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Karnataka- A Brief Overview

April 12, 2018

Karnataka- A Brief Overview

History of Karnataka

Karnataka lies in the south-western region of India. Karnataka has seen many dominant rulers and dynasties from the mighty Mauryan empire to Wodeyars. These kingdoms have left a strong impression on the culture and history of the state. After India gained Independence from British, Mysore Kingdom became the State of Mysore and remained so till 1956, before several other Kannada dominated regions, which were part of the different administrative regions were integrated with the State of Mysore on November 1, 1956. In 1973, the State of Mysore was renamed to Karnataka. Bengaluru is the capital of Karnataka, while it is also the largest city within the state.



Karnataka is blessed with mesmerising landscapes and breathtaking natural beauty. Western Karnataka is a coastline bordered by the Arabian Sea, while other regions are bordered by the states of Goa, Maharashtra, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Kerela. The state is spread across 191,976 km2, making it the eighth largest state in India in terms of area, while it covers 5.83 percent of India’s geographical area. River Kaveri and Krishna and their tributaries act as a lifeline for the people of Karnataka. The state has a varied geography with coastal region, arid plains, vegetative plains, and hilly region.


Karnataka is the eighth largest state of India in terms of population, with state’s present population being close to 7 crore. In terms of literacy, the state ranks 16th amongst the 29 states of India, with a literacy rate of 75.60, according to the Census 2011 report. Hinduism is the dominant religion in the state, with more than 80% population, while Muslims, Christians, Jains, Buddhists, and Sikhs forming the rest of Karnataka’s population composition. Kannada is a widely spoken language with close to 67 % of the population using native languages to communicate, followed by Urdu, Telegu, Tamil, Marathi, Tulu, Hindi, Konkani, Malayalam, and Kodava Takk, a language primarily used in the Kodagu region. Lingayats is one the major communities.


Politics has played a major role in the developmental process of Karnataka. With politicians focusing on the development of the state, it is reflected on Karnataka’s growth story. Leading political parties in the state along with the Central government have initiated reforms through policy implementation, that have seen Karnataka’s IT industry grow from strength to strength. Apart from IT sector, agricultural sector has seen fair amount of growth under successive governments, although the sector still faces some pertinent issues that hinder its growth in the state.

Karnataka has a politically conscious population, who have been electing governments that have pushed the economy through policy reforms and implementation, and fostered development in the state. The first legislative assembly of unified state of Mysore(renamed Karnataka in 1973) took place in 1957, where Congress emerged victorious, and since then the party became a dominant political force in the region. The 1960-80 period witnessed regional parties gathering momentum to challenge the might of Congress in the state. The state assembly elections in 1983 saw the first-ever non-Congress government in the state since its formation in 1956. Janata Party with support from newly formed BJP and other small parties formed the government in Karnataka. Since then none of the parties in the region, including BJP, Congress, Janata Dal[which was later succeeded by Janata Dal(Secular)], have been able to win successive elections on its own. For BJP, 2008 Karnataka assembly result was a historic mandate for the party, as it won the mandate in Southern Indian state for the first time since its inception in 1980. In 2013, Congress regained the majority in Karnataka Assembly, after the party won 122 seats to form the government, victory was long time coming, as the party had last won elections in 1999, when Chief Minister S M Krishna led-Congress won 132 seats.


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Disclaimer: The views expressed are of those of the author and do not represent the views of Elections.in.


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