How Karnataka said goodbye to ‘KSP’, the State’s tallest farmers’ leader

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A young boy holds up the farmers’ colours at Siddapaji Tea Stall, in Kyathanahalli, which served free water melon and ‘panaka’ to mourners

Modern Indian politicians are (mostly) a transactional lot. ‘Give and take’ is a phrase that trips off their plastic tongue effortlessly.

They buy their seats. They buy votes. They buy ‘followers’. They buy ‘likes’. They buy their image. They buy publicity.

They sell their questions. They sell their votes. They sell their soul. They sell their conscience.

There is nothing organic, nothing natural, nothing emotional about anything, because everything is a “deal” between the buyer and the seller; everything has a price tag.

The mortal remains of K.S. Puttannaiah, the leader of the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS), and a sitting MLA from Melukote, who died three days ago, were placed in the earth of his home-village Kyathanahalli on the banks of the Cauvery on Thursday.

The snaking queues to bid him goodbye, the tonnes of food distributed free by villagers to mourners, the banners, the tributes, the iconography tell you plenty about the “connect” a true son of the soil, a true representative of the masses, has.

Without (mostly) paying a paisa.

More photographs here: churumuri on Facebook

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The family of “late” chairman Bore Gowda honours the village’s best known face, K.S. Puttanaiah, with a poster at the village square.

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The huge crowd that had assembled from nearby villages, and from different parts of Karnataka, for the funeral of K.S. Puttanaiah

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“All of us. You will die. I will die. But let us do at least one good deed, cutting across caste and community, before we go.”

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A farmer writes down the text of a banner hanging from a water tank, to be recited at a condolence meeting in his village later this week.

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Of the many posters and banners in Kyathanahalli, one of them recalls the stage role essayed by K.S. Puttannaiah in a play.

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Mourners line up by the thousand.

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“Chirag Internet and Computer Centre” in Kyathanahalli pays tribute to the departed KSP.

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The youth of Kyathanahalli see a lion in K.S. Puttanaiah, and say so.

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Every Thursday, in Kyathanahalli, KSP would have met constituents from 8 to 10 am. Not this Thursday, not any more.