Organisers urge government to name Mangalore airport after the warrior

A two-day Veerarani Abbakka Utsava began at Mudipu on the outskirts of the city on Monday on a colourful note, with its organising committee placing before the government various demands including naming Mangalore International Airport after Abbakka.

Artistes of Nritya Lahari Natyalaya of Mudipu presented Rani Abbakka ‘geetha nritya’ (skit) on the occasion. There was light music by Puttur Narasimha Nayak and party and Yakshagana ‘Jambavathi Kalyana’ by women artistes of Gopalakrishna Mahila Yakshagana Sangha.

Earlier, a procession was taken out in the town. It comprised various teams such as keelu kudure, karaga kunita, dollu kunita, dudi kunita, huli vesha, daff, chennu kunita, halakki kunita and the like.

Pioneer

According to Peter Wilson Prabhakar, Head, Department of History, Vivekananda College, Puttur, Rani Abbakka fought against the Portuguese rule in the then Tulunadu since 1580s for nearly three decades. She was the pioneer of freedom struggle in Dakshina Kannada.

Speaking at the inaugural session, chairman of the reception committee of the festival and former MLA K. Jayarama Shetty said that the government should set up Abbakka Study Chair at Mangalore University to document the freedom struggle of the warrior. In addition, he said Abbakka should be a subject of study in school syllabi.

The government should name any one the trains from Mangalore to Delhi after her.

Working president of the committee Dinakar Ullal said that the last BJP government headed by B.S. Yeddyurappa had promised to release Rs. 5 crore for building Rani Abbakka Bhawan in Ullal. Of that, it had sanctioned Rs. 2 crore and released it. But the committee would not venture into its construction unless the government sanctioned the balance Rs. 3 crore.

Minister for Kannada and Culture and Women and Child Welfare Umashree, who inaugurated the festival, did not respond to the demands made by the committee.

She said that Abbakka was the one who allowed cordial living of people in Tulunadu, which had people speaking Konkani, Tulu, Beary and Kannada languages. People should continue to live in harmony in the district.

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