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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A sorrowful farewell to Goddess Durga

Our BureauSILCHAR, Sept 29: It was sorrowful to bid farewell to Goddess Durga and at the same time to look at the way the youths conducted themselves on the occasion. Four days of prayer, worship, and festivity culminated in abject revelry on the immersion ceremony. Humming and bustling puja mandaps and pandals erected and decorated with great pain and labour wore a deserted look. But the day of immersion called Dashmi that falls after Navami has its own significance.

It was on this occasion that Goddess Durga emerging with fearsome weaponry and magical powers of gods killed the demon Mahisashur which had usurped heaven and driven out the gods and goddesses creating a reign of terror. The gods returned to heaven along with sages from earth to praise the Devi and paid floral compliments to Goddess Durga. The day is thus celebrated for the victory of good over evil.

According to Ramayan, as it goes, Ram went to Lanka to rescue his abducted wife Sita from the grip of Ravana. He came to Durga to seek her blessings. Pleased with his devotion, she appeared before him and blessed him. The epic battle began on Saptami and Ravana was killed between Ashtami and Navami and cremated on Dashami which is celebrated throughout the country with so much fanfare. In northern India, the day is celebrated as Dashera with the effigy of Ravana being consigned to flames.

It was, however, a glaring contrast to the hoary tradition and religious ethos to watch how the young revellers of various puja mandaps took control of the processions to Sadarghat immersion ghat from dusk with the idols of the Goddess on trucks, indulging in all sorts of alleged vulgar gesticulations, most of them inebriated with sizzling Bollywood, Tollywood and latest songs, blaring out of the microphones. The youths dancing to their tunes were reportedly mocking, as if it were, at the serenity and sacredness of the occasion.

A few household and elderly as well as decent citizens managed pujas, knowing well the growing hooliganism at the time of immersion, did the finishing rituals before dusk. Though the district administration declared September 26 and 27 as dry day, the liquor shops did brisk business during the pujas. Looking at the sad decline, one wonders if the puja is losing its aura of holiness and hoariness. Plaudits must go to the district and police administration notwithstanding all the disorder for excellent traffic management and security bandobust.

HOWRAGHAT: On the last day of the Durga Puja, the people of Howraghat successfully performed the rituals of the immersion of the Goddess. Thousands of people gathered in the Ranighat and Jaganath Mondir ghat of the Jamuna river, Howraghat, to participate in the ritual.
Along with the rest of the State, Durga Puja was also celebrated in a gala manner in Howraghat, Karbi Anglong. During the four-day-long festival, devotees of entire Howraghat thronged to the various Howraghat town Durga temples to offer theirs prayers to Goddess Durga. Although the district is rated as trouble-torn, yet no such incident of violence was reported from the district during Durga Puja celebration. In order to tackle any sort of violence that might be blown by militant organizations, security was tightened and along with Assam police, security forces were also deployed during the puja celebration. Durga Puja was celebrated at five places in Howraghat town this year. THE SENTINEL

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