• Social Activist
|Using humorous ways to take out pro-Kannada protests in Karnataka against the government
|Physical Stats & More
|in centimeters- 175 cm
in meters- 1.75 m
in feet & inches- 5’ 9”
|Kannada Chaluvali Vatal Paksha
|• 1989: He contested the Karnataka Legislative Assembly election and became an MLA from the Chamarajanagar assembly constituency
• 1994: He contested the Karnataka Legislative Assembly election and won from the Chamarajanagar assembly constituency by a margin of 5982 votes against S. Puttaswamy of INC
• 2004: He won for the third time from the Chamarajanagar assembly constituency
• 2009: He contested in the 2009 Lok Sabha election from Bangalore South constituency, but lost to MP Ananth Kumar.
|Date of Birth
|29 May 1949 (Sunday)
|Age (as of 2023)
|Vatalu, Mysore, Karnataka
|Government High School, Chamrajpet, Bengaluru
|He is 10th pass. My Neta
|Lingayat Deccan Chronicle
|House No.329, 2nd Block, 2nd Stage, RMV Extension, Bangalore-560094
|Relationships & More
|Jnanambika (deceased in 2020)
|Father- Madappa (deceased)
|Scorpio My Neta
• Cash: Rs. 60,000
• Bank Deposits: Rs. 1,00,000
• Motor Vehicles: Rs. 4,00,000
• Jewellery: Rs. 35,000
• Agricultural Land: Rs. 5,00,000
• Non-Agricultural Land: Rs. 2,30,00,000
• Residential Buildings: Rs. 1,00,00,000
Note: The given estimates of movable and immovable assets are according to the year 2018. It excludes the assets owned by his wife and dependents (minor). My Neta
|Net Worth (approx.)
|Rs. 3 Crore
Note: The net worth was for the financial year 2018-2019. It excludes the net worth of his wife and dependents (minors). My Neta
Some Lesser Known Facts About Vatal Nagaraj
- Vatal Nagaraj is an Indian politician and social activist in Karnataka. He is a former Member of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly from the Chamarajnagar constituency. He is also the president of the Kannada Chaluvali Vatal Paksha (KCVP), a political party in Karnataka started by him in 2018. Vatal is popular for carrying out demonstrations against the government in funny ways. He often uses cattle, donkeys, household items and even commodes in his protests giving him a lot of public attention.
- The first time he came to notice was in 1960 when he participated in an anti-dubbing movement. He opposed the dubbing of Telugu films into Kannada. At that time, he was made the leader of the movement.
- On 7 September 1962, when he and his supporters burned Alankar Talkies in Bengaluru for showing a Hindi movie, they were arrested by the police.
- He became the Bengaluru City Corporator in 1964. Nijalingappa, who was the chief minister of Karnataka at that time, wanted Vatal to join Congress, but he chose activism over politics. In an interview, he talked about why he did not join any political party and said,
I have my own party. The Kannada Chaluvali Vatal Paksha that I am loyal to. Every other party will try to use the image to push their own interests. I may not be in a high office, but I have a voice that resonates in all of Karnataka.”
- In 1964, he started an agitation for the dismantling of a 150-year-old British Raj-era cenotaph pillar built to mark the deaths of soldiers at the Siege of Bangalore in 1791. The agitation lasted for two months and in October of that year, the cenotaph was removed by the Bangalore City Corporation. Also, a statue of Kempe Gowda was built in place of that.
- In 1996, he formed an organization called Kannada Chaluvaligaru to highlight the problems of people in Karnataka and demand jobs from the central government. The organization was formed for the protection of Kannadigas, Kannada language, and culture.
- Vatal took out demonstrations during the Miss World 1996 pageant. According to him, judging women based on beauty standards was not right because some women might be doing it to earn money. He also organised his own “Rakshasi (female demons) show during the protests.
- In the 1980s, he took out many protests for the Gokak agitations. The agitations were about making Kannada the first language of the state. Many youngsters were influenced by his way of conducting protests.
- In 2008, Kollywood actor Sathyaraj commented on the Cauvery issue for which he had to publically apologize in 2018. The apology came after Vatal said that the screening of the actor’s movie Baahubali would not be allowed if he did not apologize.
- In 2009, he contested the Lok Sabha elections as a KCVP member. For the elections, he was allotted a coconut as his party symbol by the Election Commission. He did not have any party funds, so to collect money from the public, he sold coconuts in Bangalore for Rs. 5 and Rs. 10. This led to crowd-funding and promotion of his symbol. He collected Rs. 35,000 in two days. However, the Election Commission did not like his actions and accused him of violating the Model Code of Conduct by selling the party symbol. Therefore, he stopped selling coconuts and thought of a new idea. He started cutting the coconut into two parts offering half as a prasad and demanding contribution in the other half. The Hindu
- In 2009, he tried to urinate in front of the Raj Bhavan to protest against the shortage of public bathrooms but was stopped by the police. He has also ridden a bullock cart to Vidhan Sabha to protest against increased fuel prices and has worn a burqa to protest against rape.
