Mysuru: The Mahisha Dasara, previously celebrated in Mysuru, will now be hosted by the Ambedkar Yuva Sene in Udupi, commencing on October 15 with the onset of Navaratri.
The fervor and enthusiasm surrounding the upcoming Mahisha Dasara festival on October 13-15 are palpable as the Mahisha Dasara Celebration Committee, in collaboration with the University of Mysore Research Scholars Association, has commenced their preparations. However, the event has not been without its fair share of opposition from various quarters.
A vehicle procession will take place on October 15, starting at 10:30 a.m., beginning at the martyr's memorial in Ajjarkad and culminating at the Ambedkar Bhavan via Jodukatte, Kavi Muddana Marga, and Bannanje. The procession will feature a tableau depicting King Mahisha, and the event will also include a talk by writer Vittal Vaggan from Kalaburagi, who will address the topic "Who is Mahishasura."
In a bold move, the Mahisha Dasara Celebration Committee has begun distributing invitations for the grand occasion. Interestingly, the invitations refer to Chamundi Hills as Mahisha Hills, a detail that has already stirred curiosity and conversation among the locals,.
One of the highlights of the festivity will be a spirited bike rally to Chamundi Hills on the auspicious day of October 13. This rally serves as a symbolic gesture of devotion to the revered Mahisha statue, which holds great significance in the hearts of many. Additionally, the celebrations will feature a rich tapestry of cultural events and vibrant tablo processions, creating a colorful spectacle that will captivate all in attendance.
The honor of inaugurating the Mahisha Dasara festivities will be bestowed upon former minister and prominent social activist BT Lalitha Naik, according to the official invitation. It is anticipated that thousands of enthusiastic participants will converge at Town Hall Mysuru to partake in the joyous celebration.
Notably, the Mahisha Dasara celebration has faced opposition from some quarters, particularly members of the BJP and right-wing organizations. These opposing voices have expressed their disapproval of the event. In response, the organizers of Mahisha Dasara have firmly asserted their right to celebrate the festival without requiring anyone's permission.
Purushottam, the president of the Mahisha Dasara Celebration Committee, stated, "We don't need anybody's permission to celebrate Mahisha Dasara. All religious celebrations are allowed under the Constitution. We have communicated with the District Administration, City Police Commissioner, and Municipality out of consideration for security measures."
In a contrasting stance, Social Welfare Minister HC Mahadevappa has publicly declared that the government does not oppose the Mahisha Dasara Celebrations. This stance reflects a commitment to upholding the values of inclusivity and cultural diversity.
Furthermore, BJP MP Pratap Simha has called for the "Chamundi Chalo" program on October 13 as a counter-event to oppose the Mahisha Dasara celebrations. This move highlights the polarizing nature of the festival, which has sparked a spirited debate among various segments of society.
In the midst of this controversy, the stage is set for Mahisha Dasara 2023, where cultural heritage, devotion, and the spirit of celebration converge with the complexities of societal discourse.