Kittur Rani artefacts missing, says scholar

Addressing the two-day seminar on the queen of the princely state in Karnataka who was among the first Indian rulers to battle the British, a scholar, Dr C K Navalagi said two dazzling sarees - one red and the other blue, belonging to the queen that were among the highlights of the museum were missing, as were many swords. “The Kittur army ranged between 3,000 and 5,000 men, but there are only a handful of swords in the museum. Where did the rest go,” Dr Navalagi asked.

He said while Chennamma’s statues with her astride her steed flashing her sword were symbolic of her bravery, of late statues showing her seated and praying to a Linga were being unveiled, and these devalue her role as one of the pioneers of the freedom struggle.

Dr Ratnasheela Guraddi said Kittur represented the struggle against the British and continued to inspire many. Dr Gurudevi Hulleppanavar said Chennamma’s resistance to the British Doctrine of Lapse became a national struggle.

Nadoja Dr Patil Puttappa lamented that Kittur had remained backward despite spending huge sums of money in the name of Kittur Utsav. He said the issue of development crops up only during Utsav and fades into oblivion with the conclusion of the event.

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