Why did the Karnataka govt shut down an almost 100-year-old Tamil school in Bengaluru?
Despite being a heritage structure, the government, rather than restoring it, stopped paying the electricity bill, performing in the academy running without power seven times.
Located in the Central Business District (CBD), the Rao Bahadur BV Venkata Naidu School, erected in 1930, was one of the many being Tamil government seminaries in the state. (HT Print)
Located in the Central Business District (CBD), the Rao Bahadur BV Venkata Naidu School, erected in 1930, was one of the many being Tamil government seminaries in the state.
. Two weeks agone, the state education department shut down a 91- time–old government Tamil School in Bengaluru, citing a lack of scholars. Located in the Central Business District (CBD), the Rao Bahadur BV Venkata Naidu School, erected in 1930, was one of the many being Tamil government seminaries in the state.
Despite being a heritage structure, the government, rather than restoring it, stopped paying the electricity bill, performing in the academy running without power seven times. Last week, 10 scholars were shifted to a different academy, leaving the structure unattended.
The government has also made its intentions clear as an offer by Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) to restore the structure with Commercial Social Responsibility (CSR) finances were turned down by the government in November this time. “ We had submitted a Detailed Design Report (DPR) to restore the structure. The cost of the proposed design was ₹ 27 lakh, which the rotary club was ready to fund. Still, the department officers turned down the design, saying they didn’t want to restore this structure since there weren’t enough scholars,” said Meera Iyer, convenor of INTACH, Bengaluru chapter.
Suggest to read, Wonderla Bangalore Ticket price
Iyer further said that department of public instruction (DPI) manager R Vishal asked the INTACH platoon to invest the same finances in some other seminaries where there are a substantial number of scholars.
Dubieties have been raised on why the department doesn’t want to restore the structure, which has an sq ft area in a high position in Ashok Nagar. “ The structure has a history of several times, and it’s a heritage structure. Understandably, the department doesn’t want to run an academy with a sprinkle of scholars, but we can’t understand the explanation behind shutting the academy down and abandoning the property. The structure could be developed for another purpose by the department,” said ward commission members, who didn’t want to be named.
There’s limited literature on the history of the academy. It was named after Venkata Naidu, a builder and a part of the Cantonment Municipal Corporation during the British Period. According to officers of the Tamil Sangha in Bengaluru, Naidu was involved in furnishing education to the Panchama community, which constitutes of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe people.
HISTORY OF TAMIL Seminaries
The Tamil seminaries in Bengaluru have a history of their own. One of the migrations that changed the verbal character of the megacity happed during the British India period. After the military masterminds plant Bengaluru’s geomorphology and propinquity to other metropolises to be good for developing a cantonment, the force was needed.
“ When the British started constructing the cantonment area since they had a base in the Madras administration, they brought in professed laborers and dealers as part of the development of the cantonment. This is one of the reasons why the cantonment area in Bengaluru has a large Tamil speaking population,” said Suresh Moona, a Bengaluru grounded annalist.
The Tamil seminaries that came up in Bengaluru were a result of this artistic change, but over time, the number of these Tamil seminaries have come down, performing in numerous seminaries similar to the one in Ashok Nagar shutting down due to lack of scholars.
Indeed though reviving the Tamil academy is a herculean task due to demand for English medium seminaries in the state, questions are being raised on why the heritage structure can’t be saved. “ For the once six times, we’ve been working with the academy. We’ve conducted cycle day and other programs to spread mindfulness about this heritage academy. But since the lockdown, the government has shut down the academy,” said Meenakshi Ravikrishna, an award committee member and a member of the Bangalore Political Action Committee.
Being 91 times old won’t help the structure’s cause, say activists. In Karnataka, there’s no frame at present to apply for the heritage status of a structure. According to Moona, Bangalore Urban Art Commission (BUAC) was established in 1976, and it commissioned a check of the megacity’s heritage structures in the mid-1980s. The check listed over 800 similar structures that were allowed to be good of protection.
“ In 2001, the BUAC was suddenly dissolved. There’s still no clear idea why it was done, but we believe the opposition to the rapid-fire urbanization from the commission led to it. The commission had opposed the construction of Vikas Soudha (a structure with an identical design as the literal Vidhan Soudha). Also, there were restrictions on construction on major roads like MG Road and others. This could be the reason. Since also, there’s no talk of restoring the commission and massive developments continue across the megacity, unchallenged,” Moona said.
He said that if the beauty and history of the being heritage structures have to be saved, there’s a need for another Bengaluru trades commission. “ What’s important is to make it independent and to appoint experts on heritage in this commission. Icing there’s government involvement in the commission is veritably important. But in our current profitable race, I don’t know if that could be a reality,” he said.
Adding to the argument, Iyer said that at present a letter can be written to Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), still, it may not affect the structure getting heritage status. “ In the case of this academy, surely there’s no legal frame to insure an addition citing its heritage value,” she added.
Follow us on Facebook Bangalore Today