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K’taka gears up for Mysuru Dasara, elephants accorded grand welcome

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Mysuru, Sep 17: Karnataka began its preparations for the celebration of Mysuru Dasara, regarded as ‘Nada Habba’ (state festival), with eight elephants, which will figure in the festivities, accorded a ‘Poornakumbha’ (traditional welcome) into the Mysuru Palace on Thursday.

The team of elephants will be led by 55-year-old Abhimanyu, who will be carrying the 750 kg golden howdah in which a statue of goddess Chamundeshwari will be placed on Vijaydashmi day.

The bedecked elephants, also including Ashwathama, Dhananjaya, Vikrama, Kaveri, Chaitra, Lakshmi, and Gopalaswamy, made a grand entry through Jayamarthanda Gate to music from saxophonists, the mounted police, and the police band, while district-in-charge minister S.T. Somashekar and other dignitaries showered flowers on them.

Abhimanyu, flanked by Chaitra and Kaveri, was in the first line, Gopalaswamy, Dhananjaya, and Lakshmi came next, followed by Ashwathama. Vikrama came last.

However, Ashwathama, groomed to be the future howdah-elephant, panicked during the guard of honour, and broke the line, causing a commotion, and the policemen and others ran away. However, the mahout and kavadi managed to rein it.

The mahouts and kavadis were given welcome kits as a token of happiness and they will stay in the Mysuru Palace premises in makeshift tents.

Authorities have announced the simple itinerary of Dasara festivities amid the Covid crisis. It has been decided to illuminate the 100 kilometre length of Mysuru streets, spanning 150 roads and 77 junctions and roundabouts.

The Mysuru Palace will be illuminated from 7 p.m. to 9.30 pm on all days between October 7 and October 15, and it has also been decided to hold cultural activities in the evenings for six days.

The festivities began with the launch of ‘Gajapayana’ (the journey of elephants selected for Dasara from forest camps to Mysuru Palace) on September 13 at Veeranahosalli in Mysuru district.

The Dasara festivities will be inaugurated after performing puja of the presiding deity Chamundeshwari atop Chamundi hill on October 7, and then it will brought in a procession from Chamundi hill to Mysuru Palace to enable people to have ‘darshan’.

The famous ‘Jumbo Savari’ will be held on October 15 with Abhimanyu carrying the golden howdah and he will be accompanied by seven other elephants.

The 10-day Mysuru Dasara, which spans the nine days of Navaratri and then Vijayadashmi, observed on the tenth day in the Hindu calendar month of Ashvin, which typically falls in September/October.

Celebrating the victory of good over evil, the Vijayadashmi is the day when Goddess Chamundeshwari (Durga) killed the demon Mahishasura, after whom Mysuru is named.

The Mysuru tradition celebrates the warriors and the state fighting for the good during this festival, ritually worshipping and displaying the state sword, weapons, elephants, horses along with the goddess in her warrior form. The ceremonies and a major procession is traditionally presided by the Maharaja of Mysuru.

The city of Mysuru has a long tradition of celebrating the Dasara festival with grandeur and pomp to mark the festival, and it marked its 409th anniversary in 2019.

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Maharashtra government tells HC, Param Bir Singh non-traceable

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Call me “Dada”, not “Sir”, Tripura CM Biplab Kumar Deb to employees

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Agartala: In what appears to be a step to boost the morale of the government employees, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Sunday asked the government employees to call him “Dada” instead of “Sir”. “Call me Dada, not sir. It enhances the warmth of the relationship”, Deb told a gathering of government employees.

Deb exhorted the government employees of the state especially ASHA and Anganwadi workers of the state asking them not to dishearten as the state government was eager to improve their pay structure.

“I salute the ASHA and Anganwadi workers of my state. The level of dedication that my sisters have shown during the pandemic period deserved applause. I know, they want to hear good news from me and I am assuring you all that this government will not disappoint anyone”, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb told a gathering of government employees at Badharghat sports school field organized by Vivekananda Vicha Manch (VVM).

VVM has emerged as a big platform of government employees, of late, and Sunday’s public rally was its first big gathering to thank the Chief Minister for the series of steps his government took for the welfare of the employees.

“I know what challenges you people are facing. Nothing is hidden in front of me. I am assuring you all everything will be taken care of in the due course of time”, he added.  Lauding the efforts of government employees Deb said, without them no government office can function.

“Due to the efforts of government employees, people can access the benefits of the state sponsored welfare schemes. But, for a prolonged period the employees did not get their right to do something freely. They were trapped in the clutches of unions. In the previous regime, Left sponsored unions used to enjoy supreme power which had reduced the whole work culture of the state to tatters. In 2018, you people showed courage and voted BJP to power”, said Deb.

“Despite fund constraints, the state government is positively working on the issues of DA and other factors pertaining to the interest of the government employees. Our government has already addressed a number of issues related to financial benefits. The ad-hoc promotion, increment for Group D, Group C employees, regularization of SSA teachers, seventh pay scale, UGC scale for professors, special benefit for LTC are to name a few. All these indicate what we want to do and we shall do what we promise”, the Chief Minister said.

The Chief Minister also asked the officials not to call him “sir” suggesting them to refer to him as “Dada” as it makes the relationship stronger and cherished. The Chief Minister also distributed clothes among children of Badharghat sports school during the programme. State BJP President Manik Saha, Minister Ram Prasad Paul, Minister Sushanta Chowdhury, MLA Mimi Majumder, state BJP Vice President and president of Vivekananda Vichar Manch Rajib Bhattacharjee also spoke on the occasion.

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