A mixed feeling of jubilation and disappointment marked the inauguration of the Kittur Utsav-2013, organised to celebrate the historical revolt of Rani Chennamma, the queen of the erstwhile princely state of Kittur in north Karnataka against the British Empire in 1824.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah was absent at the inauguration, allegedly owing to a superstitious belief that a Chief Minister would lose his post on visiting Kittur.
The celebrations commenced with the ceremonial welcome to the ‘Rani Chennamma Vijay Jyoti’ at Rani Chennamma circle in the presence of Excise Minister and district in-charge Satish L. Jarkiholi; D.B. Inamdar, MLA (Kittur); Ramesh V. Katti, MP (Chikkodi); Mahantesh Koujalgi, MLC; Deputy Commissioner N. Jayaram, Superintendent of Police Dr. Chandragupta and officials of the Kannada and Culture department.
This was followed by a cultural procession ‘Janapada Kalavahini’ depicting different facets of traditional art forms native to the district and north Karnataka region. Later in the evening, Housing Minister M.H. Ambareesh, who inaugurated the cultural festivities, paid rich tributes to Rani Channamma and called upon people to draw inspiration from her life.
Mr. Jarkiholi, who inaugurated an exhibition showcasing consumer products, home-made food products, and agricultural equipment, said the Kittur Utsav was organised to convey the untold history of Kittur and Rani Channamma to people.
Kannada and Culture Minister Umashree said such events were an occasion to pay respects to legends like Rani Channamma. Earlier, the descendants of Rani Channamma, Vishawanath Mallappa Desai and Surekha Rudregouda Desai, were felicitated.