Name it and you’ve got it! This is the new avatar of Dasara being celebrated in Mysore for the last four centuries. Many new events that were never heard in the past are being added every year. Seeing the trend, many more items may be included in the coming Dasara festival.
The 400th year of Dasara festival was really ‘unique’ in some aspects. For the first time, the Dasara committee added some interesting events to ensure active participation of every one. The events this year start from the age of five year, and go up to as much as the enthusiasm of senior citizens.
The events like tri-cycle competition for the kids below five years of age, cycling for couples, bullock cart racing, adventure water sports, flying in hot air balloon, running race for women while balancing water filled plastic pots on their head, running in slush (Kesarugadde ota) and hair styling for women. The reason for inclusion of new items in Dasara itinerary, according to authorities, was to involve people of all ages.
A few decades ago, Dasara festival used to be restricted to only cultural programmes at the prestigious Durbar Hall, police band show in front of the imposing Amba Vilas Palace, state-level Dasara sports, jamboo savari and of course, torch light parade. Naturally, people and art lovers were gathering in good number in front of the palace to witness the colorful cultural programmes. Over the years, the concept of Dasara changed and the idea of holding events to attract crowd came in the minds of authorities as well as political leaders. In this process, whether the concept of Dasara is diluted is a million dollar question.
Hitherto, there used to be only one committee that was taking care of organizing all the events in systematic manner. Now, there are a couple of dozens of sub-committees with each committee looking after the event allotted for it.
In the name of Dasara, three to four new events are being added without bothering about its necessity.
The number of venues have also increased in order to give chance to upcoming artists. In the name of attracting youths, ‘Yuva Dasara’ was started a few years ago only to give entertain the younger generation who, hitherto, according to authorities, were not bothered about Dasara programmes.
The playback singers from Bollywood are invited to give live performance. In fact, the
amount allotted for Yuva Dasara is much more than the money earmarked for cultural programmes being organized in Palace premises.
No doubt, this event draws maximum crowd than any other cultural event held in other venues.
Of course, some of the new events like air show and defence exhibition have certainly added colour to Dasara festival. People attend in large number to witness the air show that was held at Bannimantap Grounds every year. But this year, the show was cancelled following reported denial of permission from the ministry of defence. Even the attendance at the exhibition has improved following display of defence equipments in the sprawling Doddakere grounds.
Water sports held at Varuna Tank on T Narasipur Road on outskirts of City had definitely good takers and so as the hot balloon. As usual, kite flying competition is gaining importance with participants from all over the State, flying different kinds of kites, in the city.
An officer told City Herald that the response for ‘Yuva Dasara’ rechristened as ‘Manaranjana Dasara’ is growing. The youths are more interested to see their favourite singers in ‘action’. So, the Dasara Committee has to invite popular Bollywood singers every year to the expectations of young crowd.