Narratives featuring events in the land during prehistoric times, with which grand-mothers of yesteryears used to regale children until a few decades ago, but out of fashion nowadays, had their awesome elements apart from causing amusement, if not bewilderment. One such event traces divinity Hanuman asking for the Sun and getting battered upon getting too close while trying to grasp what Maruthi thought was just a glittering object and in the end acquiring the distinct facial feature, as depicted in all the images created by artists. Maybe, by hindsight, if the faithful devotee of Lord Srirama had asked for the Moon, the narrative about the outcome would not have been a fascinating story for the grand-mothers. However, we are currently not starved for episodes of people asking for the moon as it were, given the just published disclosure by the State’s Chief Minister that he wanted to ensure Bengaluru become a Rama Rajya for a safe and peaceful society.
The reign of Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar during the greater part of the last century’s first half earned superlative praise from countless luminaries of that period both in the country and abroad, not to forget the illustrious administrators and technocrats that the king chose to shoulder the onerous task of governing the then Princely State of Mysore. With the king resting in the pages of history and committed functionaries in the government becoming a rarity in our times, the Moon is moving farther and farther as days pass.
The senior citizens, currently heading to be nonagenarians, will testify, with a heavy heart though, that Bengaluru (Bangalore of their younger days) had seen its halcyon days, considered as a garden city with salubrious climate. The metropolis, for some years past, had the distinction as Asia’s fastest growing city. In a dramatic change, the capital of Karnataka is cited as an example of what a city should not be, physically bruised by ghastly-looking flyovers and metro rail lines and elevated roadways all over, ending in a case of the solution to its problems, civic and societal, worse than the problems. In fact, the solution designed by the successive governments is the problem. The most humiliating verdict of a large number of literati is that Mysuru should not go the Bengaluru way, a wish that sounds far-fetched, given the platitudes marking the intentions of the powers that be in the district administration as well as the urban local body.
Unless the missing critical linkages between the citizens and the administration to create favourable conditions for achieving Rama Rajya are restored, the Chief Minister’s apparent vision shall remain an exercise in day-dreaming. The citizens cannot afford to neglect the message in the idiom As you sow, so you reap.