Need to revisit celebrating 25 Jayantis: Ravi

Need to revisit celebrating 25 Jayantis: Ravi

Kannada and Culture Minister C T Ravi. (DH File Photo)

The government will review the need to celebrate 25 jayantis as they burden officials with workload and some of these events have become 'casteist,' Kannada and Culture Minister C T Ravi said on Thursday.

“I have been told that there are 25 jayantis being celebrated in the state. Officers shared a grievance that their entire effort was going towards these events. While only some involve the public, most of the events have purely become government events,” Ravi said, speaking to reporters after reviewing the functioning of the Kannada and Culture department. 

“There’s a need to revisit the need to celebrate these jayantis. At least, we need to change the way they are celebrated, because most of them have become casteist,” the minister said. 

Some jayantis such as Mahavir Jayanti, Basava Jayanti, Maharshi Valmiki Jayanti and Kanaka Jayanti are holidays. The government spends Rs 69 lakh to celebrate the jayantis, except for Kempegowda Jayanti (Rs 94 lakh) and Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar Jayanti (Rs 15 lakh).

Between 2008 and 2013, when the BJP was in power, three jayantis - Basava Jayanti, Valmiki Jayanti and Kanaka Jayanti - were started. The Siddaramaiah-led Congress government announced that a jayanti for Brahmashri Narayana Guru, a Kerala-born social reformer, would be celebrated by the government, based on a request by the Billava community. Siddaramaiah also started celebrating the birth of erstwhile Mysuru ruler Tipu Sultan, which Yediyurappa scrapped recently. 

Ravi, who is also the Tourism minister, said the luxury Golden Chariot train service had been temporarily put on hold as the government had incurred a Rs 41-crore loss since its launch in 2008. 

He said he had commissioned a study on the tourist taxi subsidy provided by the government. “So far, over 2,400 people have been given taxi subsidy of Rs 3 lakh. But if there’s no demand for taxis, after drivers end up buying them by raising loans apart from the subsidy they get, then it is leading to a burden on them,” he said.  

Going forward, Ravi said his department would come out with a “comprehensive blueprint” to develop 41 tourism circuits and 319 tourist centres that have been identified. 

“But the biggest challenge we face is staff crunch. Out of 312 sanctioned posts, only 69 have been filled. In the absence of trained staff, our plans will remain just that, without implementation,” he said.