Tuesday, June 22, 2010

caste and community make no barrier during divine union

People may not accept Inter-caste and inter-community marriage in their family, but when it is the case of Lord Shiva such thing is hardly come as a barrier as people gladly accept it with out any hesitation. Society sees nothing wrong in Lord’s marriage in any caste or in any community. Every one participates happily to enjoy the event.  In ‘Sital Sasthi’ festival that concluded on Friday one becomes parent of Maa Parvati no matter in which caste or community he belongs to.  
Lord Shiva Baba Somnath of Jharuapara got married in a Bania house as the kanyapita (bride’s father) of Jharuapara Yatra committee Prahallad Agrawal belongs to bania (Marwari) community and lord Shiva Baba sitaleswar got married in a Rajput house as Kanyapita of Badbazar Yatra committee belongs to (Rajput) Gujarati community. Like wise Lord Shiva of Modipara Jageswar baba got married in a Dora caste as the kanyapita of Modipara Jatra committee Akhayay Dora belongs to Dora caste. Only Lord Shiva Bam Barad balunkeswar of Nandapara got married in the same caste as the kanyapita (bride’s father) Himansu Sekhar Nanda belongs to Brahmin community.
“We hardly think of the caste and community of the applicant when we select him as kanyapita of maa Parvati. Earlier convention was to confine it with the community. But showily with the change of time we have expanded it as god does not belong to any particular community or caste”, Saroj Dalpat, president of Jharuapara Yatra committee said.
In the week long festival the center point is that goddess Parvati becomes the daughter a human being who performs the marriage like his own daughter with all possible rituals and customs. When father of lord Shiva is fixed and it is performed by a family in generation, father (kanyapita) of goddess Parvati changes every year. Yatra committees decide it from among the applicants. Yatra is mainly organized in three temples of Jharuapara, Nandapara and Modipara. But over the past few year youths of several other places including Badbazar, Thakurpara and Budharaja have taken initiatives to begin Yatra in their respective places.  

 On the other hand the Yatra committees have switched over to folk and cultural programmes to attract the people after administration decided not to allow vulgarity in the festival. The Bihu of Assam and Bhagra of Punjab and folkdance of Chhattisgarh were main attraction in the festival.  

Sital Sasthi goes with out eunuchs this year

 Thousands of visitors and devotees have deprived of getting the glimpse of the Hinjra (eunuchs) this year, as the various Jatra committees did not allow them to take part in the famous sital Sasthi festival concluded in Sambalpur on Friday as they do not feel comfortable with their growing demand day by day.   Clad with modern attire and with heavy made up faces eunuchs used to dance with sole and heart with the beat of dhols and dulduli during the celestial union of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati every year. Eunuchs feel the divine union “ardhanariswar” as their icon.
‘We know their importance in the Sital sasthi festival. They have been a part of the festival over the past many years.  But this year we did not allow them to take part in the street procession as we do not feel comfortable with them. The growing professionalism and modern fashionable attitude generates a bed trend in the festival”, convener of the Sital Sasthi coordination committee Amulya Mishra said.
Earlier the eunuchs come to take part with a pious motive as they feel union of lord Shiva and Parvati as ardhanariswar.   They have to content with the food and accommodation provided by the organizers.  But off late with the effect of modern attire and costume eunuchs become money mongers and slowly they become a burden for the organizers.
“Previously they do not have any demand.   But over the past few years they started charging for their participation. They want money individually which becomes a burden for us financially. So we have forced to delete them from the festival” president of the Jharuapara Yatra committee Saroj Dalpat said.
 Sital Sasthi, the famous mobile carnival that commemorates the marriage ceremony of lord Shiva with Parvati was concluded on Friday evening with the return of newly married couple to their respective mandirs after a hectic street procession.  Ever since the festival begins in Sambalpur, eunuch (Hinjra) from across the country takes part in the festival as they considered the union of lord shiva and Parvati as their icon.
According to estimation the festival houses of more than one thousand eunuchs especially from Balangir, Puri, Sudergarh, Ganjam and other part of the state used to take part in the festival organized by various Yatra Committees. Even high profile eunuchs from Raipur and Mumbai have also come to take part in the festival. But they have to return back after the decision of Jharusapara and Nandapara Yatra committees which considered as pioneer of the festival. This year only few eunuchs were seen in Badbazar Yatra. “We allowed because they had all ready arrived. However we told them not to pay anything except accommodation and food” president of the Badbazar Yatra committee Sanjib Nanda said. 
On the other hand, senior members of the town feel happy with such a decision by the organizing committees. “Sital Sasthi is unthinkable with out eunuchs. But now time has come to delete them because they become root of the nuisance that occurs during Yatra. More over possibility of sexual transmitted diseases (STDs) can not be ruled out among youths and adolescents because they become   tempted with the modern attire and costumes of eunuchs and keep sexual relation with the eunuchs”
 Prafulla Hota of Sambalpur said. 

