'Ash added to the glamour quotient'

'Ash added to the glamour quotient'

traditional Aishwarya Rai  Bachchan.

Thousands of Kannadigas attended the meet, which was a melange of music, dance, culture and colour. The sammelan was quite star-studded as well with an array of celebrities, like Anil Kumble and N R Narayan Murthy, attending it. The one thing common between all these stars was the fact that they have their roots in Karnataka.

Another icing on the cake was the presence of Bollywood star Aishwarya Rai Bachchan at the meet. Looking like a traditional Indian diva in a maroon Kanjeevaram sari and chunks of gold jewellery, Aishwarya looked every bit graceful as expected of her. However, when she went on the dais to speak to the masses, she just briefly addressed them in Kannada and quickly switched over to Hindi. As the actress was born in Karnataka, it was surprising for many to see her fumble with Kannada on stage. Metrolife asked a few Kannada-speaking youngsters if they were disappointed with the actress being honoured despite of not being very fluent in the language.

Some people are happy that Ash made an attempt at least. Says Keerti Deshpande, a communication specialist who hails from Belgaum, “I personally don’t think there was anything wrong with the authorities for inviting her as she was born here. There are so many Kannadigas here in Karnataka who cannot even utter a word in Kannada. At least she tried!” She adds, “But yes definitely, they could have honoured someone else.” 

Archana Hebbar, a consultant for Oracle, also feels it’s not a big deal. “These days, most Kannadigas don’t speak Kannada. At least Aishwarya spoke a little bit of the language,” she says. “And she has represented the State in many ways,” she notes. “However, I would have been happier had she spoken in proper Kannada and not struggled with the language.” But some people are wondering why was Aishwarya invited in the first place?

According to Anur, a software engineer who hails from Dharwad, “Firstly, she should not have been at the function at all. She has not contributed to Karnataka in any way,” he quips. “The fact that she was born here doesn’t make her a Kannadiga,” he adds. “The only reason she was invited for the meet was to add to the glamour quotient. So the main essence of the festival was lost as everyone, including the media, was too busy focusing on her.”

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