An era of value based politics has come to an end in political history of Karnataka with the demise of the most charismatic leader former Chief Minister Ramakrishna Hegde in Bangalore. He was suffering from illness for a long time. Just before the elections to Assembly and Lok Sabha declaration the death of Hegde has left a strong void.
We have every reason to condole his death in the columns of Chitraloka because he is the first one to introduce the subsidy to Kannada films when he was the Union Minister of State for Finance in late sixties. Rs.50000 subsidy for every Kannada film was sanctioned in his regime. The same subsidy is now given as Rs.10 lakhs by the Karnataka Government for 20 quality Kannada films.
R.K.Hegde considered to be the most shrewd chief minister of Karnataka for a long period of six years and above when he took his office on January 10, 1983 as CM of Karnataka representing Janata Party. He is the only chief minister to resign twice and become CM again as he always vouched for value based politics. Controversies always followed Hegde whether it is rice deal or Revajeethu land scandal or liquor scandal.
No one can forget the work done by RK Hegde in politico-socio-cultural life of the State. He deserves a special place in Kannada film industry for various reasons. He has acted in two Kannada films – ‘Marana Mrudanga’ (drums of death) and ‘Prajashakthi’ (People power) and both of them were produced by Chidambara Shetty who was murdered a few years back. In ‘Marana Mrudanga’ Hegde played the reel Chief minister and we remember still how he was assassinated by actor Sunderraj in front Vidhana Soudha in that film. Although both the films did not do good business Hegde continued his soft corner to Kannada films. He was contacted for third Kannada film by Film Chamber activist G.K.Kutty but it did not take off.
Hegde was instrumental in Sanketh Recording studio in his regime as Chief Minister of State. Near Shivananda circle next to Film Chamber of Commerce Sanketh studio was given 15 years lease for post production of film activities. Because of Hegde Nag brothers - Shanker Nag and Ananthnag jumped in to politics. He sanctioned increase in subsidy for Kannada films and allotted 400 acres of land at Hesaraghatta to construct Film City in Karnataka. Unfortunately even today no one has come forward to construct film city. At this Hesaraghatta land Hegde allotted 10 acres of land for Protima Bedi for ‘Nrutyagrama’ and got himself locked in controversy for sometime.
Chitraloka joins the entire Kannada film industry and people of Karnataka in mourning the demise of the most powerful leader of the State – Ramakrishna Hegde.