Local media has been, for the last some days, polling readers on their preferences in respect the person they think should inaugurate Dasara celebrations next month. The Dasara high power committee (has anyone heard of low or medium powered committee ?) is pondering four candidates - Girish Karnad, Prof. Chenneveera Kavavi, Prof. U R Rao, and Rahul Dravid.
Star of Mysore’s invitation to readers to express their choice would presumably help us understand the Mysorean mind on the matter. To my mind, the issue that has been raised is spurious. Does anyone care who inaugurates Dasara? Would it make any difference to the celebrations? What if a critical mass of Mysore residents were to say, ‘none of the above’? Would the high powered committee consider such a verdict?
I suspect Mysoreans have no say in the matter. Nor do they have a mind of their own, to come up with their own name. I mean someone local, rooted in our soil; someone who would cherish the town's recognition, and brag about it to his or her folks. Someone who has made Mysore proud with her work at the grass-roots. Someone such as Putteeramma of Vidyaranyapuram, Dr. B Nirmala of the Maharani’s who has secured over 2,000 eye-donation pledges from college students, or Mr K Gangadhara Rao, 80, who has carried on a one-man mission to educate people on the importance of donation of body parts for transplant and medical research.