photo exhibition of Nandini Satpathy: an event to know our past

 It was an event where people got an opportunity to witness glimpse of the various important developments that carried in Orissa during 1970s. They also got an idea about the importance of Orissa in the national level during that period.  How a politician makes the state important in the national level because of his/her ability and personality.  How spiritualism becomes necessary for a politician to act judiciously.
Yes, from the photo exhibition that was organized at Sambalpur on former chief minister of Orissa, Nandini Satpathy on her 79th birth anniversary, one can draw a simple idea about the political situation of the state during that period.  When the demand of woman’s reservation in politics was not even conceived in the mind of politicians, how a lady went to that height in politics during that time and took historical decision on land reform and land ceiling in the state. When it becomes difficult for our male politicians to mingle with their party chief, the photographs show that she was well conversed with than prime minister Indira Gandhi.
 “It is a delighted moment for me to refresh my memory of the past through this photo exhibition. I am thankful to the organizer for such a noble idea. At least the youngster of the present time would able to know the glorious past of the state and about the position of the state in the national level” eminent lyricist Binod Pasayat said while inaugurating the photo exhibition at town hall of Sambalpur on Wednesday.
“To know our past we have to organize such exhibition. At least we will able to refresh our memory through such programme. We will also give a rough idea about the past to our younger generation by showing these photographs” social worker Sudhir Pujari said. 
In the exhibition, hundreds of photograph related to the life history of Nandini Devi was depicted which draws a rough idea about her family life, about her political life, about her spiritual life, about her natural life. The photographs show how she was tough while taking decision and how she was cool and affectionate while mixing with people and villagers.  Her photograph with ‘Khairi’, the tigress that was kept by a forest officer at Mayurbhanj was amazing which shows her compassion and love towards animal.                    

Sital Sasthi : a festival of 400 years old tradition

The Sital Sasti is a 400 years old festival. Nobody knows when the festival begins in Sambalpur but the documents available with the temple of Lord Balunkeswar of Nandapara which was built in 1765 by than king Ajit Singh with the help of his army chief Akber Ray speaks the truth on the festival as Sital Sasti was performed in Sambalpur much prior to the construction of the temple. During that time it was organized with the royal patronage. 
According to the senior member of the society the festival has a long tradition in Sambalpur and the town is known else where because of the festival. It can not be exactly described when the festival was started in Sambalpur. But as per the tradition, I remember as the ancestor of Dibyasingh Mishra, the first trustee of the temple, we have been performing the role of      barapita (groom’s father) ,ever since the festival started in Sambalpur’s Nandapara” 86 years old Sarat Chandra Mishra said.
Historian said festival was started in 16th century in a simple form at Samiya temple at Balibandha. According to historian, the festival was started to commemorate the victory of Athargadajat (18 garhs) by than Sambalpur king Baliyar Singh. Sambalpur was than dominated by Marathas. Brahmins were confined to warship of lords and no scope for commoner to enter the temple. With a grand procession on the street, the common man gets an opportunity to see lord.
“Subsequently the festival was organized at Bhubaneswari temple at Ramsagar bnadh. But that time the Brahmins of Sambalpur confined to Jharuapara and they were origin from Uttar Pradesh. They constructed Somnath temple at Jharuapara and began the marriage ceremony” eminent historian Gobind Narayan Agrawal argued. According to him, Brahmins from Puri were subsequently brought by the Royal family to counter local Brahmins. With the royal patronage the marriage ceremony was also started at Nandapara where a temple was constructed in the name of Balunkeswar.  
The Brahmin resides in Jharuapara is known as ‘Aranyak’ and Brahmin resides in Nandapara is known as “Utkaliya”. Though people of both places are socially and culturally powerful still there is a socio-cultural difference among them because of their different origins. “The sense of ‘rivalry’ and competitive mentality is perhaps the secret behind the festival that has been organized every year uninterruptedly”, said senior educationist Prof KC Panda.  
The centre point of the festival is that here goddess Parvati becomes the daughter a human being who performs the marriage like his own daughter with all possible rituals and customs. When father of lord Shiva is fixed and it is performed by a family in generation, father (kanyapita) of goddess Parvati changes every year. Yatra committees decide it from among the applicants.
Yatra is mainly organized in three temples of Jharuapara, Nandapara and Modipara. But over the past few year youths of several other places including Badbazar, Thakurpara and Budharaja have taken initiatives to begin Yatra in their respective places. “
The faith and believe among the locals to become the kanyapita to earn a berth in heaven makes the festival more popular. “My husband was seriously ill during 2004. We left his hope. We wished to perform the marriage of Parvati and he slowly recovered” Bisnupriya, wife of Himansu Sekher Nanda , Kanyapita of this year’s Nandapara Yatra committee said.  I do not have daughter so I intended to perform this. I am happy to become the father of maa Parvati this year, the kanyapita of Modipara Yatra Committee Akhyay Kumar Dora of Modipara said 

