The call for a grand Dasara this year got a push on Wednesday, with representatives of various organisations resolving to celebrate Navaratri on their own, without compromising on its grandeur.
It was unanimously decided to take on the government for deciding to scale down the festival this year in the wake of drought and farmers’ suicides in the State, at a meeting in the city. The meeting was organised by Mysore Rakshana Vedike, a Kannada organisation.
M Rajendra, president of the Karnataka Pradesh Hotel Owners Association, said, “We will celebrate Dasara. Let the police and other departments cooperate with us in hosting the event. We will spend minimum amount and return at least Rs five crore to the government.”
Rajendra said, “In the name of protecting the interests of farmers, the authorities are out to harm the interests of others from the same community. Most of the hotel workers hail from the families of agriculturists.”
Rajendra said that the government’s decision may also hurt the religious sentiments of the people. By announcing that it may be a ‘simple Dasara’ this time, the State may lose the one-time opportunity in a year to promote tourism.
There is also the possibility of international visitors staying away from the Nada Habba.
Educationist and BJP leader R Raghu questioned the double standards of the government which decided to go ahead with the festival last year, even when the erstwhile royal family was mourning the death of royal scion Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar.
May harm farmer’s too
A simple Dasara may harm farmers’ prospects as the festival usually sees better prices for their produce, he said. C Narayan Gowda, another prominent hotelier, said “Whenever the government trimmed the festival in the past, the tourism industry has taken more than anticipated time to recover from the losses.”
Historian P V Nanjaraj Urs said, “The government decided to reimburse the medical expenditure of a minister who was treated abroad, but for the kin of farmers who committed suicide a meagre amount - less than Rs two lakh - was given as relief amount.”
Urs appealed at the meeting not to take the government’s stand seriously as Dasara has remained people’s Dasara and will remain so in future too.