Why are seers meeting Karnataka minister D K Shivakumar?
Over the last few days, D K Shivakumar has gone on to become an unlikely hero. While his partymen, followers have accorded a 'hero' status to the leader, his stature seems to have risen within the community as well. In a rare gesture, seers from Kanakapura and surrounding areas called on D K Shivakumar.
On Wednesday, Sri Kalagni Rudramuni Mahaswamiji, the senior pontiff of Maralegavi mutt along with other seers met D K Shivakumar at his residence. The seers maintained that the meet was apolitical. The mutt is located in Kanakapura, D K Shivakumar's bastion. The seers met Shivakumar to show their solidarity during testing times.
Politics in Karnataka is a play of caste and community. Seers heading community-specific mutts are looked at as political assets for the sheer number of followers that they command. While it is natural for politicians to visit mutts and seek blessings of seers, it is a rare occurrence that seers come to a politician's doorstep.
While the visit was deemed apolitical, the sheer fact that seers went to D K Shivakumar's doorstep has catapulted his stature among the community men. The Vokkaliga community, to which D K Shivakumar belongs, has one of the largest votes in the state apart from the Lingayat community.
While appreciation for Shivakumar for hosting Gujarat Congress MLAs and ensuring Ahmed Patel's victory has earned him more followers and fans within and outside the party, the IT raids have played to his advantage as well. The timing was opportune for Shivakumar to play the political victim. A raid that would have ideally brought him criticism, had it been timed differently, has now catapulted his stature within the party and the community.