405th edition of Dasara begins

Farmers welfare assumes significance along with Navaratri

Nada Habba Dasara, the annual festival of Mysuru, the cultural capital of the State, got off to a traditional start at Chamundi Hill, the abode of Goddess Chamundeshwari, here on Tuesday.

Progressive farmer Puttaiah, accompanied by a host of dignitaries, including Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, offered floral tributes to the idol of the Goddess Chamundeshwari at 11.07 am during the auspicious Dhanur Lagna.

Utsava Murthy (Idol meant for procession) of the goddess, placed on a silver chariot decorated with flowers of types, was stationed at the right side of the podium near the temple. Priests performed Mangalarathi to the Goddess marking the beginning of the rituals.

As part of Navaratri, the puja rituals at the main temple started at 5.30 am with Poorvanyasa rudrabhiseka, followed by Panchamrita Abhisheka and other rituals. The idol was decorated as ‘Hamsavahini’ (Riding the duck), according to chief priest of the temple Shashishekar Dixit.

Though a ‘simple and traditional’ festival this year, as announced by the government in the wake of drought and farmer suicides, the mood was upbeat at the hill shrine. The road to the temple, from the temporary welcome arch in front of the police outpost, was decorated with various types of rangolis, while the temple was also decorated with flowers of varied colours and types.

While the routine Navaratri message was restricted to the recalling of history, when Wadiyars of the Yadu dynasty, the erstwhile rulers of Mysuru, were celebrating the festival with pomp and gaiety till the abolition of privy purse in 1969, that was continued by the successive governments as ‘Nada Habba’, it turned out a perfect stage for VVIPs of the day to send a message to the crisis-hit farmers’ community.

Not just the progressive farmer Puttaiah, even Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Chamundeshwari MLA G T Devegowda recalled their stint as farmers, before venturing into politics. Siddaramaiah said, “I was tilling land till I joined LLB after completing my BSc. I was also general secretary of Raitha Sangha in 1980”.

To send a message to farmers, who are in the habit of raising loans, Siddaramaiah said, “Barring my father, who had obtained loan once from a PLD Bank, nobody in our undivided family has availed loans. We still don’t have individual khatas to prevent any possibilities of taking loans,” he added.

Devegowda said, “I also have experience in the fields and have witnessed drought during the 60s”.

Earlier, the chief minister and other dignitaries were offered Poornakumba welcome on their arrival at the shrine.

They were brought to the temple amid performing artistes of various cultural troupes.

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