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New Delhi : 15.04.2017

It gives me immense pleasure to inaugurate this two-day National Festival of Nadaprabhu Kempe Gowda, the Founder of Bangalore City.

2. Widely regarded as the founder of Bangalore, Kempe Gowda was a ‘just and humane’ ruler under the Vijayanagara kings. His genius lay in the fact that he could visualize and implement planned urban development that stands out, as early as in the 16th century A.D. It is a testimony to this genius of Kempe Gowda that Bangalore, despite unprecedented challenges of population, traffic and environmental pollution, remains the Garden City even today.

3. Kempe Gowda visualized building a city that would house a military cantonment, water tanks, temples, and provide employment to tradesmen. He approached the Vijayanagara king for the requisite permission and laid the foundations for what would become Bangalore City in 1532.

4. This planned city had eight access gates and wide roads and the settlement spread across present day Avenue Road, Ulsoor, Yelahanka, K R Market and Malleswaram. Kempe Gowda built a number of tanks and ensured the just and equitable collection of revenue and taxes. Agriculturists and traders could operate without fear under Kempe Gowda’s reign.

5. Friends,

As a mark of respect to Kempe Gowda, the Central Government named Bengaluru Airport as ‘Kempe Gowda International Airport’. A metal statue to commemorate the founder of Bangalore has been installed at Corporation Circle in Bengaluru where it overlooks the bustling metropolis that has grown from the disparate hamlets which Kempe Gowda once ruled over.

6. However, Bangalore today faces severest challenges of unbridled urbanization. Be it rising temperatures in a city that was once known for its air-conditioned climate, grid locked traffic or our stretched civic infrastructure, these are areas of grave concern. While the Government does its bit in addressing these issues, equal responsibility lies with the citizens of the city. The most befitting tribute to Kempe Gowda will be not only to preserve the city that he founded, but also perpetuate it.

7. I am glad to learn that ‘Nada Prabhu Kempe Gowda Foundation’ founded on April 17 last year by His Holiness Jagadguru Sri Sri Sri Nimalanandanatha Swamiji is working towards popularizing Nada Prabhu Kempe Gowda. Apart from other works that it is doing, it will only be logical if the Foundation takes up the challenge of preserving Kempe Gowda’s heritage in the shape of Bangalore. It has the support of many an individual like Ministers Shri Ananth Kumar and Shri D V Sadananda Gowda as well as people of repute in various spheres of life. If such an organization takes up the task of participatory development of Bangalore alongwith its citizens, there is no reason why it will not succeed.

8. Towards the end, I extend my Good Wishes to the Foundation and hope that it will achieve its objectives. I wish them all success and Godspeed.

Thank you.

Jai Hind.