In picture: Padma Vibhushan Sri SM Krishna ji with Prashant Tewari Editor-in-Chief Opinion Express
SM Krishna, a stalwart of Indian politics, is undeniably a real hero of Bangalore and Karnataka. With a career spanning several decades, he has made significant contributions to the growth and development of the region, leaving an indelible mark on its history.
His early life was marked by determination and a thirst for knowledge. He pursued his education with diligence, earning a law degree from Maharaja's College in Mysore. He obtained a law degree from University Law College. Rare in those days, Krishna studied in the United States, graduating from the Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and The George Washington University Law School in Washington D.C, where he was a Fulbright Scholar.
Soon after his return to India, His foray into politics began in the 1960s when he joined the Indian National Congress and soon emerged as a prominent leader with a progressive vision for Karnataka he was elected to the Karnataka Legislative Assembly in 1962.
Krishna's first major political milestone came in 1992 when he was elected as a Member of Parliament from the Mandya constituency. His exceptional leadership skills and commitment to public service quickly propelled him to higher positions within the party and the government. In 1999, he assumed the role of Chief Minister of Karnataka, a position he held with great distinction for two terms, from 1999 to 2004 and again from 2004 to 2006.
During his tenure as Chief Minister, Krishna spearheaded numerous initiatives that transformed Bangalore and Karnataka into a thriving hub of technology, innovation, and economic progress. He recognized the potential of the information technology (IT) sector and played a pivotal role in positioning Bangalore as the Silicon Valley of India. Through strategic policies and proactive measures, he attracted global IT giants to set up their operations in the city, creating employment opportunities and fostering technological advancements.
Krishna's visionary leadership extended beyond the IT sector. He championed infrastructure development projects that bolstered the state's overall growth. Under his guidance, Bangalore witnessed the construction of flyovers, modernization of roads, and improvements in public transportation systems, making it a more liveable and accessible city. Additionally, he focused on the expansion of educational institutions, healthcare facilities, and the preservation of cultural heritage, all of which contributed to the holistic development of Karnataka.
Apart from his contributions to Bangalore's transformation, Krishna played a crucial role in shaping the state's governance and policies. He implemented administrative reforms, ensuring transparency, efficiency, and accountability in the government machinery. His emphasis on good governance and the welfare of the people earned him immense popularity and admiration among the citizens of Karnataka.
Krishna's accomplishments extended beyond the borders of Karnataka. As India's Minister of External Affairs from 2009 to 2012, he effectively represented the nation on the global stage. He played a pivotal role in strengthening India's diplomatic ties with various countries, promoting trade and investment, and projecting India's interests on key international issues. Krishna's diplomatic acumen and statesmanship were instrumental in enhancing India's image and influence in the international arena.
Even after retiring from active politics, SM Krishna continues to inspire and contribute to society. His vast experience and wisdom are sought after by various organizations and institutions. He remains an influential voice on matters of governance, leadership, and public policy, sharing his insights and guidance with the next generation of leaders.
In conclusion, SM Krishna's legacy as a real hero of Bangalore and Karnataka is undeniable. His visionary leadership, unwavering commitment to public service, and transformative initiatives have left an indelible mark on the region's progress. His contributions to Bangalore's rise as a global IT hub, along with his focus on infrastructure, education, healthcare, and governance, have significantly impacted the lives of the people of Karnataka. Even today, his wisdom and guidance continue to shape the future of the state and inspire generations to come. It is up to the present generations of leaders in Karnataka to get inspired by the life of a living legend and take key lessons to develop the state in a fashion that SM Krishna has shown the road map.
By Prashant Tewari Editor-in-Chief with Inputs from Mohandas Hedge from Bangalore.