, he would rush to Tiruvanamalai, to pay his respects . Inspite of his hectic travels and in the railway compartment he always practiced Yoga,Pranayama and meditation. He was one of those who fully supported the idea and got the sanction to name one of the roads in New Delhi ‘Sri Ramana Maharishi Marg’. The sacrifices and the struggle for the liberation and the accession of Hyderabad into the Indian Union was not accorded the recognition as part of the freedom struggle of India and thus the
Hyderabad workers were not considered for the freedom fighters pension. Strange indeed.Dr.Melkote took up this cause and got justice done, when Giani Zail Singh was the Home Minister. But, during the struggle for freedom, many were not imprisoned or could not be imprisoned, hence could not get a jail certificate as proof of their contribution or involvement. So a committee to recommend candidates for grant of pension was officially set up with Dr.Melkote as Chairman. Many freedom fighters got the pension after his recommendation. But much later, after Dr.Melkotes demise in 1982, the Govt. of India took a shocking decision‐ we shall read about it later. The after effects of the war with China saw India struggling hard to normalize the internal situation particularly on the economic front. Pakistan tried to exploit this situation and attacked India over differences on Kashmir.India successfully defended its borders, but the economic situation further detiorated.Amidst all this the fourth General Elections were held. Dr.Melkote was re‐elected from the Hyderabad constituency, a third time, with a thumping majority. The process of rebuilding India on modern basis had started and he shouldered more responsibilities. He was offered a ministerial position at the centre, but he had already determined to build India from its grass roots and refused to be diverted from his goal. He held his position as a senior member of the Lok Sabha, widely admired and respected by all. It was about this time that the congress party was slowly losing its popularity.To put the party back on rails,some senior members of the party were dropped from the cabinet and drafted for party work‐popularly known as the “Kamaraj Plan”.Due to many other factors this plan also did not bring the desired results. The cold war amongst U.S.A. and U.S.S.R. was casting its shadow on world
affairs.India continued with its policy of Non Alignment. The situation in Pakistan was frightening, East and West Pakistan fighting amongst themselves.A war ensued and India sided with East Pakistan,and ensured the creation of what is now Bangla Desh.Indira Gandhi was now riding at the crest of her popularity, and to strengthen her position declared a mid term poll‐one year ahead of the schedule‐in 1971. During all this time the regional feelings in Andhra and in Hyderabad had worsend‐a separate Telangana slogan had gained momentum and to achieve this a separate regional party was floated!The Telangana Praja Samithi‐mostly a splinter group within the congress party. It was a spontaneous mass upheaval. The popular mass following that he had, Dr.Melkote joined the party and was nominated as its Vice President. For leading these protests,he was detained by the local police, even as a member of Parliament, Much earlier, to devote more time to his Yoga research and to groom a younger person to contest, he had announced that he would not contest any more elections. But the darling of Hyderabad would not be let off so easily by the people. By public demand he had to reverse his decision and made to contest the elections to Parliament, again from Hyderabad as a Telangana Praja Samithi candidate. The congress party did not put up its candidate from Hyderabad, but the local congress leaders opposed to Telangana, came into a secret understanding with other local parties, particularly the local Ittehadul Muslim Party, and set up an independent candidate‐Badruddin Tayabjee‐a former ambassador‐ as a combined opposition to Dr.Melkote. The opposition was no match to the Telengana sentiment and its supporters were so strong that hardly any electioneering was required and Dr.Melkote was re‐elected
with a massive majority, a third time from the same constituency to the Lok Sabha.With this massive win he was chosen to be the leader of his party in Parliament. Once again there were moves to induct him into the cabinet, but he coolly kept himself away. He was now one of the very senior members of the Lok Sabha, his fourth term. He was entrusted with more organizing work at the national level. Within the congress party major differences started surfacing, each group wanting him on their side. He was working hard to convince all his party men to be united, inspite of which the party spilt, creating bitterness and confusion all over the country. But the soldier that he was, he never took sides even with his own close colleagues and stood steadfast with the party. This was when a National Emergency was declared for the first time after independence in India by the Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. The freedom of speech, press censorship and other preventive measures were enforced all over the country. The economic situation also worsened, food and other essential supplies were being hoarded by the unscrupulous elements. Many a national leader was put in jail. To put it mildly, there was confusion and chaos all over the country. The parliamentary elections due now was postponed by one year. The congress party was split and the Janata Party at the national level was formed with Jayaprakash Narayan, Morarji Desai and other leaders. The postponed elections to parliament was held in 1977. Both the congress party and the newly formed Janata party offered the Hyderabad Lok Sabha seat to Dr. Melkote, but he stood firm with his decision not to contest any more elections. He actively participated in the elections to see his younger colleague from the congress party K.S.Narayan win the Hyderabad Lok Sabha seat, thus ensuring that the party hold in Hyderabad was not
