Bangalore: The professor from Mysore University, who unravelled the social and administrative history of Mysore through a study of contemporary materials available from the periods 1600 and 1800, is set to get his due in his centenary year. The legacy of Professor Achuta Rao, who passed away at 47 in 1965, will be resurrected through a series of events through 2017 which commence today under the aegis the DSA Memorial Trust.
Prof. Rao had made a mark for himself through meticulous research which brought into the limelight much of Mysore’s forgotten history. The commemoration events will begin with the release of a seminal work by Prof Rao, published as a book edited by Prof. S Settar of the Bangalore-based National Institute of Advanced Studies, and a former Chairman of the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR).
The main events of the celebrations are the Prof. Achuta Rao Memorial International Seminar on the ‘Transfer of Power in Princely South India’, on February 17 to February 18 at the University of Mysore. Among the speakers are fourteen eminent historians from universities in Oxford, Cambridge, Tokyo, Singapore, New York, New Delhi, and Mysore.
The conference will also host the launch of two books, based on the writings and research undertaken in the 1950s and ‘60s by Prof. D S Achuta Rao. The volumes will be released by Sri Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar and Smt Trishika Devi Wadiyar on the 17th February in Mysore.
The launch of the books will be followed by a specially commissioned Bharatanatyam tribute to the cultural legacy of Mysore, choreographed and presented by the well-known Bharatanatyam exponent, Lakshmi Gopalaswamy. Also showcased will be an exhibition on the life and works of Prof. D S Achuta Rao, designed by his grand-daughter, Surabhi Gurukar.
Expressing his delight, D. A Prasanna, son of Prof. Achuta Rao said, “Eminent scholars at Mysore, Manipal and Bangalore have worked over the last year to bring to students, researchers and public the work of Prof. Achuta Rao on Mysore History during the Wodeyar
rule. Our family has established a significant endowment in History to perpetuate Prof. Achuta Rao’s legacy by promoting research and publications in history”
Speaking on the occasion, Professor S Settar, Former Chairman Indian Council of Historical Research said, “Early period of Wodeyar rule has remained a lean period of Karnataka History. Achuta Rao explored records hitherto unknown and evolved distinct methods to make meaning of them. Present generation of scholars would welcome this pioneering attempt made in the 1960’s”
Professor K Sadashiva, Chairman, Department of Studies in History, Mysore University said, “To perpetuate the academic and research values Prof Achuta Rao stood for, we have chosen to conduct this seminar on ‘transfer of Power in Princely South India’ with participation by eminent Historians from all over the world.
Bangalore-based writer Vikramajit Ram said the endowment presented by the DSA Trust to Ms Lakshmi Gopalaswamy is an important expression of support to the arts, which will go a long way in promoting and preserving Mysore’s unique Bharatanatyam and Carnatic musical traditions.
The trust, which has also presented an endowment to Mysore University, aims to perpetuate Prof D.S. Achuta Rao’s legacy with annual history seminars at Manasagangotri and regional seminars at the Maharajas College, Mysore. There would also be a DSA History Research Series publication of 2-3 books annually by Manipal University Press.