Freedom fighter H.S. Doreswamy passes away

Published : May 27, 2021 13:25 IST

H.S. Doreswamy. Photo: K. BHAGYA PRAKASH

Harohalli Srinivasaiah Doreswamy, the centenarian and freedom fighter who was known as the keeper of Karnataka’s conscience, passed away of cardiac arrest at the Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research on May 26 in Bengaluru. He was 103 and had recovered from COVID-19 recently. Dr C.N. Manjunath, director, Jayadeva Institute, told The Hindu that “…the primary cause of his death was his heart condition but the precipitating cause was COVID-19”.

Doreswamy was born in Harohalli, a village near Bangalore (now Bengaluru) on April 10, 1918. Inspired by the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi, he joined the freedom struggle and was incarcerated for 14 months between December 1942 and May 1944. After his release, Doreswamy ran a bookshop in Mysuru and was active in the “Mysore Chalo” movement. The activist also turned to journalism at this time, bringing out a newspaper called Poura Vani. In post-Independent India, Doreswamy was active in a number of movements and was even jailed during the Emergency.

Doreswamy was an ardent Gandhian and active in a number of protest movements over the past few years, emerging as a vocal critic of the Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government. A close friend of the slain journalist Gauri Lankesh, he remained a columnist until the very end of a weekly newspaper called Nyaya Patha established in her memory. Along with Gauri Lankesh, he was part of the State government’s initiative for left-wing extremists in the State. He was active in the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act protests.

Condolences for his death poured in from prominent citizens, including Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, former Prime Minister H.D. Devegowda and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah among others.

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