Ballari: Artistes associated with the Kannada Sahitya Parishat protested before the deputy commissioner's office on Saturday against the government's decision not to hold the Hampi Utsav this year on account of the drought.
A protester, Belgal Veeranna, said the state government recently celebrated Mysuru Dasara in a big way despite the drought. Demanding that it hold a simple utsav, he hit out at elected representatives from the district for not persuading it.
Reacting to the demand, Deputy Commissioner Ram Prasath Manohar said he has conveyed it to district in-charge minister D.K. Shivakumar and it is now up to the government to take a call.
The BJP too has taken strong exception to the state government's decision to cancel the Hampi Utsav when it celebrated the controversial Tipu Jayanti last month despite stiff opposition from the party and other pro-Hindu groups.
Taking to Twitter, the party called the state government "pseudo secular," saying it had the money to celebrate Tipu Jayanti but not the golden era of Vijayanagar.
Mr Shivakumar had on Tuesday announced the government's decision to skip the Hampi Utsav this year as all taluks in the district were drought-hit. Hampi, which is home to the erstwhile Vijayanagar empire's ruins, has been hosting the three-day annual festival for a while now. Featuring cultural events like music and puppet shows, dance performances and several recreational activities, the utsav has gained in popularity over the years....