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I was a Victim of Racial Abuse in India: Mizoram CM Lal Thanhawla

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Mizoram CM Lal Thanhawla , Source: cmmizoram.nic.in
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New Delhi, April 25, 2017:  Lashing out racial abuse faced by northeastern people in major Indian cities, Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla says he himself was a victim of such slurs in various corners of the country.

“Racial abuse is the worst thing in this country. I have faced it myself a lot of times. These are foolish people who do not know their own country,” the 74-year-old Chief Minister told IANS in an interview.

“In a reception some 20-25 years ago, one gentleman said to me ‘You don’t look like an Indian’ to which I replied?: ‘Tell me in one sentence what does an Indian look like?’ ”

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The five-time Chief Minister said it is not only the common people but politicians at the national level — cutting across party lines — who do not have a basic idea of India.

“Even the national leadership, be it the BJP or the Congress or any other political party, if you do not know your own country, how can you be a leader?”

“Many of these national leaders do not know about their own country, which is very, very foolish. It speaks about the lack of education and patriotism. It also speaks about their feeling of having a superior mentality,” he added.

The Congress veteran further said such abuses and step-motherly treatment towards the people of a particular region gives birth to regionalism and secessionism.

“They don’t even know that India is populated by at least three major races of the world. Recently someone from Madhya Pradesh said the Dravidians (South Indian) people are very black, they don’t realise that Northern India is populated by Aryans and in the North East it is the Mongoloid people. Besides, there are many aboriginal tribes in our country.”

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“That is why in the northeast, this regionalism is very high. (Feelings of) Secessionism (sic) is very high because we are not accepted outside the northeast. This is how so-called Indian people treat us,” he added.

Despite various efforts of the central government, including steps like setting up of North East Cells, racial attacks on people from the region, especially students and women, just won’t die down.

In 2014, Nido Tania, a student from Arunachal Pradesh, died in Delhi in a racial brawl, forcing the government to set up the M.P. Bezbaruah-led committee to gather information on issues raised by people from northeast India who are living elsewhere in India, especially in the metros.

Recently, a student from Arunachal Pradesh in Bengaluru, Higio Gungtey, faced a racial attack by his landlord. The landlord assaulted him for over 90 minutes and made racial remarks.  (IANS)

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Mahalaya: Beginning of “Devipaksha” in Bengali Celebration of ‘Durga Puja’

“Mahalaya” is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha” and heralds the celebration of Durga Puja

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Mahalaya morning in Kolkata. Flickr
  • Mahalaya 2017 Date: 19th september.
  • On Mahalaya, people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers; which is called ‘Torpon’
  • Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted in All India Radio
  • The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent

Sept 19, 2017: Autumn is the season of the year that sees the Hindus, all geared up to celebrate some of the biggest festivals of India. The festive spirit in the Bengalis all enthused to prepare for the greatest of the festivals, the ‘Durga Puja’.

About Mahalaya:

Mahalaya is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha,” and this year it is celebrated on September 19.

Observed exactly a week before the ‘Durga Puja’, Mahalaya is the harbinger of the arrival of Goddess Durga. It is celebrated to invoke the goddess possessing supreme power! The goddess is invited to descend on earth and she is welcomed with devotional songs and holy chants of mantras. On this day, the eye is drawn in the idols of the Goddess by the artisans marking the initiation of “Devipaksha”. Mahalaya arrives and the countdown to the Durga Puja begins!

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The day of Mahalaya bears supreme significance to the Bengalis. The day is immensely important because on this day people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers. Clad in white dhotis, people offer prayers and take dips in the river while praying for their demised dear ones. The ritual is popular as “Torpon”.

Mahalaya
An idol-maker in progress of drawing the eye in the idol of the Goddess. Wikipedia

As per Hindu myth, on “Devipaksha”, the Gods and the Goddesses began their preparations to celebrate “Mahamaya” or Goddess Durga, who was brought upon by the trinity- Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwara; to annihilate the fierce demon king named Mahishasura. The captivating story of the Goddess defeating the demon got popularized with the goddess being revered as “Durgatinashini” or the one who banishes all the evils and miseries of the world. The victory of the Goddess is celebrated as ‘Durga Puja’.

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Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted at dawn in All India Radio in the form of a marvelous audio montage enthralling the souls of the Bengalis. Presented with wonderful devotional music, acoustic drama, and classical songs- the program is also translated to Hindi and played for the whole pan-Indian listeners.

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Mahalaya
Birendra Krishna Bhadra (1905-1991). Wikipedia

The program is inseparable from Mahalaya and has been going on for over six decades till date. The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent! He has been a legend and the dawn of Mahalaya turns insipid without the reverberating and enchanting voice of the legendary man.

Mahalaya will keep spreading the magic and setting the vigor of the greatest festival of the Bengalis- the Durga Puja, to worship the supreme Goddess, eternally.

                 “Yaa Devi Sarbabhuteshu, Shakti Rupena Sanhsthita,

                     Namastaswai Namastaswai Namastaswai Namo Namaha.”

– by Antara Kumar of NewsGram. Twitter: @ElaanaC