“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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.