President Murmu opens Dussehra festivities in K’taka; calls for thrust on women empowerment

Mysuru: President Draupadi Murmu inaugurated world-famous state-festival Dussehra in Mysuru on Monday by lighting the lamp and offering floral tributes to Goddess Chamundeshwari atop Chamundi Hills.

Congratulating the people of Karnataka on the occasion of Dussehra, President Murmu said: “Since time immemorial, festivals have been connecting people. The presence of diversity elevates the respect of India. The spiritual heritage of Karnataka includes the legacy of Buddhism, Jainism, Adi Shankaracharya established Sringeri Mutt, Kalaburagi is known as the centre of Sufi saints.”

The President also remembered 12th century social revolutionaries Basavanna, Allama Prabhu, Akka Mahadevi, who established ‘Anubhav Mantap’ to eradicate the caste system.

They have also given ‘vachanas’ 900 years ago which are still being revered. There were 35 women poets who contributed to vachanas, she stated.

Woman empowerment is relevant and it has been the women deities who killed demon kings. Rani Abbakka and Rani Chennamma fought against foreign forces. The valor of Onake Obavva (who killed soldiers of Hyder Ali who tried to invade Chitradurga fort in Karnataka) is remembered by people here. They are all fine examples of women empowerment. “There is a need to empower women more today,” she underlined.

President Murmu also stated that Karnataka has managed to attract 55 per cent of the FDI in software and hardware industry in the entire country. Bengaluru has become the top start up hub in the world. There is 100 per cent enrolment in primary education, she stated. She also mentioned about the rain fury and stated the government is dealing with the situation.

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai stated that Karnataka is the first state Murmu is visiting after taking over charge as the President.

The city has been decked up for grand-scale celebration of Dussehra, which remained as a low-key affair in the last two years because of Covid.

The state government has organised Industrial exhibition, film festival, floral exhibition, food mela, country Kusti competition. Mysuru palace is being decked up with lighting arrangements. The worshipping and Dussehra festivities will take place nine days from Monday.

Festival of Dussehra, Navratri and Vijayadashami celebrates good over evil. Hindu legend maintains that goddess Chamundeshwari (durga) killed the demon Mahishasura. It is also said that Mahishasura is the demon whose slaying by the Goddess gave the city name Mysuru.

Mysuru has a long tradition of celebrating the festival with grandeur and pomp following the fall of the Vijayanagara kingdom. The Wodeyars of Mysuru formed a kingdom in southern parts of the Vijayanagara Empire and continued the Dussehra festival. The tradition was started initially by Raja Wodeyar in mid Sept 1610 at Srirangapatna town.

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