thousands of visitors especially youngsters might be disappointed not to see the sizzling and erotic dance performed by the girls of South India during the week-long Sital Sasti festival of Sambalpur , this year as the administration says no to vulgar and obscene dance during the festival. The administration took this decision in the coordination meeting of the sital Sasti held in the collector’s conference hall on Wednesday. The administration has suggested the respective festival committee to include more folk and cultural items replacing the obscene dances. Sital Sasti, the biggest socio-cultural festival that commemorates marriage ceremony of Lord Shiva with Maa Parvati is also considered the longest celebration on wheels. The festival that begins this year from June 12th will be concluded on 18th with the entering of the newly married couple to their respective shrines.
To make the festival successful, a preparatory meeting was organized under the chair of the collector on Wednesday where besides the office-bearers of the various Yatra committees, officials of various government departments were also present. “From our side we are ready to provide all sorts of cooperation to make the festival successful. But we also want the respective yatra committee to ensure no vulgar and obscene dance during the festival as it sends a wrong massage on the sacred festival”, collector HK Dash said. “I am hopeful the Yatra committees would maintain the dignity and sanctity of the festival”, collector Dash said. However he seemed firm on it when few members expressed reluctant over it.
On the other hand, members of various Yatra committees have assured to the administration to take utmost care to include more and more folk arts and culture in the festival to make it attractive and creditable. “We have no interest to encourage vulgar and obscene dances in the festivals but we do it because of the people’s demand. We are trying to include more cultural troupes and folk arts to make the festival attractive and watch worthy.”, the chairman of the Sital Sati coordination committee Amulya Mishra said. “We have decided to concentrate on folk and culture this year to make the festival clean” secretary of the Badbazar Yatra committee Dibakar Patnaik said.
The century-old festival is primarily observed by two groups named Jharuapara’s Aranyak committee and and Nandapara’s Utkaliya committee. But presently another 3 committees of Modipara, Badbazar and Thakurpara have also been observing the same in their respective places. “No one knows the actual dates when the festival was started in Sambalpur. But from the government records and other documents it is ascertained that the festival was organized in the 16th century with the patronage of than royal family”, eminent pleader Govind Narayan Agrawal said.