Published on: August 23, 2022

D. Devaraj Urs

D. Devaraj Urs

Why in news?

The 107th birth anniversary of former Chief Minister D. Devaraj Urs was observed

Devaraj Devaraj Urs

  • Devaraj Devaraj Urs (20 August 1915 – 6 June 1982) was an Indian politician who served two terms as the eighth Chief Minister of Karnataka (1972–77, 1978–80), a state in southern India.
  • He is also the longest serving Chief Minister of Karnataka in terms of days of tenure in office. He entered politics in 1952 and was an MLA for 10 years.
  • When the Indian National Congress split in 1969 as Samstha (Congress(O)) and Indira Congress (Congress (R)), he stood with Indira Gandhi. He became the Chief Minister of Karnataka (fifth Assembly) for the first time from 20 March 1972 to 31 December 1977 and later for the second time from 17 March 1978 to 8 June 1980 (sixth Assembly).
  • Urs espoused the causes of poor and ushered in a “silent social revolution” in Karnataka. He was the voice of the poor and stood for the cause of the downtrodden in society. Urs was elected continuously from Hunsur as an MLA for 28 years, from 1952 to 1980 and is one of the longest serving Chief Ministers of Karnataka.
  • Among the contributions of the late Chief Minister was the stress laid on the education of the people belonging to the backward classes and establishment of the backwards and minorities hostels for the students hailing from those sections of society. Absorbing 16,000 unemployed graduates in the stipendiary scheme whose services were confirmed later, abolition of carrying night soil by Dalits and bonded labour, renaming Mysuru as Karnataka in 1973 were some landmark decisions taken by him.
  • Devaraj Urs was one of the greatest social reformers the State had seen. The land reforms spearheaded by him, in which the tiller of the land became the owner, was exemplary. It reduced the chasm between the rich and the poor, doing away with social inequality.
  • Mysore district had the highest incidents of bonded labour in India during that time and the decision of the Urs Government to abolish it was remarkable. Urs must be remembered for his achievements in weaning away poor people from the clutches of the rich moneylenders. The deeds of the late Chief Minister in the irrigation sector too had helped the farmer community tremendously. The Kali project, one of them, was executed amidst opposition from several quarters.[citation needed] his measures brought several changes but his land reforms brought poverty to many families who were solely dependent on their small land holdings..