MYSURU: In Karnataka, politics is all about song and dance, literally. Move over Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s dodda hejje (big step) dance, a folk form popular in his native village Siddaramanahundi, Home Minister G Parameshwara’s show of his vocal skills in Mysuru prison last week has been the talk of the town. Parameshwara took prisoners and jail officials by surprise when he broke into a song.
Inspired by the performance of a band—the Mysuru prison houses a cultural team that performs plays and presents musical nites—Parameshwara sang a film number in praise of Kannada. The instrumentalists tuned up and accompanied him. Karunada taayi sada chimayi (Our mother is ever smiling), composed by Hamsalekha for the film Naanu Nanna Hendathi, praises the beauty of the Kannada landscape, comparing it with a magnificent temple.By singing the lyrics from his memory, Parameshwara joined the ranks of other culturally inclined politicians.
Former minister H Vishwanath often sings at his public events. His favourite is film number, Binkada singaari (Hey, you charming coquette). Former minister Motamma, who found her feet in politics by participating in the Dalit movement, sings protest and folk songs. S Bangarappa, as CM, sometimes joined folk dancers beating the drum. He was also a Hindustani classical music buff. Two other CMs Veerappa Moily and Sadananda Gowda are known for their interest in Yakshagana.