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Celebrating community heroes, with an eye on votes

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BENGALURU: There has been a surge in celebration of jayantis (anniversaries) in Karnataka in the past five years in an apparent effort to woo people of a particular caste by celebrating remembering their heroes.

Chief minister Siddaramaiah joined this now with his recent decision to celebrate the birth anniversary of Tipu Sultan. His decision to ask the department of minorities to oversee the celebrations on Tuesday lent credence to the charge that he was doing this with an eye on minority votes.

“It’s no secret that political parties leave no stone unturned to appease members of particular castes — both by giving tickets to certain communities to contest elections and giving them prominence in ministries. Now, they’re going the extra yard to observe birth anniversaries of their heroes, not realizing they’re disrespecting them,” said political analyst Sandeep Shastri.

To gain political mileage, the previous BJP government led by BS Yeddyurappa declared holidays to mark Valmiki and Kanakadasa Jayantis and earmarked a special grant of Rs 50,000 for celebrating Basava Jayanti and Ambedkar Jayantis as the BJP’s bid to woo OBCs, Dalits and Lingayats.

Siddaramaiah is continuing this trend. After celebrating Sri Krishna Janmashtami for the first time in September to keep his promise to Yadava (Golla) community leaders, Siddaramaiah, a strong advocate of the backward classes, announced that the government will organise Vishwakarma Jayanti from next year. This community has a population of 35 lakh in the state.

Soon after becoming CM, Siddaramaiah also announced state festivals for Bhagiratha to respect the sentiments of Bestas (fishermen community) and Devara Dasimayya, the hero of the Nekaara (weavers) community.

Shastri said jayantis in fact devalue historical figures by identifying them with a particular caste and limiting them to a single day.

A senior JDS leader said, “What was the need to start such an event when there were concerns over highly vitiated atmosphere prevailing in the country following the Kalburgi and Dadri killings? It just shows they had an agenda.”

Expertspeak

It was brilliant political move on Siddaramaiah’s part to hold Tipu Sultan birth anniversary recently. He beat the BJP at their own game at a time when the right-wing party was getting bad publicity over rising intolerance in the aftermath of Kalburgi and Dadri killings. He used the occasion to show Sangh Parivar in bad light and swing voters in his favour.

Harish Ramaswamy | political analyst

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Source: TOI-BGLR

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Pedestrians falls into 10 feet

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BENGALURU: A goods auto driver and his friend rescued a 55 year old man who fell into a 10 feet hole that suddenly caved on the pavements near City Civil court, near Mysore bank circle on Thursday noon.

Nandakumar, resident of Chamrajpet and sales-manager with a sari shop in Avenure road was walking towards KR Circle when the incident happened at 1.30 pm.

“I was talking over phone and walking. Suddenly, the earth below my legs caved in and I fell down straightly,” Nandakumar said adding “I tried to hold the edge of the pavement but the mud just slipped” he said.

Goods auto driver Sabir and his friend Wajid, who were standing near court entrance and witnessed the incident, came running and pulled Nandakumar up.

“For some reason, I was looking in the same direction and I saw him caving in suddenly. Not understanding what I saw, we ran towards him. Luckily, he was standing straight and we both pulled his hand,” they said.

Later, BMRCL engineers visited the spot and covered the opening with metal placards.

Eom

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Eye injuries by crackers darken the festival of light

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BENGALURU: Hardly did Anand J (name changed) know his fun filled Diwali would turn into a mess this year. The 10-year-old was busy bursting crackers with his friends and family when a pataka hit his eyes and in the next few minutes, he howled in pain. The bright diyas and twinkling fairy lights vanished and everything seemed dark.

“When Anand was rushed to our hospital, he was found to have a retinal tear. The cracker blew with a speed that detached his retina from its underlying layer. He had to be immediately operated as it could have left him visionless if the retina remained detached for long,” said Dr Shilpa YD, the duty doctor at Minto Eye Hospital.

Although incessant rains in the city had left most of the crackers damp and kept children away from bursting them like previous years, Minto Eye Hospital in Chamarajpet has registered 20 patients aged 7 to 10 years with injuries to eyes by crackers. 27 total eye injury cases have been dealt with in five opthamology units in the city.

“Out of 20 patients, three had to be admitted. Anand had undergone an operation, while two others, 7-year-old Mohit and 8-year-old Bhuana sustained internal haemorrhage in their eyes, being injured while bursting crackers. They are undergoing treatment,” added Dr Shilpa.

Five patients with eye injury had come to Samprathi Eye hospital and Squint Centre, out of which a 53-year-old bystander has been critically injured and he might lose his vision.

Dr Arun Samprathi, opthamologist said, “The other three patients aging 4,7 and 11years have sustained minor injuries and corneal burns. A 35-year-old man was hit in his eye by crackers that his neighbours burnt. He have developed iritis with multiple inflammations and burns in his eyes. The worst affected was another 53-year-old bystander who was hit by a rocket blown by neighbouring children. the rocket broke his glasses and his cornea and lens have come out. Although he had undergone immediate surgery, he has very poor vision right now.”

Apart from Minto Hospital, other eye clinics across Bengaluru have treated kids with eye injuries due to crackers in the first two days of the festive week. Vijaya Nethralaya and Bangalore Nethralaya at Kalyan Nagar have treated one patient each, although they expect more patients to drop in by the end of the Diwali week. 3-year-old Hemanya and 11-year-old Arnav Ajay were released from the respective clinics after preliminary treatment.

“There are three aspects of injuries to eye by crackers. One is heat or fire. The other is the force with which it hits the eye. The last is the chemical nature of the cracker, which causes immense damage. Indeed any given injury is a mixture of all these three, in various proportions. Commonest causes are the bombs and patakis, which blast on lighting. Other common injuries are due to poor quality flower pots which blast, bhoo chakras and rockets. Some children cover a mud pot or a tin can or a Diya over a blasting cracker, and the broken pieces of the pot can be really sharp missiles,” said Dr MS Ravindra, opthamologist, chairman and medical director of Karthik Netralaya.

Bystanders at risk to injuries

“Apart from bunch of children and hot blooded youngsters playing around with crackers, unsupervised and competing among themselves, the bystanders are the worst affected as they are unaware of the injuries,” said Dr Ravindra.

He added: “Elders, pregnant women, those with Asthma, and those with heart problem and high blood pressures and even animals just hate the environmental pollution in terms of noise and smoke. The best way to celebrate Diwali to avoid injuries is to avoid crackers.”

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