Karnataka: Vijayapura zilla panchayat chief spends night at graveyard to bust myths | Bengaluru News – Times of India

VIJAYAPURA: Taking a cue from former minister Satish Jarkiholi, Vijayapura zilla panchayat president Sujata Kallimani is spending a night at a graveyard in Jumnal, 9km from here, from 6pm Sunday to 6am Monday to bust myths and superstitions among rural people.
Kallimani told TOI she was “disturbed” by the recent sacrifice of three children in Raichur. “Superstitions and black magic are practised in my home village even now. The graveyard is a 10-minute ride from the district headquarters, but people are scared of stepping into that area,” she said.
In the first week of December 2015, Satish Jarkiholi spent 24 hours at Sadashiv Nagar graveyard owned by Belagavi City Corporation to create awareness about blind faiths. Hundreds of people sat around several fire camps arranged beside funeral platforms. In July 2020, the Congress leader welcomed his Toyota Fortuner car by steering it around a cemetery in Belagavi. He had said, “There are many blind beliefs attached to a cemetery and people think it is a bad omen. It’s just another place.”
For the 33-year-old Congress member Kallimani, spending a night at the graveyard caps a series of offbeat village stays in the past eight months. She has stayed at a shepherd’s hut, a devadasi’s house, government hospital, girls’ hostel and a flood-affected village. With her tenure set to end in May, she zeroed in on Jumnal village for the programme.
Kallimani, from Bagalkot and a graduate in arts, credited her father and husband with nurturing a scientific temper in her. “My father Hanumant Rolli, a Communist and trade union leader at Bagalkot Cement factory, had always prodded me to question blind beliefs since my childhood. Upon his death, we donated his body for medical research as per his wish. My husband Somnath Kallimani, a thinker, has been encouraging me in my quest to be rational,” she added.
Her plan to spend the night at the graveyard on the day of Amavasya did not come through as Satish Jarkiholi was not available on that day.
“Hence, we deferred it by two days,” she said. Before her stay started at 6pm on Sunday, she was welcomed by villagers and Satish Jarkiholi inaugurated the programme.

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Sagar Biswas

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