HS Doreswamy, freedom fighter and activist passed away in the afternoon of May 26, 2021, in Bengaluru.
Mysuru: HS Doreswamy, the acclaimed freedom fighter and activist who had remained active until months ago passed away in a Bengaluru hospital at the age of 103. On May 12 he was discharged from hospital after recovering from Covid-19 but he was again hospitalized at the Jayadeva Hospital in the city, and died of cardiac arrest Tuesday afternoon.
“He died around one in the afternoon, he was hospitalized again only days ago, he died of natural causes,” said Srinivas Alavalli, an activist himself who had worked alongside Doreswamy for various causes.
Harohalli Srinivasaiah Doreswamy, born on April 10, 1918, in Harohalli, in the erstwhile kingdom of Mysore was a freedom fighter, an activist, and a journalist who had participated in the Quit India Movement in 1942. Post-Independence, he was involved in various activities and agitations across Karnataka inspiring a number of young activists.
“I was with him in the India Against Corruption protest. We had organized a five-kilometer walk, and he was already around 95 years old then. We all assumed he would just come, make a speech and leave but he walked with us the whole distance and stayed till the end of the protest,” said Srinivas.
Srinivas is one of the many people who were inspired by Doreswamy to take up activism. “He had a revolutionary mindset, and he was vocal about issues. When you look at somebody like that, you feel there is always hope. I have been very lucky to have sat with him,and talked to him,” Srinivas added.
Doreswamy was termed as ‘Anti-National’ for criticizing the Modi government’s Citizenship Amendment Act(CAA) in 2019-20.
Doreswamy was also involved in a number of environmental activities in Bengaluru. Vijay Nishant, an environmentalist in Bengaluru said that his death is a huge loss for Karnataka. Calling him ‘Thatha’ (grandfather in Kannada), he said, “Thatha supported me for all the lake rejuvenation activities in Bengaluru. He was always kind, and he was always there for everything.”
The steel flyover proposal by the then Congress government in Karnataka had come under attack from many activists, and HS Doreswamy was one of them. “He worked with Namma Bengaluru Foundation for the issue, and he was vocal about the same. He never thought twice before criticizing any party in power,” said Vijay.
Even when Doreswamy turned 100 years old, he was active in all the campaigns. “He was there with us, at the age of 100 for everything we did, and he stood against the wrong things. I will always carry forward his mantra in my life too,” Vijay added.
Noor Shreedhar, leader of Bhoomi Matthu Vasathi Hakku Vanchitara Horata Samithi said that Doreswamy had breathing problems even before Covid-19. “He was the president of the organization. I have worked with him and Gauri Lankesh on various issues, it is sad that we lost him.”
In February 2021, when Disha Ravi, the 22-year-old climate activist was arrested from Bengaluru, Doreswamy had asked Ravi to stay strong.