On the day that elections were announced in Karnataka, a Yakshagana troupe was enacting a drama just across the border, in neighbouring Kerala.
On Tuesday night, the troupe was in shock after officials issued a notice to an artiste who had mimicked Rahul Gandhi on stage and had also trotted out the slogan of the state government. Following this notice, the Yakshagana team had little choice but to suspend the artist.
A video clipping of the Yakshagana play had gone viral on social media where it shows a conversation between two lead characters - Dhoota and Malini in the play, Devi Mahatme.
The artist Poornesh Acharya who was enacting the role of Dhoota, the messenger and comic, had delivered the line 'Ivnarva Ivnarva.... Ivnamva Ivnamva....". He was mimicking Congress president Rahul Gandhi whose inability to pronounce the Kannada words properly during his Janashirwada Yatra in Uttar Kannada in February had become the butt of many jokes on social media.
Poornesh Acharya's comic jibe also had the line, 'Nudidanthe Nade " similar to the slogan which the state government has been using as a poll slogan.
Poornesh, is an artiste of Yakshagana Mela (team) of Kateel Durgaparameshwari Temple, a temple that comes under the administration of state government's endowment department. Officials used this to issue a notice bringing Poornesh under the broad purview of government employee that saw the troupe suspending him!
"The clipping of these two lines being uttered by Poornesh Acharya had gone viral in the social media. Considering it as violation of election code, a notice has been issued today," returning officer V Prasanna told Deccan Chronicle.
Temple authorities said that based on the notice, the artist has been temporarily suspended from the team....