Athithi Devobhava, but no English in Dasara ads?

SUJATA RAJPAL writes: The Dasara in Mysore is projected to attract and bring tourists from not only the length and breadth of India but also nationals from various countries.

Foreigners throng Mysore during the festival of nine nights to see the lights, the song and music concerts, the film and theatre festivals, the sports and adventure shows, the torch light parade and a myriad other attractions.

Admittedly, art and culture have no language.

Yet, a cursory look at these hoardings, hundreds of which are all over Mysore and in advertisements in the newspapers, show the disconnect between Mysore Dasara’s ambitions and the reality.

The simple point is this: most of the ads, signages and hoardings are in Kannada. Fair enough, because a vast number of tourists who come to Mysore during Dasara are Kannadigas, from near and far, and it would be tragic if Kannada didn’t get primacy in the proceedings.

Still, would it have served Mysore Dasara better by throwing in a few words of a language that most non-Kannadigas and many foreigners understand, ie English? After all, if English could be used in the traffic signs to guide the visitors, surely we could have done likewise with the cultural menu?

Would it not have helped them feel wanted and comfortable? Would it not have helped them appreciate the rich culture of Karnataka better? And would it not have helped ensure that nothing was lost in translation?