BBMP leaders don't know it all?

MiD DAY's Karnataka quiz had the pournakarmikas answering all questions with pride, while the elected BBMP leaders were left gaping at their own ignorance about the state. However, in spite of not knowing the intricate details, they would be seen hoisting the Karnataka flag at different venues in the city today
The state celebrates its 56th Rajyotsava today and MiD DAY conducted a reality check at the BBMP office on the eve of the foundation day to quiz the policy makers on behalf of the city, only to discover a comedy of errors.

While the BBMP leaders were unable to answer the basic questions about the state, which they learned in school, the pourakarmikas (sweepers) answered with ease.

According to Mayor R Sharadamma, who is driven around town in a car permanently flying the Karnataka flag, the colours of the flag are green with a red strap. Her subordinate, Deputy Mayor S Harish, when questioned about how old the state was, scratched his head, sipped his coffee and smiled sheepishly while admitting that he was ignorant about the facts.

Faring no better, the opposition leader in the council not only agreed to not knowing the number of alphabets in the Kannada language, but also forgot the number of Gyanpeeth awardees from the state, which is information every proud Kannadiga is equipped with.

Lost for words?
Quite interestingly, though Sharadamma has often been dubbed a 'dumb leader' by various sections of the state, she was the only person in the entire BBMP office able to sing the state anthem flawlessly.

Harish on the other hand was  tongue-tied and kept repeating two words, Jaya Hai, while opposition leader Udayshankar on his part screamed Jaya Karnataka over 20 times at the top of his voice.

Udayshankar (left to right), leader of opposition in the BBMP Council, Mayor Shardamma and Deputy Mayor Harish failed to answer questions posed to them

Meanwhile, when this reporter questioned junior level officers from the BBMP, they did not even know that Karnataka had a state anthem and even offered a logical explanation for their ignorance.

"I do not know if Karnataka has a state anthem. Anyway, the purpose of a state anthem is to praise the state and so we should just sing Jaya Karnataka and not go into formal anthems," said a junior level palike officer.

The Pourakarmikas however, who are often looked down upon by many, knew the state anthem by heart and even narrated it with ease.

This reporter posed a spot-quiz and snippets of the BBMP leader's knowledge of the state, they help to run, speaks for itself:

MiD DAY (MD): Which year of the Karnataka Rajyotsava is being celebrated?
Shardamma: This is the 56th year.
Harish: (After thinking awhile) I don't know.
Udayshankar: I think it is the 56th year (Karnataka is celebrating the 56th year of its inception)
MD: What is the color of the Karnataka Flag?
Shardamma: Green on top and a red strap below (Gets it wrong despite state flag hanging inside her office and within clear view)
Harish: Yellow and Red
Udayshankar: Yellow and Red. (The Karnataka flag has yellow on top with a red strap below)
MD: How many alphabets are there in the Kannada language?
Shardamma: 52 alphabets (even writes them down for us)
Harish: 26 alphabets (starts reciting the aksharamale)
Udayshankar: 26 alphabets (brings out his phone and tries to type the alphabets)
(There are 52 alphabets in the Kannada language)
MD: How many Gyanpeeth awardees does state have?
Shardamma: 8
Harish: (asks assistant, then answers confidently) 6
Udayshankar: (pretends to count their names on his fingers) 6. (There are 8 Gyanpeeth awardees from Karnataka)
MD: Can you recite the Karnataka state anthem?
Shardamma: Jaya Bharata Jananiya Tanujate (sings according to tune)
Harish: Jaya Hai, Jaya Hai, Jaya Karnataka � (hums something quietly, and fades out)
Udayshankar: Jaya Bharata, Karnataka Karnataka (continues repeating till reporter corrects him). (The Karnataka state anthem is Jaya Bharata Jananiya Tanujate, written by Kuvempu).

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