Basappa Danappa Jatti

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Basappa Danappa Jatti
Basappa Danappa Jatti.jpg
Acting President of India
In office
11 February 1977 – 25 July 1977
Prime Minister Indira Gandhi
Morarji Desai
Preceded by Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed
Succeeded by Neelam Sanjiva Reddy
Vice-President of India
In office
1 September 1974 – 25 July 1977
President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed
Preceded by Gopal Swarup Pathak
Succeeded by Mohammad Hidayatullah
Governor of Odisha
In office
8 November 1972 – 20 August 1974
Chief Minister Nandini Satpathy
Preceded by Gatikrishna Mishra
Succeeded by Gatikrishna Mishra
Lieutenant Governor of Pondicherry
In office
14 October 1968 – 7 November 1972
Chief Minister Hasan Farook
Preceded by Sayaji Laxman Silam
Succeeded by Chhedilal
Chief Minister of Mysore
In office
16 May 1958 – 9 March 1962
Governor Jayachamaraja Wodeyar
Preceded by Siddavanahalli Nijalingappa
Succeeded by S. R. Kanthi
Personal details
Born (1912-09-10)10 September 1912
Savalagi, Bombay Presidency, British India
(now in Karnataka, India)
Died 7 June 2002(2002-06-07) (aged 89)
Political party Indian National Congress
Alma mater Shivaji University
Religion Lingayatism

Basappa Danappa Jatti (Kannada: ಬಸಪ್ಪ ದಾನಪ್ಪ ಜತ್ತಿ) About this sound pronunciation  (10 September 1912 – 7 June 2002) was the fifth Vice-President of India. He was Acting President of India from 11 February 1977 to 25 July 1977. The soft-spoken Jatti rose from a humble beginning as a Municipality member to India's second-highest office during a five-decade-long chequered political career.

Early life[edit]

Jatti was born in a Kannadiga Lingayat family at Savalgi in Jamkhandi Taluk of Bagalkot district on 10 September 1912. His father was a humble grocer. He braved family difficulties and completed his education. After completing his graduation in Law from Rajaram Law College in Kolhapur, he began his legal practice as an advocate for a very short span of time in his home town Jamkhandi.[1]

Early political career[edit]

In 1940, he entered politics as a Municipality member at Jamkhandi and subsequently became the President of the Jamkhandi Town Municipality in 1945. Later, he was elected as a member of the Jamkhandi State Legislature and was appointed a minister in the government of the pricely state of Jamkhandi. Finally he became the 'dewan' (Chief Minister) of Jamkhandi state in 1948. As dewan, he maintained cordial relations with the Maharaja, Shankar Rao Patwardhan, and brought about the accession of the small principality to the Indian Union. On 8 March 1948 after Jamkhandi was merged with Bombay state, he returned to legal practice and continued with it for 20 months.[2]

Later, Jatti was nominated as member of the Bombay State Legislative Assembly to represent the merged area and within a week of his nomination, he was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the then Bombay Chief Minister, B. G. Kher. He worked in that capacity for a couple of years. After the 1952 general elections, he was appointed Minister of Health and Labour of the then Bombay Government and held that post till the reorganisation of states.[3]

Chief minister of Mysore state[edit]

Jatti became a member of the Mysore Legislative Assembly after the reorganisation and was Chairman of the Land Reforms Committee, which paved the way for the 1961 Mysore Land Reforms Act (which abolished the tenancy system and absentee landlordism). He was the Chief Minister and Kadidal Manjappa was the Revenue Minister when the Bill was adopted. In 1958, when S.Nijalingappa stepped down as Chief Minister of the state, Jatti was elected leader of the party in the face of a stiff challenge from Congress veteran T. Subramanya. He became the Chief Minister of Mysore in 1958 and continued in that office until 1962.[2]

Re-elected from Jamkhandi constituency in the third general elections, Jatti was appointed Finance Minister on 2 July 1962 in the S.Nijalingappa Ministry. He was re-elected to the fourth Assembly from the same constituency and appointed as Minister of Food and Civil Supplies.

