Circle Name: Mehkri Circle named after Enayathullah Mehkri (1897 / 98 -1990)
Circle Location: Bellary Road, Ashwath Nagar, Armane Nagar
Mehkri Circle is named after Mr. Enayathullah Mehkri. Mr. Mehkri personally financed the proper levelling of the intersection of the Bellary Road and the Hebbal Tank area, so that bullocks would not need to struggle to pull heavy loads on a hilly upward slope.
He held several important posts during his lifetime. He was a municipal councillor and Vice President of the Civil Station Municipal Commission for many years. He was part of several Muslim organisations and educational institutions too.
Mr. Mehkri was also a member of the Indian National Congress during his youth, and was imprisoned as part of the freedom struggle. Later, he served as President of the Karnataka Freedom Fighters’ Association.
Mr. Enayathullah Mehkri has immensely contributed to society. He is most commonly known and respected for his absolutely selfless deed of fully financing the levelling of the steep slope in the Hebbal Tank area.
His intentions for doing this, lay in his sympathy for the cows and bulls which experienced great pain while dragging heavy cartloads and travelling up the steep slope of this area. Later, when the news of these proceedings reached the Maharaja of Mysore through the Dewan Sir Mirza, the Maharaja offered to refund Mr. Mehkri for financing the levelling. Mr. Mehkri refused the money. The king named the intersection of the Bellary Road and the Hebbal Tank area as “Enayathullah Mehkri Square” in his honour[i].
Later, Sri R.M. Patil who was then the Minister for Home and Municipal Administration revised the name to “Enayathullah Mehkri Circle” through a state gazette notification in 1965[ii].
Mr. Mehkri is also known to have served society in several other ways.
He was an active member of the Indian National Congress (INC), and is said to have become a member of the INC at the tender age of 17. Consequently, he was imprisoned for more than six months in the Madras Central Jail as part of the freedom struggle. He was in prison along with C. Rajagopalachari and E.V. Ramaswamy Naicker. He was also the only member from Karnataka, on the Advisory Council of the freedom fighters cell in the All India Congress. And, he served as President of the Karnataka Freedom Fighters Association[iii].
Apart from this, he closely worked with several Muslim organisations and institutions. One such instance of this, was that of a Muslim orphanage, of which he was Honorary General Secretary.
He served as Municipal Councillor for several years, and was later elected Vice President of the Civil Station Municipal Commission in 1948. With this job he had the privilege to address the first Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, and Sardar Vallabhai Patel on behalf of the citizens. He also was a Councillor and Municipal Commissioner at the Civil and Military Station Municipal Commission.
Mr. Mehkri lived in Benson Town[iv] along with his wife, two sons and three daughters. An interesting, yet less known fact about him was that he was conferred knighthood and is hence referred in several instances as Sir Enayathullah Mehkri[v].
Photo 1: Sir Enayathullah Mehkri (Sitting left) and Justice Mir Iqbal – courtesy: Mr. Abid Mehkri
Photo 2: (Left to Right) Mr M.R. Mehkri, Mr. Enayathullah Mehkri, Mr. K. Subba Rao, Lord John Hope, Mr. Humayun Mirza, Dewan of Banganapalle – courtesy: Mr. Abid Mehkri
[i] Mehkri, Abid, grandson of Mr. Enayathullah Mehkri, Oral History Research, 16th January, 2016
[ii]Kandath, Roja, Times Of India City Edition, July 25, 2001 http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bengaluru/Lets-not-forget-the-man-behind-Mekhri-Circle/articleshow/559840021.cms
[iii] Freedom Fighters Association Souvenir, 1975, p. 41
[iv] Editor – Sir Stanley Reed , The Times of India Directory and Year Book Including Who’s who, p. 982
[v] The Order of the Crest: Tracing the Alumni of Bishop Cotton Boys’ School, Edited by Aditya Sondhi, 2014