If the media claims that it was they who coined the short name Siddu for Siddaramaiah the Chief Minister candidate, they are wrong. He had this name right from his childhood, an adamant neighbourhood kid in Siddaramanahundi about 20 kilometres from Mysore, right from the childhood was never compromising, that was how he became Siddu from Siddarama – meaning a person who does what he wants.
But for the insistence of his father Siddaramegowda, young Siddu would not have stepped into higher standards of middle school. He was the smartest and most adamant among the four siblings of Siddaramegowda and Boramma (his mother). Spirited at it Siddaramaiah began his schooling little late as he was more interested in his father’s cattle and fields. But his first teacher Appaji an elder of Siddaramanahundi village dragged him into education by teaching him the first lessons at an age of six. He drew his first Kannada alphabets on the mound of sand which was stocked at the backyard of the Siddarameshwara temple next to his father’s house.
I had seen this kid to grow into a young man and became a young lawyer. Our father Siddaramegowda had saved every penny from his frugal income for the education of Siddu, he knew he was the smartest among his children. After he joined the school in his village he used to accompany his father everywhere and helped his father to bring ration and vegetables for the family from T Narasipura shandy about 10 kilometers from his village walking all the way and back. As a reward his father used to buy him masala puffed rice which he liked most” says his uncle Rame Gowda.
His another uncle Siddegowda expressed happiness that his brother’s son had made it to the top post of the state though he had the humble beginning. “We all knew right from the beginning that Siddu was not ordinary material. I remember when my brother was alive (Siddaramaiah’s father) he wanted Siddu to educate well and one day become a good lawyer. He was the first graduate in our village and also the first law graduate. After his law graduation we took him to Chikkaboraiah a lawyer in Mysore who gracefully accepted him as a junior, this exposure to the urban environment drew him to politics” Siddegowda told.
But his career as a lawyer was short lived. His first mentor in the legal profession Chikkaboraiah who is now an octogenarian legal expert in Mysore remembered Siddaramiah’s entry into legal professon. “He was a good lad took copious notes which I dictated him, he studied every case meticulously and also argued well in the court, but even before he could make a mark, I am sure he would have had he stuck to the profession, but he joined politics too soon”.
Another senior colleague of Siddaramiah in legal profession Thammanna Gowda of Tonachikoppal lay out recalled his association with him and said “ I had seen him since 1979, apart from practicing law he was also teaching part time in a the local law college. I had visited his room in Kullayana lodge near Mysore Medical College, I was surprised that his collection of books was more than his collection of clothes and other things. I reckon he slept on a Charpoy and ate simple food throughout his scholastic life”.