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Basavanagudi Locals Reject Dodda Ganapathi Renaming


Basavanagudi, an emblematic neighborhood in Bengaluru, found itself at the heart of a contentious debate following its sudden rechristening as Dodda Ganapathi in September. The decision, orchestrated by the BBMP (Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike), sparked an uproar among its long-standing inhabitants, who have fervently voiced their dissent. With an unyielding commitment to preserving the essence of their cherished community, residents have banded together, demanding answers and advocating for a reversal of this decision.

Basavanagudi residents oppose name change

Source: DH

Established in the late 1800s, Basavanagudi’s rich history is interwoven with its status as one of the first ‘sanitary layouts’ in the region. Embracing its old-world charm and fostering a sense of community spirit, it is adorned with the graceful presence of gulmohar and tabebuia trees that line its lanes, exuding an authentic Bengaluru ambiance.

Lack of prior notice and transparency has become the crux of the issue, as K R Mohan, a veteran resident of 70 years and an active member of the Civil Society Basavanagudi Ward 198, pointed out. “The absence of communication from the BBMP regarding the name change has left us bewildered and disconcerted,” he emphasized.

Expressing their dismay, Satyalaxmi Rao, the president of the ward association, highlighted the community’s frustration with the political leaders’ seeming detachment from the issue. Even the local MLA Ravi Subramanya has distanced himself, asserting that he was unaware of the decision and deeming the name change unnecessary. The BBMP’s silence has only further amplified the residents’ discontent.

Culinary Adventure Breakfast Tour Part-1 @Basavangudi, Bengaluru

Source: Vidyascooking

In a bid to reclaim their neighborhood’s identity, the ward association has garnered the support of over 500 residents, as well as various organizations including the Sports Organisation of Basavanagudi, Jana Dhwani, Kannada Paksha, Jaya Karnataka, and the Basavanagudi Heritage Association. Their collective efforts culminate in a scheduled public forum at Netkallappa Circle, aimed at rallying Basavanagudi’s residents and esteemed citizens in solidarity.

The significance of the name ‘Dodda Ganapathi’ was explained by Tushar Giri Nath, the BBMP’s chief commissioner, who cited the decision as the outcome of a comprehensive evaluation, considering the area’s population, landmarks, and historical legacy. Notably, Basavanagudi’s identity is deeply intertwined with the revered Dodda Ganapathi Temple, one of the oldest temples in Bengaluru, epitomizing the neighborhood’s cultural and religious significance.

Delving into the roots of Basavanagudi’s original name, historian Dharmendra Kumar highlighted its association with the revered Dodda Basavana Gudi or Big Bull Temple. He recounted the folklore of the area, narrating how the temple’s origin was rooted in the farmers’ struggle with a disruptive bull that plagued their farmlands, eventually leading to the temple’s construction and the iconic Kadlekai Parishe (groundnut fair) that remains an integral part of Basavanagudi’s cultural heritage.

While the decision to rename Basavanagudi was attributed to the ward delimitation committee, helmed by IAS officer Tushar Giri Nath, and composed of esteemed officials, its timing and the accusations of political motivations have created a stir in the local community. The previous allegations of gerrymandering during the BJP government’s tenure have further fueled skepticism about the motives behind the name change.

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