Does the ‘S’ in JDS stand for superstition? H.D.Kumaraswamy visits an astonishing 19 temples, mutts, godmen in 3 days

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H.D.Kumaraswamy, with his father H.D.Deve Gowda and wife Anitha, receives blessings from Bharati Teertha Swamiji in Shringeri. Deve Gowda had conducted an 11-day yagna here in January, placed all the “B” forms before the swamiji for blessings, and followed it up with a yagna after the results.

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“God’s Own Party” BJP keeps describing the JDS-Congress coalition in Karnataka as an “unholy alliance”, but H.D. Kumaraswamy has gone out of his way to seek the stamp of divinity on his fledgling government.

In just his first three days in office, the new Karnataka chief minister has visited an astonishing 19 places of worship in three states.

Kumaraswamy has bowed before at least seven mutt heads, visited at least 11 temples, and one dargah since he was plonked in office after B.S. Yeddyurappa lost of the trust vote.

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All in a day’s work: A photo montage in ‘Andolana’ on the day before his swearing-in. With the Suttur swamiji and at the Chamundi temple in Mysore, and at a dargah and temple in his constituency, Ramanagara.

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Those close to Kumaraswamy claim that he is a border-line atheist, completely unlike his father H.D. Deve Gowda and his elder brother H.D. Revanna who do not step out of their houses or conduct any business without astrological consultations. 

Deve Gowda had conducted an 11-day Ati Rudra Maha Yagna at the Sri Sharada Peetham in Shringeri, in January this year, when the election loomed.

Once the election schedule was issued, Gowda took all the “B” forms of his candidates to be blessed by Bharathi Teertha Swamiji.

And once the results were declared, Gowda conducted a Nava Chandika Yagna.

Revanna, on the other hand, caused palpitations by turning up late for Yeddyurappa‘s trust vote last Saturday. It turned out he had taken the Speaker’s prior permission to enter the House at a propititous time.

Without his slippers.

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Notwithstanding that, and not to be left behind, Kumaraswamy has left no milestone unturned to seek the blessings of various temples, mutts and swamijis before firmly sitting on the CM’s gaddi.

He has publicly met the following seven pontiffs:

Dr Shivakumar Swamiji of Siddaganga Mutt in Tumkur

Sri Deshikendra Swamiji of Suttur Mutt in Mysore

Sri Nirmalanandanath Swamiji of Adichunchunagiri Mutt in Bangalore

Sri Bharathi Theertha Swamiji of Shringeri Mutt

Dr Veerendra Heggade of Dharmasthala Manjunatha Trust, Dharmasthala

Sri Vachanananda Swamiji of Veerashavia Panchamasaali Peeth

Sri Nanjavadhoota Swamiji of Gurugunda Brahmeshwara Mutt, Sira

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And Kumaraswamy has been spotted at the following 11 temples:

Balaji temple at Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh

Sri Ranganatha temple in Srirangam, Tamil Nadu

Chamundeshwari Temple atop Chamundi Hills, Mysore

Sharadamba Temple, Shringeri

Sri Manjunatha Temple, Dharmasthala

Lakshmi Narasimhaswamy Temple, Holenarsipur

Anjaneya Temple, Hassan

Huliyammadevi Temple, Chennarayapatna

Ranganathaswamy Temple, Mavinakere

Eshwara temple, Haradanahalli 

Chamundeshwari Temple, Ramanagara

He has also visited a dargah in Ramanagara

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On top of all that, special poojas were conducted on the steps of the Vidhana Soudha in Bangalore before the swearing in on May 2.

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And no doubt poojas will be held before he firmly sits in the CM’s chair.

As it is, the super-superstitious Deve Gowda family has chosen a new residence for the second-time CM, fearing the omens.

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At the height of the Karnataka election campaign, the phrase “Temple Run” was much used, as Congress president Rahul Gandhi and BJP president Amit Shah competed with each other.

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For the record, the previous Siddaramaiah government passed legislation against superstition, and the former CM bravely went where no man did: cursed Chamarajanagar.

As the old saying goes, you lose nothing by praying.

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Also read: All in a day’s work for the next chief minister

Do our gods sanction our politicians’ silly games?