Rajyotsava Day – Karnataka formation day
Karnataka Rajyotsava ( Rajya Utsav ) or Kannada Day also known as Karnataka formation day is celebrated on 1st November when the Kannada language-speaking regions of South India were merged to form a new state of Karnataka.
To commemorate this special day of formation of this state, we celebrate the legacy of its rich culture and heritage with much pride and respect. This day is also celebrated with fanfare by Kannadigas residing all over the world.
History of Rajyotsava Day
After independence, there were more than 500 provinces in India ruled by rebellious kings and nawabs. Sardar Patel persuaded them to form a state according to their native language. In that way, Kannada-speaking people residing in areas called Kannada Nadu or Mysore State which were only 9 or 10 districts then came to be formed. The Mysore State comprising of Hyderabad Kannada, Madras Kannada, and Maharashtra Kannada merged into the old Mysore Kannada and formed a new state called Mysore State as proclaimed by the Centre.
The newly unified state initially retained the name “Mysore”, which was that of the erstwhile princely state which formed the core of the new entity. But the people of North Karnataka did not favor the retention of the name Mysore, as it was closely associated with the erstwhile principality and the southern areas of the new state.
Later other areas were also added. Now 30 districts are there. The State Reorganization Act renamed Mysore state as Karnataka on November 1, 1973. From the day onwards every November 1st Rajyotsava is celebrated to remember the formation of the state.
Devaraj Arasu was the Chief Minister of the state when this landmark decision was taken. Other people credited for the unification of Karnataka include littérateurs like K. Shivaram Karanth, Kuvempu, Masti Venkatesha Iyengar, A. N. Krishna Rao, and B. M. Srikantaiah.
It is the day when Kannadigas finally came together under one roof after a gap of about 391 years. On this day we remember the great rulers and leaders who are a part of the history of this great state. It is a day that every Kannadiga must remember and celebrate.
Suggested Read: Karnataka – Culture and Tradition
How the day is celebrated
The day is celebrated in every school and college in Karnataka and is listed as a government holiday in the state. In Bangalore, the capital of the state, the celebration extends for the whole month. Kannada flag (yellow-red) is hoisted and cultural programs are conducted. The yellow color of the flag represents turmeric and the red color represents vermilion which signifies auspiciousness and well-being.
The Kannada anthem (“Jaya Bharatha Jananiya Tanujate”) is chanted. It is marked by the announcement and presentation of the honors list for the Rajyotsava Awards by the Government of Karnataka. Rajyotsava Awards are awarded in the field of literature, sculpture, painting, folk art, theatre, music, sports, yoga, films, television, Yakshagana, Bayalata, education, journalism, social service, agriculture, environment, medicine, and judiciary. Since 1999, Bangalore holds India’s most popular and envied IT show called BangaloreIT.com.
The celebration depicts various cultural programs to showcase the heritage of Karnataka. Dollu Kunita, which is a tribal dance in Karnataka is performed. Dollu Kunita is performed by a professional group that held the audience spellbound while the campus reverberated with their drum beats. Religion not being a factor, the Rajyotsava is celebrated by Hindus, Muslims, and Christians as well.
The entire state wears a festive look on this day as the red and yellow Kannada flags are hoisted at different strategic locations across the state.
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