Nikhil Kumaraswamy gets hitched
Nikhil Kumaraswamy gets hitched
Karnataka

A Temple Festival & A Wedding Flout Lockdown Rules In Karnataka

Former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy’s son ties the knot, while hundreds gather to pull a temple chariot near a containment area

Imran Qureshi

Imran Qureshi

After three weeks of lockdown, it appears there is a need to repeat the “don’ts” to the educated and the God fearing as well!

The spike in the number of positive cases that emerged in several states after the Nizamuddin Markaz of the Tablighi Jamaat is well known.

Yet, despite the meetings with officials and undertaking given, a temple trust in Karnataka’s Kalaburagi district simply violated all norms of social distancing and prohibitory orders and conducted chariot-pulling by calling people in the early hours of the morning.

Not to be outdone, the political class set its own standard with the family of former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy falling short of implementing two major conditions set by the government in the conduct of the wedding of Nikhil Kumaraswamy at their farm house just off the Bengaluru-Mysuru highway.

Look at the way it was done in Kalaburagi.

The Siddalingeswara temple trust agreed with the officials of the Chittapur taluk that they would abide by the prohibitory orders. The trustees even conducted the Pallavi Seve on Wednesday evening in the presence of only priests and members of the trust.

Once, their trust was won, some persons assembled at the temple early in the morning and pulled the chariot forward and then started calling up the other devotees to pull through the usual route in Revoor village.

By 6:30 am, hundreds of devotees responded, though the number did not exceed 1000, according to officials.

The influence of faith was so strong that the devotees did not bother about the fact that just two kilometres away, the district authorities had declared an area in Wadi as a ‘containment area’ because they have, so far, not been able to trace the source of a two-year-old girl testing positive to Coronavirus.

The containment area covers a population of 10,000 and the district administration is testing all the residents as part of the procedure, a senior official, who did not want to be named, told The Lede.

The point to be noted is that Kalaburagi is the first district in India to set into motion the concept of containment area because the first man to die of Coronavirus hailed from this very district.

The 76-year-old priest had returned from Saudi Arabia after a pilgrimage and fallen ill. He was taken from one private hospital to another in Kalaburagi city before shifting to Hyderabad where he was not welcomed by the private entities. He returned to Kalaburagi and died.

It was only three days after his death that the authorities were able to confirm the primary reason for the death being due to Coronavirus though he suffered from, at least, three co-morbidities like hypertension, diabetes etc. His doctor and his daughter have tested positive.

But all this was before the lockdown came into existence and the Tablighi Jamaat event had taken place. The Siddalingeswara temple incident has led to the suspension of the police inspector, the sectoral magistrate and the filing of an FIR against the temple trust secretary and 19 others.

The police have confirmed the arrest of five persons and the district officials are rushing personnel to set up fever clinics to begin testing of the population in Revoor village.

Fever clinics are those places where anyone with fever, cold and breathing problems have to immediately report. Initially, only those with symptoms of influenza or SARI (Severe Acute Respiratory Illness) were being tested.

But, Jawaid Akhtar, Additional Chief Secretary-Health, Karnataka, told an official briefing on Friday: “Even in the eight districts which are Corona-free, people having fever, cold and breathing problems will have to go to the fever clinics.”

The government is, however, yet to decide on whether to deploy the rapid antibody test kits in Chittapur. “We will take a call soon. We are getting 12,400 such kits from the Centre today,” said Akhtar.

The Kumaraswamy Wedding

From all the photographs and the videos released by the Kumaraswamy family of the wedding of Nikhil Kumaraswamy alias Nikhil Gowda, it appears the family followed six of the eight conditions that the state government had imposed.

In a smart move, the former chief minister wrote a letter to the deputy commissioner of Ramanagara that the mahurat of this son’s wedding had been fixed long ago and that he would be conducting the wedding at his farmhouse.

In short, Kumaraswamy dropped plans of inviting the voters of Channapatna and Ramanagara assembly constituencies, represented by his wife, Anita Kumaraswamy, and himself respectively.

And, the family of Congress leader and former minister M Krishnappa, whose grand-niece is now daughter-in-law of the Gowda family, ensured even lesser attendance than that of the groom’s family.

An official who spoke on condition of anonymity said: “Totally about 42 cars were allowed inside the farmhouse. That put the total number of guests at less than a hundred.”

In response to the letter of the former chief minister, the district administration said the wedding could take place subject to the certain conditions, necessitated by the COVID protocols.

So, what did Karnataka’s political family follow and not follow.

Norms Followed

  • Simple marriage.

  • Police and health officials will be present and whoever enters the marriage premises will be identified by the person who has sought permission for hosting the wedding (in this case, Kumaraswamy himself).

  • Compulsory thermal screening of all attendees who will all have to cooperate with the authorities.

  • All those invited will have to obtain prior permission to travel from the seniormost police official and no air conditioners to be permitted.

Norms Not Followed

  • All those participating in the marriage must wear a mask.

  • Ensure maintenance of social distancing.From the pictures made available by the family, it appears that social distancing was maintained so far as the guests were concerned but not the close family members of the bride and the bridegroom, at least, during the auspicious time of the mahurat. The guests observed the mahurat by being seated on chairs which were kept at a distance of one metre and more.From the pictures made available by the family, it appears that social distancing was maintained so far as the guests were concerned but not the close family members of the bride and the bridegroom, at least, during the auspicious time of the mahurat. The guests observed the mahurat by being seated on chairs which were kept at a distance of one metre and more.From the pictures made available by the family, it appears that social distancing was maintained so far as the guests were concerned but not the close family members of the bride and the bridegroom, at least, during the auspicious time of the mahurat. The guests observed the mahurat by being seated on chairs which were kept at a distance of one metre and more.From the pictures made available by the family, it appears that social distancing was maintained so far as the guests were concerned but not the close family members of the bride and the bridegroom, at least, during the auspicious time of the mahurat. The guests observed the mahurat by being seated on chairs which were kept at a distance of one metre and more.From the pictures made available by the family, it appears that social distancing was maintained so far as the guests were concerned but not the close family members of the bride and the bridegroom, at least, during the auspicious time of the mahurat. The guests observed the mahurat by being seated on chairs which were kept at a distance of one metre and more.

Guests at Nikhil Kumaraswamy's wedding maintain social distancing
Guests at Nikhil Kumaraswamy's wedding maintain social distancing
At least 1 metre distance between chairs at the venue.
At least 1 metre distance between chairs at the venue.

From the pictures made available by the family, it appears that social distancing was maintained so far as the guests were concerned but not the close family members of the bride and the bridegroom, at least, during the auspicious time of the mahurat.

The guests observed the mahurat by being seated on chairs which were kept at a distance of one metre and more.

HD Deve Gowda blessing the young couple
HD Deve Gowda blessing the young couple

The pictures clearly show that during the rituals, the concept of social distancing was ignored.

The surprising bit was of the family patriarch and former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda, a stickler for rules of this kind, not wearing the mask when he and his wife blessed the young couple.

It is well known in Karnataka that just like the devotees of Siddalingeswara temple in Chittapur, the Deve Gowda family is also God fearing.

The Lede
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