Basappa Danappa Jatti

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Basappa Danappa Jatti (Kannada: ಬಸಪ್ಪ ದಾನಪ್ಪ ಜತ್ತಿ) (September 10, 1912June 7, 2002) was the fifth Vice President of India. He was acting President of India from 11 February 1977 to 25 July 1977.


Presidential Addresses to Parliament[edit]

Surendra Mishra in: Presidential Addresses to Parliament, Northern Book Centre, 1 January 1996, p. 265-267.

  • The General Election just concluded has effectively and decisively demonstrated the power of the people, the vitality of the democratic process in India and the deep root that it has taken. The people have given a clear verdict in favour of individual freedom, democracy, and the rule of law and against executive arbitrariness, the emergence of a personality cult and extra-constitutional centres of power. The election marks an important milestone in the evolution of our democratic polity into a healthy two-party system.
  • My government pledges itself to fulfill in every way the mandate given to it by the people. In doing so, it will not take the people for granted or assume they know nothing and that the government alone knows all answers and solutions. The traumatic experience of the last two years [Emergency] during which many atrocities were committed on the people and they had to undergo untold sufferings and some have even died, has brought home the relevance of this.
  • The external emergency proclaimed in 1971 has been revoked by me. Action has been taken to: to remove the remaining curbs on the fundamental freedoms and civil rights of the people; restore rule of law and the right of free expression to the press; review the Internal Security Act without denying the right to approach the courts; legislation to ensure that no political party is banned except on adequate grounds and after an independent judicial enquiry; repeal of The Prevention of Publication of Objectionable Matters Act; and Amendment to the Representatives of People’s Act. Suitable amendments to the Constitution shall be also be introduced to restore balance between the people and the Parliament.
  • High priority will be given to the provisions of minimum needs on rural areas and to integrated rural development... the planning process will be revitalized.

About Basappa Danappa Jatti[edit]

  • When he was Lieutenant-Governor of Pondicherry, he came into close contact with the Ashram and his association opened up opportunities for many more from Karnataka to get to know the work of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.

His simplicity survived rewards of public life[edit]

The Hindu reporter, in :His simplicity survived rewards of public life. The Hindu, 8 June 2002

  • He was an astute politician who made it to the chief ministership of Mysore in 1958 and to the offices of Vice-President and President. He was once called an ordinary man with extraordinary thought, and he named his autobiography, "I'm My Own Model".
  • His acting presidency was not without controversy. When in April 1977, the then Union Home Minister, Charan Singh, took the debatable decision to dissolve the Assemblies of nine States, he declined to sign the order, and broke the tradition of the President accepting the advice of the Cabinet. Though he later signed the order, he took the stand that the Centre's action should not only be politically and constitutionally correct but also appear to be proper.

Simple man with a lofty office[edit]

Shekar Jatti in: Simple man with a lofty office, Deccan Herald, September 10, 2005

  • We his grand-children were playing with toy guns, using jowar grains as ammunition. One grain hit the Vice- President near the eye. He told us sternly then how it was essential for him to avoid injuries to be able to carry out his various duties.
  • Our grandparents applied one golden rule in raising us — that we live just as we would as members of a farmer’s household in our native Bijapur, and not as residents of the sprawling official residence of Vice-President of India.
  • One phone call from anyone in his office could have got us admission in an elite school in Delhi. We were admitted instead in the Delhi Kannada School at Khan Market. Clearly, grandfather did not want us to pick up any notion that we belonged to the privileged class. Our fellow students here were mostly children of Kannadigas working in offices in Delhi.
  • Visitors from Bijapur could count on his hospitality and receive roti and sabji and sometimes stay overnight with us. One frequent visitor would have none of the roti and halva. She would break an egg, swallow the contents, and top it off with a glass of milk from one of grandmother’s cows. That would be Indira Gandhi’s breakfast whenever she turned up in the mornings.

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