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Homekarnataka'Changing the name of Basavanagudi is like changing our identity'

'Changing the name of Basavanagudi is like changing our identity'

About 40 residents of Basavanagudi marched from Nettakallappa Circle to the Bull Temple on Saturday evening to oppose the renaming of the iconic neighbourhood.

In September, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) gave a new name to 14 wards. Basavanagudi is now Dodda Ganapathi.

BBMP chief commissioner Tushar Giri Nath had earlier told DH that the decision was taken by the ward delimitation committee after seeking “public opinion”.

However, residents say they received no prior notification. They learned it accidentally –aresident found the name ‘Basavanagudi’ missing from the ward gazetteone day.

Later, through a signature campaign, she learnt that other residents were clueless as well.

Basavanagudi’s bull

The march was marked by sloganeering, drum beats, and a decorated bull. The bull is closely tied to the history of Basavanagudi. Basavanagudi means ‘Basava’s temple’. Basava is the bull associated with the god Shiva.Halfway through the protest walk, local police objected to slogan shouting. Cops kept the rush-hour traffic moving.

The protest was called byBasavanagudi ward residents’ group, which has about 350 members. “Changing theBasavanagudiis like changing our identity. We are planning to go tothe court,” saysSatyalaxmi Rao,president.

Mamatha Gopinath, who joined the protest with her sons and husband, echoed the same sentiment.

“I am a Basavanagudi resident and I am also married to one. I want my children and grandchildren to grow up with that association too,” explainedMamatha,who works with a tech solutions firm.

Businessman Maanyanath R C, 28, felt the decision was politically motivated to woo certain sections of the “vote bank”.

Impact on passport, Aadhaar

For Satyalaxmi, it is a sign of government apathy.

“Authorities will change the name and move on. It’s the citizens who will suffer. Address mismatch will become a problem on the passport and Aadhaar card,” she rued.

Residents slam MLA

Angry scenes broke out when BasavanagudiMLAL A Ravi Subramanya showed up at the march about 20 minutes after it began.

Visibly shocked, Satyalaxmiwas heard shouting ‘We did not invite him. He is the one who signed (the document for name change).”

Sanjay Patil, a member of the ward association, sharedSatyalaxmi’s disaffection.

He said, “This is a protest by the residents, for the residents. He showed up uninvited. How can the name change without his approval? Now that residents are angry, he and his gang have come to support the citizens. He is putting up a show.”

‘Cheap politics’

Addressing the crowd at the end of the march,Subramanyasaid hedid not knowabout the name changeand blamed it on “cheap” politics. “Just like(ward)delimitation, no proper consultation was done for name change.This government isfunctioningliketheTughlaq’s rule,” he said.

He assured the residents he would raise their demand in the upcoming assembly session atBelagavi.

“Deputy CM D K Shivakumar, who is also the Bengaluru development minister,will have to answer.I request (parties) not to politicise this issue and unite to ensure the name is not changed,”he added.

(Published 28 October 2023, 20:47 IST)

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