Karnataka was formed in the year 1956 comprising of princely state of Mysore and areas held under Bombay, Madras presidencies and areas of princely state of Hyderabad, which even today is called Hyderabad Karnataka. Great men who championed the cause of unification of Karnataka include Alur Venkata Rao, Goruru Ramaswamy Iyengar, S. Nijalingappa and Kengal Hanumantiah. Huyilugola Narayana Rao’s poem Udayavaagali Namma Cheluva Kannada Naadu worth mention here.
Though known now for it’s IT and BT, Karnataka is unique compared to other states in India, it is the only state, which exports sandalwood in India. Karnataka is the largest producer of coffee, raw silk and sandalwood based products in India. Three-fourth of the Indian floriculture industry is based in Karnataka. Brighter aspects of progress of the state include IT boom in Bangalore started in the mid 90s, and now slowly spreading to tier II cities like Mangalore, Mysore and Hubli. One good aspect of this IT revolution was the boom in setting up Engineering Colleges in the state. But unlike other states it has not a developed city to be called next Bangalore till now. Mysore becoming next Bangalore is a long wait and I see it only in terms of IT industry. As per my observations other states have developed other industrial center to provide job opportunities other than state capital – say in Kerala(capital – Thiruvanthapuram), there is Kochi, in Tamil Nadu(capital – Chennai), there is Coimbatore, in Andhra Pradesh(capital – Hyderabad), there is Vishakhapattanam and in Maharashtra(capital – Mumbai), there is Pune. Now with Bangalore becoming victim of its own development there is an urgent need to shift focus to other cities in Karnataka to create an alternative to Bangalore. As Sir M Vishveshvaraiaha told long back ‘Industrialize or Perish’ is the need of the hour. Of course, in this direction lot of right steps have been taken to set up various industrial parks to be set in various centers and establishing airports in prominent district centers and encouraging MNCs to set shop in tier II cities. Right steps in the right directions.
Another industry which needs a boost is the tourism industry. With the kind of geography Karnataka has one wonders where it lost the race to neighboring Kerala and Goa. Karnataka can be good tourist destination if it is projected properly. Chalukya, Hoysala, Rashtrakuta and Vijayanagar temples are sure a tourist’s delight. It is not that now tourists don’t visit here but it can draw big number of tourists if properly projected. Another area which was never explored is Coastal Karnataka. Maravanthe, Kapu, Ullala Surathkal beaches, St. Mary’s Island can be made good tourist spots.
Dasara season is nearing. Mysore is all set to host the grand event. Wish you all a Suvarna Karnataka Varsha and a Happy Dasara.