Mysore Dasara:Thank God, it’s over.

Officials must have had a sigh of relief, rather than a sense of fulfilment, now that the Dasara events are over and done with. I don’t know if the deputy commissioner and  special dasara officer,  does de-briefing of concerned event organisers as a learning experience. After all,  Dasara would come again in 2008; and it wouldn’t be a good idea repeating the mistakes of 2007. Did I hear a cynic saying, we would have a trunover of officials by October next, and fresh mistakes waiting to be made?    

Take the vintage car show. Car owners sore at Mysore police,  says The Hindu report. The grouse of those (40 odd vintage cars took part) who drove their cherished jelopy all the way from Bangalore was that they were made to wait nearly two hours on the highway, at the city outskirts,  for police clearance to enter the city. And, when they made it to the Mysore Palace, the cars were not allowed inside. Instead, these show-pieces on wheels were unceremoniously flagged away to the Town Hall to cool their engines and, to stew in their tempers, till it was time to join the Dasara procession.

Customery public display of  vintage vehicles on the Mysore Palace grounds was “cancelled without rhyme or reason”, according to Ms. Gazala Khan who was there with her 1965 Mercedes. Among other notable museum pieces that rolled out on the street on Sunday were the 1909 Wolseley that had carried the royalty at Cooch Bihar; Delage – D8 that once belonged to the Holkars of Indore. It was brought to town by its present owner, from Bangalore, on Saturday.

Vintage cars, with niche audience of enthusiasts have been a salient feature of Dasara  for some years now. Cancelling the vintage car exhibition so unceremoniously, at such short notice, for whatever reason; and this, done without as much as a say-so to the participant  car-owners doesn’t speak much for Dasara organising committee’s event management skills, does it? Besides,  it is said that the vintage car event is corporate-sponsored. And the company that offered to pick up the tab may be reluctant to do so for Dasara-2008.

Yuva Dasara, another sponsored segment, left much to be desired on the management front. I know this to be true of the Sonu Nigam concert on Maharaja College grounds. My young niece and a Nigam fan (it seems he has picked them up by the hundreds, post-‘Mungaru Maley’) had an invitation for two. She was turned away from the gate, on the plea that the seats on the Maharaja’s grounds had already been taken. First, the police won’t let her in with her handbag; when she returned after leaving the bag with a friend on Dewan’s Rd, my niece was turned away.

I can understand the security concerns of the police. Shouldn’t the police have thought of arranging for spot-search (I was told the police were there in sufficient strength) of the invitees who might have missed the press statement on the handbag ban. I am not questioning whether it is reasonable on the part of the police to impose such blanket ban. And I don’t know if anyone, other than the police, can think of our ladies stirring out of house without their handbags. The point here is, my niece was denied admission even after compliance with the handbag ban.

That a proper invitation by the sponsors (a nationalised bank) of the Sonu Nigam concert was so dishonoured by those manning the gate doesn’t speak much for event management.  Besides, the mess-up is unlikely to please the sponsors who had sought to please their staff and valued clients, with invitations to the Sonu Nigam concert. Isn’t this somewhat like a  bank dishonouring its own IOU? The event sponsorship, they say, amounted to Rs.10 lakhs.                              



One Response

  1. the other day i saw on TV (I think in maharashtra) cops were being given some training on PR and how to deal with people properly – to help change their image. i hope these sessions continue to every state.

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