Sunday, August 28, 2005

No one cares for these Kannada idols

No one cares for these Kannada idols
New Indian Express

BANGALORE: Sarvajna, the wise poet who gave Kannadigas three-line aphorisms, lies uncared for in a dusty corner of Kannada Bhavana. Some distance away lies another symbol of Kannada pride, Rani Abbakka, equally neglected.

November is the month for Kannada fervour, and the rest of the year, most people forget what treatment is being meted out to great Kannada heroes.

Visit Nayana, the office of Kannada and Culture Directorate on busy J C Road. Peep into the garage, and you will find two statues, reminding you of Egyptian mummies, staring back at you.

One is saint poet Sarvajna and the other is Queen Abbakka, who fought the Portuguese to uphold the pride of the Kannada land.

While the Sarvajna statue has been a prisoner in the shed for one decade, Abbakka has been awaiting freedom for five years.

The directorate has not even shown the courtesy of cleaning up the premises.

BACKGROUND: Fifteen years ago, when the Tamils wanted a statue of Thiruvalluval installed in the city, Kannada groups said the Chennai should reciprocate by installing a statue of Sarvajna there.

When the Bangalore City Corporation (BCC) first decided to install a statue of the Tamil saint-poet Tiruvallavar near Ulsoor lake. This evoked wide protests and the High Court stayed the move.

Later, Kannada activists decided to allow that installation if a Sarvajna statue was installed in Chennai.

Though a huge statue of Sarvajna was ready, the Tamil Nadu Government refused to install it in Chennai. Both statues remain where they were, awaiting installation.

Later, many pro-Kannada organisations began urging the Government to erect a statue of Rani Abbakka and the Government got a statue carved.

However, this statue also found its way to the garage.

Noted Kannada writer Chidananda Murthy blames Government apathy behind the statues being neglected. He said that the Government should take immediate measures to install Sarvajna statue near Gavi Gangadhareshwara temple and the Abbakka statue near Town Hall, he added.

Kannada and Culture Director Muddumohan said that the Directorate had sent a proposal to Bangalore City Corporation for a suitable place to install these statues.

Sarvajna statue would be installed at Anjaneya Gudda in Hanumantha Nagar and Rani Abbakka statue would be installed near KS&DL factory on Chord road, he added. This Sarvajna statue was to be installed in Chennai, but lies gathering dust. (Below) The statue of Maharani Abbakka also lies in the same car shed of Nayana in Bangalore.


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