|The bust of Seshadri Iyer in Kumara Park West. Bangalore. .www.thehindu.com|
|Angelo Mysore. Colonial period, India radhikaranjanmarxist.blogspot.com|
|Sir K.S.Sheshadri Iyer: (1883-1901).mpmurthy.wordpress.com|
|Maharaja Sir Sri Krishnaraja Wodiyar 1906 .en.wikipedia.org|
Seshadri Iyer, succeeded Rangacharlu and had the unique distinction of having served the princely state of Mysore as the Dewan for the longest period from 1883 to 1901. He graduated from the famous Presidency College of Madras where his mentor was the famous educationist E. B. Powell and qualified himself as a lawyer by taking a B.L degree from the University of Madras in 1874. His forefathers on the fraternal side were from Ganapathi Agraharam in Tanjore district (now in Tamil Nadu) at the turn of the 19th century.
The following are the well-known, innovative reforms introduced by Sir Seshadri Iyer during his tenure for the benefit of the state. He did implemented several major works in full consultation with the Maharajah, a good gesture that was well appreciated by the Royal family members close to the ruler:
It was Mr. Iyer who chalked out plans for the construction of Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore as he thought the future students needed better quality education to serve the country well. At the initiative of Mr. Iyer, the then ruler of Mysore, Krishnaraja Wodiyar IV, donated roughly 372 acres (1.51 km2) of free land in Bangalore to an educational institution. It become the Tata Institute of Science, later known as the Indian Institute of Science in 1911. IIS, Bangalore is one of the premier institutions in India for advanced quality education.
Mr. Seshadri Iyer was instrumental in laying railway lines, covering roughly 270 kilometers (roughly 170 miles) in the state.
For the benefits of the government employees he started the Insurance scheme for them.
He introduced Shivasamudram Hydro - electric power project, the first one in Asia, to improve the agricultural as well as electricity production of the state. He encouraged starting of industries in the state and paid serious attention to the needed infrastructure. The Shivasamudaram project began producing electricity in 1902 covering Kolar Gold Field (KGF). The power was transmitted through ransmission lines, covering a distance of 147 kilometers, then longest line in the world. and later to Bangalore in 1905.
The princely state had good relationship with the British administration, in particular, the Madras presidency. When the Mettur dam construction work was on in 1930 across the river Cauvery and Stanley reservoir, the princely state under Mr. Iyer supplied necessary power from the Shivasamudram hydroelectric power station.
mr. Iyer paid serious attention to the health care of the people living in the state that resulted in the establishment of Victoria hospital in 1900 in Bangalore to serve the public.
He constructed the famous Glass House at the famous garden in Bangalore - Lalbagh in 1889.
He meticulously codified the revenue lands in the state and started agricultural banks to help the land owners and cultivators who had to depend on loans from private parties at higher interest rates. He also undertook cleaning of water tanks - desilting, etc to improve irrigation and better water storage.
The Bangalore city saw a lot of improvements during his period He built the Chamarajendra Water Works to take care of the city people's potable water needs, by connecting supply lines from Hesaraghatta Lake, 18 km away, in 1894. He began the extensions of Basavanagudi and Malleswaram in 1898 to reduce congestion in the city.
Sheshadripuram (a city extension created in 1892), Sheshadri Road, Sheshadri Memorial Library, and a statue in Cubbon Park bear Mr. Iyer's name in recognition of his vast contributions he made to the kingdom and the city.
Mr Iyer, being a gentleman as he was, always owed a debt of gratitude to his friend and predecessor late Dewan Rangacharlu who died at an early age and saw to it his family was comfortably settled financially. He also took care of the family of Purnayya, whose dedication and loyalty in a difficult time to the British helped them get rid of Tipu Sultan.
He gave importance to women's education and made provision for special scholarships for the talented students to go abroad for higher studies.
Like many Dewans through out his tenure he faced several troubles caused by some jealous members of the royal family who expected him to bestow some favors. Mr. Iyer was loyal to the ruler and stood the ground firmly and went by strict rules. Consequently some kind of misunderstanding did arise between him and the ruler on a few occasions. Also he was criticized severely for being autocratic and arbitrary and such criticisms never dampened his spirit to do his duty with better care and more attention. On sidelines he took active role in Indian national congress. He was an ardent patron of Sringeri Saradha mutt and follower of the teachings of Vivekananda.
Though Seshadri Iyer crossed sword with Lord Curzon over policy matters, it was Curzon who was generous enough to propose a public memorial for Sir Seshadri Iyer in recognition of his superb contribution to the development of Mysore. When Iyer's statue was unveiled, Lord Hardinge spoke highly of him and considered him one of the few best Indian administrators British India ever produced.