For Jagadish Shettar, 60 equals 57

For Jagadish Shettar, 60 equals 57

Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar gave away the Rajyotsava award to 60 individuals, even as he remained under the impression that 57 personalities had got it, throughout the awards ceremony on Thursday.

Shettar told the audience how categorical he was that only 57 people got the award given the fact that Karnataka had completed 56 years of its formation and stepped into the 57th. However, there appeared to be intense pressure on the government to present the awards to more people.

The chief minister said he and Kannada and Culture Minister Govind M Karjol had to go through thousands of applications and people made personal appearances to claim the award. He said, “I and Govind Karjol kept referring people to each other to get rid of the pressure on us. When aspirants mounted pressure on us simultaneously, we would direct them to the bureaucrats. Indeed, selecting 57 people was a tough job.”

Recalling an event at a book store in the morning, where 56 achievers were felicitated, Shettar said, “We went a step ahead. We chose 57 achievers from different parts of the State.” He remained unaware of the fact that the number had swelled from 57 to 60 by the time the awards were presented. On Swami Basavalinga Pattadevaru being chosen for the honour, Shettar said, “You may be wondering why the Swami was selected. He helped preserve Kannada in the border areas of Bidar district, where people were forgetting Kannada due to the influence of Marathi and Telugu. He has set up a Kannada school there to save our mother tongue.” The chief minister said G S Paramashivaiah was chosen as the octogenarian had contributed a deal in framing an irrigation policy for the parched areas of the State.

“Many a time, he had come with proposals (on irrigation). But we missed the point that he was the most eligible person to bag this award,” said Shettar. Prominent among those who got the awards were Dr H S Raghavendra Rao, Boluvaru Mohammed Kunhi, Altaf, Hanumanthappa Basappa Thimmapura, H N Girish, E V Sathyanarayana and Aravind Sitaraman of Cisco Systems.

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