Later political career[edit]

Jatti subsequently moved onto the national scene and was appointed as the Lieutenant Governor of Pondicherry in 1968. He became the Governor of Odisha in 1972 and, in 1974, assumed office as the fifth Vice-President of India.[4] He became acting President for a brief period after the death of Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed in 1977.[5]

However, his acting presidency was not without controversy. When in April 1977, the then Union Home Minister, Charan Singh, took the debatable decision to dissolve the Assemblies of nine States, Jatti declined to sign the order and broke the tradition of the President accepting the advice of the Cabinet. Though he later signed the order, Jatti took the stand that the Centre's action should not only be politically and constitutionally correct but also appear to be proper. After leaving the office as Vice-President in 1979, Jatti continued to be in the limelight as a keen observer of the political situation in the country.[2]

Public offices held[edit]

  • 1945–48 : Minister for Education in the erstwhile princely State of Jamkhandi
  • 1948 : Chief Minister (dewan) of Jamkhandi
  • 1948–52 : Parliamentary Secretary in the B.G. Kher Government in erstwhile Bombay State
  • 1953–56 : Deputy Minister for Health and Labour in the Morarji Desai Government in Bombay
  • 1958–62 : Chief Minister of Mysore state
  • 1962–68 : Cabinet minister, Government of Mysore
  • 1968–72 : Lieutenant Governor of Pondicherry
  • 1972–74 : Governor of Odisha
  • 1974–79 : Vice- President of India
  • Acting President for six months in 1977.[6]

Religious activities[edit]

A deeply religious man, Jatti was the founder president of the "Basava Samithi", a religious organisation which propagated the preachings of 12th-century saint, philosopher and reformer of Lingayat religion Basaveshwara.[7] The Basava samithi established in 1964 has published many books on Veerashaivism and Sharanas and has got the 'vachanas' of sharanas translated into various languages.[8] He was also involved in various organisations concerned with social activities.[9]

Death and Legacy[edit]

He died on 7 June 2002.[10] He was hailed as a man who set an example of selfless service and stood for value-based politics.[11] He was once called an ordinary man with extraordinary thought, and he named his autobiography, "I'm My Own Model".[12] His centenary celebrations were held in 2012.[13][14]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "About Shri.B.D.Jatti". Basava samiti. 
  2. ^ a b c "His simplicity survived rewards of public life". The Hindu. 8 June 2002. 
  3. ^ "B D Jatti". MapsofIndia.com. 
  4. ^ "B.D. JATTI". Rajya Sabha. 
  5. ^ "B.D.Jatti swearing in ceremony". Times of India. 
  6. ^ "Former vice presidents bio-profiles". Vice President of India. 
  7. ^ "About Us". Basava samiti. 
  8. ^ Community Dominance and Political Modernisation: The Lingayats. By Shankaragouda Hanamantagouda Patil. 
  9. ^ "Memories of Founder Sri.B.D.Jatti". Basava samiti. 
  10. ^ "B.D.Jatti dead". The Hindu. 8 June 2002. 
  11. ^ "Governor, CM condole Jatti's death". The Hindu. 8 June 2002. 
  12. ^ "Simple man with a lofty office". Deccan herald. 
  13. ^ "Quality of public life has declined: Governor". The Hindu. 10 September 2012. 
  14. ^ "B.D. Jatti birth centenary on Monday". The Hindu. 9 September 2012. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Siddavanahalli Nijalingappa
Chief Minister of Mysore
1958–1962
Succeeded by
S. R. Kanthi
Preceded by
Sayaji Laxman Silam
Lieutenant Governor of Pondicherry
1968–1972
Succeeded by
Chhedilal
Preceded by
Gatikrishna Mishra
Governor of Odisha
1972–1974
Succeeded by
Gatikrishna Mishra
Preceded by
Gopal Swarup Pathak
Vice-President of India
1974–1979
Succeeded by
Mohammad Hidayatullah
Preceded by
Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed
President of India
Acting

1977
Succeeded by
Neelam Sanjiva Reddy