|Chairperson of the Kannada Development Authority|
10 June 2008 – 2014
|Member of the Karnataka Legislative Council|
|Member of the Karnataka Assembly
|Preceded by||R. N. Lakshmipathi|
|Succeeded by||Aswathanarayana Reddy|
|Born||Honnasandra Narasimhaiah Chandrashekar
28 August 1953
Honnasandra, Nelamangala, Mysore State, India
|Political party||Indian National Congress
|Spouse(s)||Padma (m. 1983)|
Honnasandra Narasimhaiah Chandrashekar, known popularly as Mukhyamantri Chandru (born 28 August 1953), is an Indian actor and politician. As an actor, he is known for his work in Kannada theatre and cinema. The sobriquet Mukhyamantri (Chief Minister) stuck to his name after the play of the same name that sees him portray the titular role became widely popular. Having portrayed mostly comic and negative roles throughout his career, Chandru is a regarded as a character actor, and has acted in over 500 films since making his debut in 1983.
Chandru joined the Janata Party in 1985 and won the year's assembly elections from Gauribidanur. Switching to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), he became a member of the legislative council in 1998 and 2004. He served as the chairperson of the Kannada Development Authority till 2013 before quitting to join the Indian National Congress in 2014.
Chandru was born 28 August 1953 into a family of farmers of Narasimhaiah and Thimmamma in Honnasandra, a village in the taluk of Nelamangala of Bangalore Rural district, in the Indian State of Mysore (now called Karnataka). He completed schooling at Siddaganga Matha in Tumkur before obtaining his bachelor's degree in science from Government Arts and Science College in Bangalore in 1974. There he was drawn to theatre after being a regular viewer of plays at the Ravindra Kalakshetra. He subsequently worked as a clerk in Bangalore University and also acting in plays at the same time.
Chandru married actress Padma in June 1983. They appeared as a couple in the Oohh Lalaa and the latter played Chief Minister in the 2000s soap opera Maneyondu Mooru Bagilu. They have two sons together, Bharath and Sharath. Recognizing his contribution to Kannada theatre and activism in promoting and safeguarding Kannada-language, Chandru was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Gulbarga University.
In 1978, Chandru, then a part of the troupe Kalagangotri, was chosen to play Krishna Dwaipayana Kaushal, the Chief Minister of a fictitious Indian State of Udayanchal. The role went to him after Lohithaswa, the actor who was to play the role, fell ill. Titled Mukhyamantri, Chief Minister in Kannada, the play is an adaptation of a 1976 book of the same name written by Ranjit Kapoor. In the play, the Chief Minister's role is shortened to KD Kaushal or KeDi, a word used to refer to a delinquent. Chandru "incorporated [his] own dialogues while acting, eventually turning the serious drama into a comedy". The play became widely popular and the sobriquet 'Mukhyamantri' stuck to him. As of 2016, the play had completed over 600 shows across India.
Chandru's career in films began in 1983 when he was cast by producer N. Veeraswamy to play a supporting role in Chakravyuha. His other notable role came in the comedy Ganeshana Maduve (1990) that saw him play an overbearing landlord, alongside Anant Nag.
Chandru accepted the ticket offered by the ruling Janata Party to contest the assembly elections from Gauribidanur. This followed after actors Anant Nag and Shankar Nag denied. Chandru won the seat by a margin of over 6,600 votes. Speaking about an incident to The Times of India of his stint as the Member of the Legislative Assembly, he said that the officers who assisted him when he "decided to get tough with the sand-mining mafia controlled by a liquor baron in his constituency" were transferred, and when he complained to Chief Minister Ramakrishna Hegde, he was to told to "get practical". Following the term, he contested unsuccessfully from the Chikballapur constituency in the 1989 Lok Sabha elections. His party merged with two other parties at the time to become Janata Dal.
In the early 1990s, with "rift between [Ramakrishna] Hegde and Deve Gowda worsening", Chandru quit the Janata Dal. In 1991, he joined the Bharatiya Janata Party. He was nominated as a member of the Karnataka Legislative Council in 1998 and for the second time in 2004, completing the term in 2010. In 2008, he was appointed the chairperson of the Kannada Development Authority. The position was the same rank of a cabinet minister, and Chandru was retained by the subsequent governments, despite his resignation from BJP in 2013. He cited "dedicat[ing himself] for the cause of the State and Kannada language" as the reason for the quitting. In March 2014, he joined the Indian National Congress.
