We need Dasara & our DC needs a leg-up
Columns, In Black & White

We need Dasara & our DC needs a leg-up

September 21, 2019

Mysureans love Dasara, not just because it’s a celebration but also because it’s a time for rejuvenation. Come Dasara, our administration becomes ‘quick fix Murugan’ to spruce up our city. 

And they do this hurriedly and randomly. First, they start patching up roads, creating footpaths, clearing roadside vendors, etc. It seems every year our administration builds a “Dasara filmset.” Then on October 9, it will all stop. 

A few months later the make-up will wear off, just like bad quality cosmetics do. Soon potholes will make a come back, death holes in footpaths will reappear, street vendors will take over the footpaths again and 4 months after Dasara, Mysuru will go back to its non-filmy state.  

This makes us wonder what would be the state of Mysuru city if we didn’t have Dasara. Phew! It is for this reason that Mysureans must push to make Dasara a bigger and a grander festival while also making the city a destination for global events. 

When a city has big events, people descend from all parts of the world. This forces the administration to keep the city in good condition perennially. Not to forget it also generates clean revenue for the city unlike heavy industries. 

A Global Wellness Convention in Mysuru would be a good start.  After all, India is becoming the biggest wellness destination. The wellness tourism industry, which includes Yoga and Ayurveda, is now a $439 billion industry worldwide and India is at the forefront with a growth rate of 22%. 

And Mysuru being a world-renowned yoga centre with numerous Spas and Ayurveda Colleges is already at the cusp. All it needs is a little push in the form of a small convention, partly funded by the Government. This will do wonders for the city and its economy. 

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So, may be our leaders, Travel Associations and Hotel Associations must push Mysuru to realise its tourism and convention hosting potential. 

DC needs help

To do all this you need an effective local administration and enthusiastic Corporators. Unfortunately while we do often get enthusiastic Deputy Commissioners, the local leadership don’t support them. Add to this a Deputy Commissioner’s workload is ridiculous. 

Many may recall our former DC Shikha. A very efficient officer was burdened with heading 39 Committees!  Our present DC, Abhiram G. Sankar has 35 Departments to run and is the Special Officer for 17 Dasara Sub-Committees! How can a DC do justice to his or her district? 

A DC has way too many hats to wear. He has to be an able administrator, an accounts manager, a project inspector, an usher when VIPs visit and an “inaugurator” — after all, today every occasion calls for a chief guest from College fest to a Lit fest.  

Apart form this, he should also be a Psychologist so he can gently pacify angry Pourakarmikas to keep the city clean. Then he has to be a “special-masseuse” as he has to massage the ego of politicians. He also has to be a monk, as he needs to have patience in abundance to handle the audacity and demands of politicians’ chelas. 

As if all this wasn’t enough, the DC has to metamorphose into an event manager when Dasara comes! He has to coordinator between Food Committee and Hygiene Committee. He has to flag off elephants and approve decoration for the city! 

At this rate, one day if the Dasara elephants fall sick we shouldn’t be surprised if our DC is asked to carry the howdah!

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 After all this, if the event is a success the politicians will take all the credit; if it’s not, the DC is forced to accept responsibility and also a transfer.  

Not just the DC, even the other senior personnel are over-burdened with work and political pressures. This being the case, how can one expect an officer however competent to do justice to an event as grand as Dasara?

That is why the demand of the former Mayors of Mysuru for setting up of a Permanent Karnataka Dasara Authority on the lines of Karnataka Exhibition Authority should be considered. 

Of course, the ex-Mayors are surely thinking of ‘post-Mayor’ positions more than making Dasara manageable. But the idea is good and the Government can always have a mix of their cronies along with committed event managers. 

Also may be this Dasara Authority can outline the deliverables and outsource it to a management company. Grand festivals and sports events throughout the world are outsourced to event management companies. Why not Dasara? They can also make it more viable by coming up with a profit-sharing model instead of draining the State exchequer for Dasara. 

For now, Dasara is important to us Mysureans not just as a prized event that puts Mysuru on the global tourist map but also as an event that rejuvenates our city’s roads and uplifts our mood with lights and festivities. e-mail: [email protected]

2 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “We need Dasara & our DC needs a leg-up”

  1. swamy says:

    Dasara should not only be conducted by government. Mysore and surrounding businesses should share the burden. I would say impose a cess as Dasara tax, and hire more people and run it efficiently. Instead of government running, hand over this to event managers who will do it professionally for money. CM and ministers just come, do the rituals and go off to run the State. Who knows if this becomes successful, one day event managers can run various celebration like Bangalore day, Hampi Utsav, North Karnataka festival and so on, thereby still holding cultural values of regional Karnataka.

  2. strangeworld says:

    “Mysureans love Dasara, not just because it’s a celebration but also because it’s a time for rejuvenation”
    I should say: ” Mysureans used to love Dasara during the glorious days of Krishnaraja Wadiyar. Jayachamaraja Wadiyar had to grapple with the issues when India became Independent and the royalty was abolished. Nevertheless Mysureans loved him as the ruler even though he was the governor of the state for a period. The Dasara had its lustre during 1950s. During 1960s , the glory petered out, and with his passing away in 1974, and even before then when he was ailing for long periods, the Dasara event needed radical changes to reflect the new situation in terms of administration and arrangements, and the state government messed this up when the responsibility of Dasara event was passed on to the district authority without much thinking as the ruling politicians wanted to use this to flaunt their power. Why this event needs a CM on the day of Jambusvar, with his entourage? Even not living in the City and the country for a few decades, I hear the residents who can afford, and who are harassed by the huge crowd descending, the shortages, the attention divertion by the authorities and price hiking , the increase in crime etc.. , plan their holidays and move out of the City for 10 days. It is the poor who are hit by this event now, and who enjoyed it decades ago during Jayayachamaraja Wadiyar’s time. One could see, how, Dasara these days is becoming increasingly an event to be administered nearer the time, indicating that the event is fast losing its remnant importance-whatever it is. This is clear when one hears this year’s lack of preparedness, not by accident, but it appears by design. This is surely is not the time for ” rejuvenation” , whatever the author means using this word!!
    May be, it is time, to think hard and come up with a: ” lite Dasara”, which it has become actually and recognise it as such. That will lead to how this: ” lite version of Dasara” has to be planned, and administered. The glorious days of Dasara disappeared decades ago!!

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