Mokshagundam Visveshvaraya

Indian engineer, scholar, statesman and the Diwan of Mysore

Mokshagundam Vishveshwariah (15 September 186014 April 1962), popularly known as "Sir MV", was a pre-eminent civil engineer and scholar. He was also a renowned statesman occupying the prestigious post of Diwan of Mysore (Chief Minister of Mysore) in the princely state of Mysore from 1912 to 1918.

Sir M.Visvesvaraya's statue

Quotes edit

  • Progress in every country depends mainly on the education of its people. Without education, we are a nation of children. The difference between one man and another, apart from birth and social position, consists in the extent of knowledge, general and practical, acquired by him. We may safely assume that man in all countries within certain limits start with the same degree of intelligence. A civilised nation is distinguished from an uncivilised one by the extent of its acquired intelligence and skill.[1]
  • Self-examination not moral or spiritual, but secular - that is, a survey and analysis of local conditions in India and a comparative study of the same with those in other parts of the globe.
  • The Indian mind needs to be familarised with the principles of modern progress, a universal impulse for enquiry and enterprise awakened, and earnest thinking and effort promoted. A new type of Indian citizenship purposeful, progressive and self-respecting should be created, and self-reliant nationhood developed.
  • You are for developing village industries and I favour both heavy industries and village industries. To the extent that you propose to advance village industries, I am at once with you. I can never persuade myself to take up a hostile attitude towards any constructive work, from any quarter, least of all towards work attempted by one with your brilliant historic achievements in public life....I am in favour of heavy industries because heavy industries will save the money that is going out of the country in large sums every year; heavy industries are required to provide the local manufactures of machinery and equipment required by our railways and for defence forces and heavy industries are required also for supplying machinery and tools for the village industries themselves. I recommend more extended use of mechanical power because it produces results for the country much more rapidly than human power. The object is to get food and commodities required by our people for a decent standard of living as speedily as possible.
  • In our warm climate, we have not got the same incentive to exertion and we may never be able to attain the same level of prosperity as Western people.
  • If you feel that by giving this title, I will praise your government, you will be disappointed. I am a fact finding man.
  • *He wrote in his letter addressed to Jawahar Lal Nehru, then Prime Minister of India when the Bharat Ratna title was conferred on him, as quoted in Our Leaders. Children's Book Trust. 1989. ISBN 978-81-7011-701-8. 
  • These facts and figures must serve as an eye-opener to the people of Mysore. I refer to them here not because I have any hopes of our reaching the levels of prosperity of the two Colonies, but because it will do us good to know what organization and human endeavour are capable of achieving under favourable conditions. / The nationality of our people rests on a religious and fatalistic basis, not on an economic basis, as in the West. There are still people among us who believe that the golden age was in the past, the world is on the down-grade and the old-word conditions might yet be reproduced some day. The Hindu ideal of life is that this world is a preparation for the next and not a place to stay in and make ourselves comfortable. We are devoted to past ideals, although, out of necessity or from prospect of personal gain, we have partly taken to Western methods of work and business. There is a yearning for the old ideals and a half-hearted acquiescence in the new and, on the whole, the genius of the people is for standing still. / If we are to follow in the wake of other countries in the pursuit of material prosperity, we must give up aimless activities and bring our ideals into line with the standards of the West, namely, to spread education in all grades, multiply occupations and increase production and wealth. All other activities should conform themselves to the economic idea. [148-149]

About Mokshagundam Visveshvaraya edit

  • The development of this system, the [Block System] is due entirely to the genius of Mr Vishvesharaya, certainly one of the ablest officers, European or Indian, of the Public Works Department, with whom it has been my pleasure and honour to work
    • In 1908, John Mackenzie, senior member of the Bombay Executive Council stated during Vishvesharaya’s retirement, quoted in Venkataraman, Ganesan (1995). Saha and His Formula. Universities Press. pp. 176–. ISBN 978-81-7371-017-9. 
  • As sound as what one might expect from the distinguished engineer who drew them up. He has shown the way to turn dire misfortune into a positive blessing. The proposals are without blemish. I strongly advocate carrying out the scheme.
  • Was one of the greatest patriots of India belonging to no party, adopting no slogans, attached to no shibboleths but dedicated to the upliftment of his countrymen. He is undoubtedly the best known engineer of India. He was an able administrator, educationist and foresighted planner. His name ranks high among those who promoted industrialisation of India. He is known for his dictum "Industrialise or perish".
  • In spite of strength of my conviction, I have certain great regard for your fine abilities and love for the country and that shall be unabated whether I have the good fortune to secure your cooperation or face your honest opposition....I see that we hold perhaps diametrically opposite views. My conviction based upon extensive experiences of village life is that in India at any rate for generations to come, we shall not be able to make much use of mechanical power for solving the problem of the ever growing poverty of the masses.
  • He is an engineer of integrity, character and broad national outlook who could take an unbiased view, resist local pressures and whose views would be respected and accepted by all.
    • At the age of 92 he examined proposal for construction of bridges on the Ganga River and Nehru who had him to suggest sites for construction of bridges had remarked as quoted hereOur Leaders. Children's Book Trust. 1989. ISBN 978-81-7011-701-8. 

External links edit