Thursday, June 3, 2010

even marriage could not make them apart: lover couple commit suicide in Jharsuguda

She did not want to live apart from her lover even though her family managed to tie her knot with another one. Ultimately she agreed to die with him. Both consumed poison and killed themselves. At least now society can not separate them. Such an incident happened in real live in Lokhanpur block of Jharsuguda district on Wednesday. Villagers felt sorry for them when they found the dead bodies of the both lovers outside the village who died consuming poison. Police registered a case and sent the body of autopsy.
“Both loved each others passionately. But society did not recognize their love as they belong to different caste. Finally with the suggestion of the villager, girl’s parents conducted her marriage at Himgir (Sundergarh) just 10 days back. They did not create any scene then. We though they would forget each other after the marriage. But they proved they real loved pair. We felt sorry for both”, a senior member of the Saa family said.                       
Sources said, one Pravin Saa (28) of Debjharan village under Rengali police station of Jharsuguda district was having love affair with Lotika Munda, 22 years old girl belong to tribal community of the same village. They wanted to marry each other but it was not so easy for them. Even their society did not approve it. With the suggestion of the villagers, Lotika’s marriage was solemnized with Budhhadev Munda of Sundergarh district recently.
“The girl was sent off to her in-law house after the marriage. Every one was happy. On Tuesday she came to the village for the first time with her husband. But in the night she left for her destiny with her lover leaving every one. They went about a km away where they consumed poison’, another villager said.
“A case has been registered after sending dead bodies for autopsy”, SDPO (Brajarajnagar) SK Panigrahi said. 

7 years girls takes Sambalpur collector to High Court

A 7 year girl has filed a case against the Sambalpur collector in the court of hon’ble high court alleging him responsible for loss of her one academic year after she was refused to get admission in the central school. Collector has recommended her for admission but subsequently he allegedly refused her case recommending another one in her place. As per central school provision, Collector as the chairman of school management has power to recommend admission of two students every year.
“I have done nothing wrong as it is my privilege to recommend two students of my choice. I did as per the provision. There were as many as 5 applicants but I have to select only two. So one can under stand my problem”, collector (Sambalpur) H K Dash said.       
Sources said, Ipisita Sarangi, a 7 years girl was recommended by the previous collector P K Patnaik vide his letter no 1412 of 30/9/2009 for admission in the local central school in standard 2 in the academic year 2010-11. But after his transfer, Ipsita’s father approached before the present collector once again and got recommendation from him for the same vide office letter no. 27 of 09/01/2010.
“I was sure about her admission in KV after getting recommendation of the present collector on the basis of the recommendation of his predecessor. So I did not try any where. But to my utter surprised the present collector, recommended two fresh names deleting the name of my daughter. When I enquired he refused to give any reasons of such changing stating it was his prerogative”, Ipsita’s father Kishore Kumar Sarangi said.   
Sources said, collector made a fresh recommendation vide his office order no.456 of 6th April 2010 where he recommitted Sambit Mahapatra and Aditya Koche for admission in 2nd and 4th standard as his first and second choice respectively suspending his earlier instruction in this regard. While Aditya is the son a senior police officer, Sambit is the son of an employee of a vernacular daily published from Bhubaneswar recently.
When both central and state governments are trying to encourage female education in every spear, here a girl child lost one academic year for just because of wrong decision of a collector. “I wound have done something had he told me about his compulsion. I wound not have taken the matter before the high court”, Kishore added. Meanwhile the high court admitting the case of the Ipisata, has issued notice to the collector.