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Vokkaligas, politics and symbolism: Why Kempegowda’s statue matters (Relevant for GS Prelims & Mains Paper II; Polity & Governance)

CM Yediyurappa’s plans to construct a 101-foot-tall Kempegowda bronze statue at the Bengaluru airport at the cost of Rs 100 crore is widely seen as an attempt by the BJP to gain leverage with the Vokkaliga community.

The name of the founding father of Bengaluru — Kempegowda or Nada Prabhu Kempegowda — is hard to miss in the city. The city’s airport is known as the Kempegowda International Airport, the main bus stand is the Kempegowda Bus Stand, a main arterial road in the old city is the K G Road or the Kempegowda Road.

In history lessons in schools, Kempegowda is the man who marked with towers the four corners of a Bengaluru he imagined. The chieftain from the Vijayanagar empire in the 16th century, is a political icon for the dominant agricultural Vokkaliga community in south Karnataka.

Source: The Indian Express

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