disturbed. But the party lost its majority on an all India level and the Janata Party with Morarji Desai as leader and Prime Minister was formed. The last sitting of the fifeth session of Parliament was held, after which Dr.G.S.Melkote returned triumphantly to Hyderabad and his home Madina Bagh, never lost any position, never defeated in any election, never defeated in any cause for which he valiantly fought – bat in hand so to say. He was now 77 years. Still the same energetic phelwan. All the institutions in Hyderabad and other parts of India that he had founded or was heading it had consolidated and he continued with its work. The Patanjali Yoga Research Institute and the Jawaharlal Nehru Polytechnic, was handed over to the Govt. of Andhra for further expansion and the New Science College, Narayanguda, was handed over to the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. All the other educational institutions under him, by now had grown self sufficient along with the Khadi production units in Gadwal, Raichur and Gulbarga. Much earlier the Gandhi Medical College was also taken over by the Govt. and is now a leading Post Graduate Institution. He continued to tour all over India to be in touch with all his contacts and institutions and to propogate Yoga and participate in National Seminars on education, labour, health etc. In 1981, he was 80 years and a big get together was organized by his well wishers and the family, not just to celebrate the occasion nor honour him, but more for him to express his profound thanks and gratefulness to the public of Hyderabad, who always solidly stood by him for nearly 50 years, who made Subbu‐ the Doctorsab, an Educationist, Labour Leader, Minister, Member of Parliament, and DR.MELKOTE, the hero of Hyderabad. About 40 or 45 years earlier, an astrologer and
his patient had written down about 40 to 50 pages of his life and forecast. All the events, the ups and downs proved to be correct. He had correctly mentioned that 1982 was a crucial year for him and if crossed (12 October 1982) he had another five to serve. Dr. Melkote had gone to Udaipur to participate in a Yoga Seminar. While attending the seminar he had a peculiar feeling and the doctor in him indicated that some thing was wrong. He immediately returned to Hyderabad and was bed ridden for about a week. Dr. K.Ramesh Pai(Retd. Director of Medical Services.A.P.) who knew Dr.Melkote since 1944 or 45 and another of his admirers Dr. Ramachar Ashrit, Anesthetist, used to visit him regularly examined him and as his condition deteriorated, he moved out of Madina Bagh for the last time to be hospitalized . If he was born on the auspicious day of the Saraswati Pooje, he passed away peacefully on the early morning on Holi‐the festival of colours, 12th March 1982. It was also his father’s birthday. How correct was the forecast. Also the place he passed away was where his salary for 72 days of work was not paid, and also it is in the vicinity of Doodbauli Dispensary, where he was challenged to succeed. Success comes to those who dare and act. Hyderabad was celebrating the festival of Holi, when the news of Dr. Melkotes passing away reached the public. All the festivities stopped and all roads led to Madina Bagh and he was given a tearful and heros send off and a State funeral. The President of India, The Prime Minister, The Speaker of the Lok Sabha and a host of other personalities condoled his passing away. Soon after his demise, his admirers and the Nutan Vidya Samithi started a Womens College in Hyderabad in his memory. At ‘Kuknoor’ in Raichur District, Karnataka, which elected him for his first term to the Lok Sabha a rural Polytechnic is set up on his name.
During all his life time he stood up and fought for justice and what was right. The cause and cure was more important than men or money. Many a battle he won single handedly. A Kannadiga, born in Orissa, went to school in Karnataka and professional studies and bred up in Hyderabad & Telengana and later Andhra, went round India molding its culture and traditions, a man badly injured in Ramachanrapuram, later in Karachi,(now in Pakistan), opposed in Parliament for what ultimately was proved right, could never belong to a region. In his profession he earned a plenty but died a pauper living through out his life in a rented house. This problem he faced through out his life and never found the exact recognition he deserved. The pehlwan and the soldier that he was never had time to look back. He believed in the maxim “On ward for ever”. The Chairman of the committee for recommending the persons eligible for the Freedom Fighters pension was himself denied this. Luckily he did not survive to see the day when an official letter from the Ministry of Home , dealing with the freedom pension, was delivered to his wife, stating that he could not be granted the pension, as per the conditions of the rule laid down, reason” The suffering and imprisonment under gone by him was not sufficient”. How ever, his wife, with lesser suffering and imprisonment and many others got it. Much later, in 1997, during the 50th independence year celebrations at New Delhi, Mrs. Vimala Bai Melkote was honoured by the President of India.Would Dr.G.S.Melkote too get the same? “Better late than never”. No better example could be found to explain this. The Government of Andhra Pradesh, by the pressure brought on it by Dr.Melkotes well wishers, as late as 27th December 2007,declared open a Park in Narayanguda–very close to where he lived and worked for nearly 50 years –Madina Bagh‐ on his name. He lived and believed‐ “ONE CROWDED HOUR OF GLORY IS WORTH AN AGE WITHOUT A NAME.”
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS On many occasions we discuss the present happenings and the past and what the future holds for us? Invariably, when the glorious past is discussed, all the events crowd into ones memory. Of these, a few were what we heard many times from our elders and many were the actual happenings to which I and my elder brothers are witness. The story starts about the time 1901, i.e. 37 years before I was born, but events and happenings which I have mentioned, is what we have seen and heard on the radio and other media, mostly the news papers. To complete the story of about 80 years of hectic activity, leads to a few events which I may have missed and also a few names, for which I may be excused. A few names I have purposely avoided, as in writing such a story one name leads to one more or many more and the whole story will only be names; which is not the purpose. From Kingdom to Freedom, is the story of the Nizam to save his kingdom with its base at King Kothi Palace and the fight to attain freedom with its main base at Madina Bagh, Dr.Melkots rented house. Its very notable to learn that the two places are just about a mile from each other. We his children and family will always be thankful to the many individuals who encouraged and stood by our father in all his work and achievements during his life time. But even after, specially to establish the DR.G.S.Melkote, park in Narayanguda, on 27th December 2007, we will always remember with thanks the help and support we got from the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Dr. Y.S.Rajashekar Reddy, the former Chairman of Huda, Sudheer Reddy, our friends
Dr.P.Satyanarayan, Sri.B.Surender, apart from our own family members. The very idea of trying to get the park named after my father was first mooted by my good friend Burgula Dilip. A very special mention and thanks to our esteemed friend Sri.G.Venkatswamy, M.P. but for whom the park could not have been named after his Guru and our dear father. While we have always followed on our father’s path and belief “ill will to none and Good will to all” we will ever remain grateful for his blessings to Sri. Ramana Maharishi.