Preparations for celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, falling on January 12, are going on in a brisk pace in several cities with great fervour. Unfortunately officials in the Mysore City Corporation seems to have forgotten the place in the heart of the city where Swami Vivekananda stayed, when he visited Mysore 120 years ago.
Swami Vivekananda visited Niranjana Mutt on Narayana Shastry Road in 1892 on a invitation of the then King of Mysore, Chamarajendra Wadiyar, before proceeding to Chicago. The place which has to be converted into a memorial is now wearing a deserted look.
Though works on constructing a building for the memorial has began several years, it is still incomplete, making the building to remain in a dilapidated condition. The place is being used for parking vehicles. Though assurances are being made every year that the ongoing restoration works at the Niranjan Mutt would be completed soon, no improvement is being seen while the hopes of devotees of this great Saint in the city remains unfulfilled.
When contacted MCC Commissioner KS Raikar, he said that by this month end the rejuvenation work will be completed and the cost of the project is Rs 34 lakh and the work is being held by MCC.
If everything would have good at present there would be two floor memorial. Plans were made to restore the building by constructing two floors and use the first floor for holding cultural events while the second floor meant exclusively for meditation and yoga in addition to housing a world class library, to teach youth the ideals of Swami Vivekananda. Rs 5 crore was also allocated in the budget for rejuvenation, but unfortunately the grants were not released due to land dispute in the year 2008-09, says Kannada and Culture Department Deputy Director Annegowda.
Social worker and Brahmana Mahasabha Mysore President K Raghuram said that State Government took out up the project and formed a committee, so far not a single meeting has been held. Being one of the member of the committee, he said that Since 2000 the renovation work is going phase by phase and the work has been came to halt several times stating lack of fund.
Speaking to Express, famous historian PV Nanjaraje Urs opined that those who speak about heritage don’t know how to maintain a heritage building and lamented at the apathy of the officials for keeping the project incomplete for such a long time.