- In the same year, when pro-Hindutva groups demanded to ban Valentine’s Day by threatening young people, Nagaraj came in support of them.
- In 2010, he promised to form a Donkey development board and provide free haircuts and free buttermilk and juice to people in his election manifesto for the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP, the city’s civic authority). In one of the newspapers, the headline after his announcement read ‘Vatal’s vows: vote for me, save my ass.’
- In 2015, he hosted a different award ceremony for animals where two donkeys were given a shawl and garland by Vatal. The award was named the Rajyotsava award after the second-highest civilian honour in Karnataka, which honoured various domestic animals including donkeys, dogs, buffaloes, cows and oxen.
- In 2016, it was reported that he plans 200-250 protests every year and calls 2,000 state-wide bandhs in Karnataka.
- In July 2016, when Rajinikanth‘s Tamil movie Kabali was released, Vatal protested against it because it was a non-Kannada film. In 2018, when Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy invited Rajinikanth to Karnataka, Vatal threatened an agitation against him. He alleged Rajnikath of being an anti-Kannada and pro-Tamil agent.
- On 9 September 2016, he called for a state-wide bandh after the Supreme Court decision to release 15,000 cusecs of water from the river Cauvery to Tamil Nadu.
- In 2017, he held protests in front of the BMRCL office for having Hindi signage and direction boards on the Metro rail. In an interview, he talked about this and said,
Hindi is slowly creeping into Karnataka and nobody approves it. The State Government is supporting this and not raising its voice, especially when authorities like Governor Vajubhai Vala give Hindi speeches in the Assembly. Nowhere is there a hard and fast rule that Hindi must be used officially, along with the regional language and English. The Centre can do as they please elsewhere, but in Karnataka our mother tongue is Kannada and it must be used in public services like Metro.”
- In 2018, Vatal arranged to marry two sheep, Jacob and Carolyn in Bengaluru. In an interview, while supporting Valentine’s Day, he demanded that the central government declare a holiday on the occasion and that the state government provide Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 1 lakh to the couple who wanted to get married. In a similar incident in 2020, he got two horses Raja and Rani married.
- In 2018, he and many other Kannada organizations protested at Freedom Park against the central government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Mahadayi river water-sharing dispute between Karnataka and Goa. The protest was set up on the day Narendra Modi visited the city. The protesters wore black clothes and black bands. They were detained by the police but were later released.
- In 2019, he was taken into police custody for dressing up like a policeman during one of his protests for the implementation of the Raghavendra Auradkar committee report on police reform demanding a 30-35 per cent hike in salary for police personnel.
- He took out a ‘sleep-in protest’ in front of Mysuru Palace in 2019 after a Dasara elephant at Mathigodu Elephant Camp in Nagarahole Tiger Reserve died after suffering a cardiac arrest. Vatal thought that were was something suspicious about his death.
- In 2020, the Karnataka government announced setting up a Maratha Development Authority with a fund of Rs. 50 crore for Marathi-speaking people. After the announcement, Vatal called for a band on 5 December 2020 and demanded that the government take back its decision.
- On 5 August 2020, his wife, Jnanambika passed away at the age of 65 in a private Hospital in Bengaluru.
- On 14 September 2023, he was arrested by the police for protesting against the Tamil Nadu government at the Karnataka border Attipally. Under his leadership, more than 50 people who took part in the protest were arrested. During the protest, they were raising slogans against the state government demanding water from Cauvery.
- On 27 September 2023, he announced for Karnataka bandh on 29 September 2023. The bandh was decided in a meeting between two groups of activists and organisations – one led by farmers leader Kuruburu Shanthakumar who has called for a Bengaluru Bandh, and another led by Kannada activist Vatal Nagaraj who called for Karnataka Bandh on 29 September. After the meeting, they decided to go for their individual bandh and many organizations withdrew their support from them.
- He loves Kannada and Karnataka and has worked for the state for more than 20 years. Reportedly, he has staged 10,000 protests for the cause of Karnataka and Kannada.
- He serves as the leader of the Kannada Para Okkoota, a federation of pro-Kannada organizations.
- He always appears in front of the media wearing dark glasses and a bucket cap. According to a media report, there was no one except Vatal’s wife who had seen him without a cap.
- Many politicians who do not like his way of protesting have said that he does it for public attention because the protests are short-lived. According to them, the protests last until a new issue arises. They also said that his demands are correct but the bandh that he implies are not correct because it stops a lot of activities in the state.
- Vatal and his wife had a love marriage. In an interview, his daughter shared about their love story and said,
My father visited T Narasimhapura village in the late sixties. With his friend he went for lunch to his friend’s sister’s house. There he saw a seventeen year old girl, and it was love at first sight. She was his friend’s sister’s daughter Gnanambike. She was serving food. My mother’s parents refused to their marriage saying that he had no job, no house and no property, but only his Kannada cause. My grand mother even said that he was not good looking. My grand father hated politicians. To top it up my father kept going to jail. My mother was the eldest and they did not want her to suffer with an activist. My mother did not budge and they had to give in.”