Grand Datta Jayanti a political strategy?
By B Thipperudrappa - CHIKMAGALUR
26th December 2012 08:50 AM
Datta Jayanti celebration seems to have acquired political dimensions this year, following the Assembly elections due in May. Clear signals have set tongues wagging in the city.
For the last four years, Datta Mala Abhiyan and the Datta Jayanti were low-key events since the cave shrine atop the BB Hills collapsed due to heavy rains in June 2008. The sacred Datta Padukas were deposited in the district treasury without regular pooja.
The repairs took place at a snail’s pace following writ petitions in the Supreme Court. The SC ordered the administration to reconstruct the cave shrine without altering its original structure, and directed the government to change Binyas Company, the contractors. The repairs should be in accordance with the directions of the Archaeological Survey of India, the SC ordered. During the last four years, activists of many Hindu organisations staged demonstrations seeking to expedite the repairs and shifting of Datta Padukas. Now the repairs are over and the ASI has stamped its approval. A month ago, the Datta Padukas were shifted secretly by the administration.
Now the question is whether the repairs were deliberately postponed by the BJP government as the previous four years were a slack season politically. Was it waiting for the election year to complete the works? The people are skeptical about the enthusiasm of the BJP leaders, ministers and saffron outfits are evincing in observing the three-day event on a grand scale.
Most of the BJP leaders, including Minister C T Ravi, have worn sacred Malas. All prime circles and roads in the city are steeped in saffron buntings, posters and flexes. Nearly 15,000 devotees are expected.
Opposition parties feel that it is a preliminary preparation by the BJP for the upcoming elections, as its candidates in the previous elections got elected on the Datta Peeta plank.
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