‘Veerarani Abbakka Utsava’ organised by the district administration and the Department of Kannada and Culture witnessed thin attendance on Sunday evening.
Earlier editions of the Utsava organised by Abbakka Utsava Committee were mired in allegations about irregularities and misappropriation of funds by the Utsava organising committee members. Thus the district administration had taken the responsibility of conducting the Utsava this year.
But the public response was dull when compared to previous editions. Empty chairs mocked the organisers and foiled the objective behind Abbakka Utsavas. But the Beach Utsava organised as a part of the same Utsava witnessed good response.
A huge stage was erected on the beach at Mogavirapatna in Ullal. The Abbakka Utsava began with a cultural procession on Saturday evening.
Even though people turned up at the procession, the formal inaugural programme failed to draw people. A large number of people participated in sports events on Sunday morning.
A handful of people were present at the poets meet and at the Abbakka award function organised in the evening.
People in the locality said the programme was organised in a manner that it was meant for officials from a particular department.
During the valedictory programme of Ullala Veerarani Abbakka Utsava 2019, Veerarani Abbakka awards were conferred on author and editor of Taranga Kannada weekly, Sandhya S Pai and Social worker Urmila Ramesh Kumar. Sadhya S Pai said 500 years ago GSB community had fled Goa to escape harassment from Portuguese.
“Many Hindu temples were vandalised in Goa during this period. These developments forced large scale migration of the GSB community from Goa to Southern parts of Karnataka. In Ullal, Queen Abbakka provided shelter to the migrated people. Those with the surname ‘Baliga’ had served as commanders and soldiers in Abbakka’s army,” said Sandhya Pai.
MLC Harish Kumar, Zilla Panchayat member Mamata Gatty, Dakshina Kannada Deputy Commissioner Sasikanth Senthil S, Kannada and Culture Department Assistant director Rajesh and Mangaluru Assistant Commissioner Ravichandra Nayak were present.