In a mark of tokenism and cheap populism that only a serving politician can muster, Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy has reportedly said the State Government was planning to Dr Raj Kumar‘s birthday as Raj Jayanti from next year. According to a report in today’s Star of Mysore, on the occasion of the late thespian’s 79th birthday, he has been quoted as saying his “government will soon take a decision to grant a holiday” on April 24 every year.
Raj Kumar’s greatness—as a person, as an actor, as a singer—is beyond dispute. Raj Kumar’s emotional connect with the Kannadiga on the street if not with those in the drawing room is also beyond dispute. But is a holiday, which brings the world to a halt, what Raj Kumar would have wanted? Is a holiday the best way we can mark the memory of a man who exemplified hard work, through and through? Do we really another “government holiday”? And shouldn’t the State be doing something more concrete?