Sunday, November 18, 2007

Chair is important than Oath!

Even as the Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa is all set to seek trust vote on the floor of the House today, he forgot the oath taken a week back in the name of farmers of the state: He failed to attend the Krishi Mela-2007 at GKVK where he was supposed to felicitate 37 farmers from different districts!

(A picture of B S Yeddyurappa's swearing-in ceremony)

At 12 noon on Nov 12, chief minister B S Yeddyurappa, assuming the office of the chief minister of the state, took an oath in front of the Vidhana Soudha. Invited by the Governor Rameshwar Thakur, the chief minister read out, "I Bookanakere Siddalingappa Yeddyurappa, do take the oath in the name of God and farmers of this state.......". Just a week after assuming the charge of the state, the Chief Minister has forgotten his god (farmers of the state) as his own position as Chief Minister is quivering with the uncertainties and political chaos looming over state politics. Owing to his busy negotiation with political stalwarts on Sunday, a day ahead of seeking the trust vote at the floor of the House, Yeddyurappa could not make it to the ongoing Krishi Mela-2007 to felicitate 37 farmers from across the state for achieving meritorious success.
The UAS (University of Agricultural Sciences), Bangalore, as part of the ongoing four-day Krishi Mela-2007, had organised a function to felicitate 37 progressive farmers, from 17 districts of the state, for achieving success by adopting the latest technology. The chief minister was scheduled to preside over the felicitation function. But the farmers were disappointed when the organisers announced that the CM would not attend the programme. In his absence, M V Rajashekharan, Union Minister of State for Planning, felicitated the farmers. The programme scheduled to be held at 2:30 pm was jampacked with media, farmers and VIPs. Soon after the announcement of CM's absence, many farmers left the place and went around the campus visiting stalls.
Welcoming the gathering, P G Chengappa, vice-chancellor of the agricultural university, regretted "The honourable chief minister was supposed to preside over the function but he could not make it to the function because of busy schedule. However, the chief minister has conveyed his greetings for the function." The absence of Chief Minister, more than anybody, dented the feelings of farmers from Shimoga District. Smt Meenakshamma from Dasara Kallahalli in Bhadravathi taluk said, "I feel bad that Yeddyurappa did not come to felicitate us. I had great expectations as I was told that I would be honoured by the CM. The programme is organised in Bangalore and he could have attended the function. He has been supportive of the farmers' cause but his decision not to attend the state-level function of farmers is not good." Another farmer S Bangari Bhatta, from Hutthalli in Thirthahalli taluk said, "I am aware of his position and he has been fighting hard to save his position. Whatever the programmes he has announced, through District Credit Cooperative banks, have not reached farmers in our area. At least, we wish him success in his endeavours."
The whole episode reminds me of the famous words of Abraham Lincoln, "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power... "!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

'Suvarna Karnataka' ends on a wimpy note!

Suvarna Karnataka celebrations were started with a bang last year. But the celebrations are ending on a wimpy note this year! It's been a year since the declaration of 'Suvarna Karnataka' programmes which aspired to showcase the history and legacy of the state at national and international level as part of the states 50 years of unification. But with the power politics assuming the centre stage, the issue of land and its legacy seem to have been pushed to backseat as many works which were planned as part of Suvarna Karnataka are yet to see the day light even when the state gears up for 51 anniversary of its linguistic unification.
On November 1, 2006, the then Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, flagging off the glorious celebrations of the state at Chinnaswamy Stadium, announced that the government would conduct kannada programmes across karnataka as part of 50th anniversary and various schemes will be launched to make the celebration more meaningful. The philanthropic assurance by the CM then, were applauded at its best. Nevertheless, as we look back on the threshold of 51 anniversary, it is ironic that the state is not been given its due and in fact the bygone year was more chaotic than any other years in the history of the state.
As part of the Suvarna Karnataka celebrations, more than 20 cultural and literary programmes were announced and more than Rs 50 crores of grant was set aside in the state budget for implementing these projects throughout the year. However, many of the projects, excluding a countable number, have not even crossed their first stage and still limping on the completion track. The half-done projects across the state would clearly befit and testimonial to the sorry state of affairs happening in the state.
The department of Kannada and Culture envisaged to bring out a documentary on various luminaries who played a pivotal role in the unification of the state. A sum of Rs 29.86 lakhs was also allotted for the purpose. But nobody knows whether they have really come out or not! A commemorative postal stamp was also planned as part of the celebration. A work shop under the guidance of noted artist S G Vasudev was also conducted and images of Dr Rajkumar, Piteelu Chowdaiah, Vidhana Soudha were approved and sent to the union ministry for consideration. Owing to the reluctance of our MPs and state ministers the plan is still at the draft stage.
A sum of Rs 30 lakhs was released to produce documentaries and short films showcasing the culture and heritage of the state. But so far no films have come out on the cultural history of the state. Another Rs 50 lakhs were released for conducting programmes in neighbouring states. As of now not many such programmes have been reported. Rs 87.50 lakhs were marked for conducting programmes at taluk and district centres.

Nothing special on this years' Rajyotsava!
Unlike last years' splendid celebration, this year there are hardly any preparations for celebrating 51 anniversary of the state unification. This year celebration will have only two official programmes. The department of education has arranged for the Rajyotsava celebrations at 9 am in Kanteerava Stadium. Except for cultural programmes by school children, there is no clue about other programmes. Another programme has been organised by the department of Kannada and Culture at 6:30 pm to honour the Rajyotsava awardees.

When will these programmes take off?

Thee 'Suvarna Samputa' Editions on various facets of development of the state from 1956 to 2006.
'Suvarna Karnataka' Editions- chronicling the development of the state in all front.
'Bruhat Karnataka' editions depicting the evolution of state from ancient times to till 1799.
Department of Rural Development, Education Department too planned many programmes.
Audio-Visual documentaries depicting the cultural legacy and development at the cost of Rs 10 lakh.
Telefilms on the achievements of the state in the last 50 years to be telecasted through electronic media.
Popularising Suvarna Karnataka theme through Meghdoot postal cards at the cost of Rs 2 lakhs.
Setting up of Sri Ranga Information and Research Centre for theatre activities at Rangayana, Mysore.
Official notification on singing and time duration of the State Anthem
Documentation of the art work of veteran artists at the cost of 6.60 lakhs.
Construction of Suvarna Kannada Bhavan in five major border areas at the cost of 37.20 lakhs.
Opening of Kannada book stalls at all district headquarters