B.A. (Hons), M.A (Econ). Ph.D., Hon. D.Sc Europe).

distinguished Indian Economist


  • Overview



At the request of the University of Mysore in early 1970’s to translate a book in “Economics” under the Government of India Text Books Scheme, I had selected, “VALUE AND CAPITAL” out of the three titles suggested. The Translation work was complete in time and it was published in January 1979 by the Institute of Kannada Studies, University of Mysore. J.R. Hicks and his wife, Ursula Hicks were then in India as guests of the Government in India. Rao took this opportunity and requested them to come to Bangalore and release the Kannada version of “VALUE AND CAPITAL”1 – “MOULYA MATTU BANDAVALA”2 at a function organized by the University of Mysore on February 7, 1979.

Hicks readily agreed and came to Bangalore from New Delhi by the morning flight on February 6, 1979. The Government of Karnataka had treated Hicks and Ursula as guests of the Government. N.Narashimha Rao, the then Chief Secretary took lot of interest in organizing the visit of Hicks. Rao who was kind enough to organize the release of the said book by Hicks had invited Hicks couple for the dinner at his residence on that night and I was asked to join with my wife. He had invited three or four others also. Rao who was to introduce me in the function at Mysore the next day, had also prepared a writeup. He told me after the dinner that his back pain (due to his fall in Mexico) had increased and he was not able to travel to Mysore the next day. He,however, handed over his written speech and asked me to have it read. In his speech, he had summarized Hick’s three books : 1. “Value and Capital” (1939), 2. “Capital and Growth” (1965) and 3. “Capital and Time” (1973) which he had called as “Trilogy of Capital” – the series of three connected literary or musical works and also called them as “Three Avataras of Capital”. In his speech, interalia, he has said, referring to these three works as research pieces which are most important contributions and which have created land marks after the ‘General Theory’ and have provided opportunity for several economists to do further research on these works. Prof. Michio Morishima, the Sir John Hicks’s Chair in London School of Economics, London, in his article to the Memorial work on ‘John Hicks’ has said that: ‘The Value and Capital is the Jewel in Economics’. Rao, my well-wisher, has said referring to my Kannada book of J.R. Hicks : ‘Value and Capital’ that : “ ‘Value and Capital’ does not make an easy reading, especially Parts I and II and the reader has to keep alert all the time lest he miss a step in the intricate but continuous logic that characterizes this work and Dr. Puttaswamaiah has done an excellent job. It is now possible for Kannada Students to obtain in their own language access to a key book in economic theory, and in turn this should enable production in Kannada of books and articles on practical problems of both macro-economic and micro-economic policy by using the logical apparatus and the lucid analysis of economic inter-relations and co economic causes and nsequences that Prof. Hicks has contributed in this pioneering treatise. I count it as a piece of good fortune and should mark the beginning of a new era of Kannada literature in economics”1. After introduction of Rao about Hicks and his works and myself, D.V.Urs., the then Vice Chancellor of the University of Mysore, in his Presidential Address, said about “Value and Capital” thus : “I was a student of Economics and I had read then the “Value and Capital”. I did not understand anything about it. Since I had to Preside over this function today, I went through the Kannada version of “Value and Capital” and I did not understand anything from it. This shows the Kannada version of Value and Capital is as tough as the English version by Hicks”. As you notice from Rao’s views, he agrees with it in saying that “it does not make an easy reading”.

Hicks in his speech appreciated the work in Kannada and he expressed his surprise about my mentioning in the “Introduction” to him that “Value and Capital” had already gone to eleven languages in the World by then. He said about “Value and Capital” that it was his major work after the “General Theory” of J.M. Keynes. He also observed that he frequently changes his own ideas and he had already changed some views on “Value and Capital” which, he mentioned, would be found in his two books of 19741 and 19792. He thanked the translater, and Rao who was instrumental for this function and the University for organizing it. Ursula in her brief speech (made on request) said, ‘interlia”, that : “it was for the first time that she shared with her husband in a function or a public platform of this type. I am happy Puttaswamaiah has created this opportunity. I and my husband are extremely happy”. The function concluded. It was extremely a joyous occasion in my life which was blessed by Rao, unforgettable of course.