In his tenure as the chairperson of the Kannada Development Authority (KDA), Chandru advocated very strongly for the protection and promotion of the Kannada-language. The beginning of his tenure saw a significant development in that, on 31 October 2008, Kannada was given the status of a classical language. Recommendations made by him in view of promoting the language in Karnataka were met with both praise and criticism. In December, he called for a compulsory display of vehicle registration plates of all vehicles of the State government in Kannada starting January 2009.
In 2011, under Chandru's chairpersonship, the KDA recommended to the Karnataka government to make it mandatory for immigrants in the State to clear the Class VII-level tests of the language. Chandru felt that if "outsiders ... live off the resources here, they should also learn to understand the culture, history and language of the land". Other recommendations included the use of Kannada software in cellphones, and to take over all ancient palm-leaf manuscripts in private possession and declare them state property. Chandru was instrumental in the Kempegowda International Airport authorities agreeing to display signboards and nameplates in Kannada, in 2012.
Chandru pitched for making Kannada a compulsory subject from Classes I to V. In an interview with the The Times of India in 2009, he had declared that his goal was to successfully implement Kannada as an administrative language in all government offices, and push for a legislation that mandates compulsory learning of Kannada from Classes I to IV.
In the first decade of the 21st century, Chandru is involved in various Kannada language activities concerning to the public, government and the mass media, has been instrumental in setting up bodies for the classical language's enhancement & encouragement.
- Chakravyuha (1983)
- Mududida Tavare Aralithu (1983)
- Premigala Saval (1984)
- Naanu Nanna Hendthi (1985)
- Jwaalamukhi (1985)
- Swabhimana (1985)
- Guri (1987)
- Sangliyana (1988)
- Anjada Gandu (1988)
- Ondaagi Baalu (1989)
- Neenu Nakkare Haalu Sakkare (1989)
- Poli Huduga (1989)
- Challenge Gopala Krishna (1989)
- S. P. Sangliyana Part 2 (1990)
- Policana Hendati (1990)
- Golmaal Radhakrishna (1990)
- Ganeshana Maduve (1990)
- Golmaal RadhaKrishna Part 2 (1991)
- Kitturina Huli (1991)
- Gauri Ganesha (1991)
- Ibbaru Hendira Muddina Police (1991)
- Readymade Ganda (1991)
- Gruhapravesha (1991)
- Hendtire Hushaar (1992)
- Gopikrishna (1992)
- Solillada Saradara (1992)
- Ganesha Subramanya (1992)
- Malashree Mamashree (1992)
- Ondu Cinema Kathe (1992)
- Chikkejamanru (1992)
- Chinna (1994)
- Yarigu Helbedi (1994)
- Ibbara Naduve Muddina Aata (1996)
- Sipayi (1996)
- Ammavra Ganda (1997)
- Lakshmi Mahalakshmi (1997)
- Suryavamsha (1999)
- Galate Aliyandru (2000)
- Mathadana (2001)
- Simhadriya Simha (2002)
- Pandu Ranga Vittala (2005)
- Milana (2007)
- Chikkapete Sachagalu (2009)
- Govindaya Namaha (2012)
- Chandru, Mukhyamantri. Weekend With Ramesh - Episode 22 - October 12, 2014. Bangalore, India: Zee Kannada. Event occurs at 1:45. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
- "A timeless political satire". The Hindu. 1 September 2016. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
- Riti, M. D. (13 July 2000). "A legend plays a myth". Rediff.com. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
- Aiyappa, Manu (21 December 2009). "Mukhyamantri Chandru: Public Office, Private Life". The Times of India. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
- "Review: Mukhyamantri". dramadose.com. 26 May 2014. Archived from the original on 8 July 2014. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
- Kalkodi, Rajiv (4 December 2016). "'Will act till my age and mind permit'". The Times of India. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
- "STATISTICAL REPORT ON GENERAL ELECTION, 1985 TO THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF KARNATAKA" (PDF). Election Commission of India. eci.nic.in. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
- "BJP MLC appointed to Kannada Development Authority". oneindia.com. 11 June 2008. Archived from the original on 14 March 2017. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
- "'Mukhyamantri' Chandru quits BJP". Deccan Herald. 10 October 2013. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
- "Mukhyamantri Chandru, Bhavya join Congress". The Hindu. 23 March 2014. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
- "Memorandum" (PDF). Kannada Development Authority. p. 5. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
- "Kannada number plates from Jan 1". The Times of India. 19 December 2008. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
- Ravindran, Nirmala (11 June 2011). "Tongue Twister". India Today. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
- "Bangalore airport to have signboards, announcements in Kannada". Business Standard. 7 September 2012. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
- "Make Kannada compulsory till class 5, says KDA chief". The Hindu. 15 October 2011. Retrieved 14 March 2017.