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Programs organised to commemorate the Formation of 1st Bangladesh Government in Agartala

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Tripura State Museum, (representational Image), Wikimedia
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Agartala, April 8, 2017: A series of programs will be held in this Tripura capital April 10-11 to commemorate the formation of the first Bangladeshi government here 46 years ago, the organisers said on Saturday.

The event is being organised by the Assistant High Commission of Bangladesh in Agartala, the Dhaka and Agartala chapters of “Friends of Bangladesh” and the Agartala Press Club.

“In a meeting of the then parliamentarians, first Bangladesh government was formed in Agartala on April 10, 1971. To commemorate the day, a series of programmes would be held here,” said Mihir Deb, Agartala chapter President of Friends of Bangladesh, an NGO.

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Deb, a renowned academician, said intellectuals, Bangladeshi MPs, policy makers, former ministers, film makers, artists, performers and veterans of the Bangladesh liberation war will take part in the event.

A seminar will also be held where Indian intellectuals, writers and historians will speak.

A drama would also be staged on April 11 by the Bangladeshi actors to show case the nine-month long independence war and its milieu.

Deb said that in opposition of the then Pakistani rulers, the Bangladesh government with Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as the first President and Tajuddin Ahmad as the first Prime Minister was covertly functioning from Mujibnagar, formerly known as Baidyanathtala, in Meherpur district of Bangladesh.

The actual capital of that government while in exile was in Calcutta, now Kolkata.

After Sheikh Mujibur Rahman launched a massive guerilla operation against the then Pakistani rulers in March 1971, ‘Mukti Joddhas’ (freedom fighters) fought enemy forces that led to the creation of Bangladesh.

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The nine-month-long ‘Mukti Joddha’ (Liberation War) later turned into a full-scale India-Pakistan war, leading to the surrender of nearly 93,000 Pakistani soldiers in Dhaka on December 16, 1971.

India was the first country to recognise Bangladesh as a sovereign nation.

Historian Bikach Chowdhury said Tripura had six to seven camps in four sectors from where the ‘Mukti Joddhas’ fought Pakistani forces.

“Over 1,600,000 Bangladeshis — a number larger than the state’s then total population of 1,500,000 — had taken shelter in Tripura alone,” he said.

During the war, 10 million men, women and children from then East Pakistan took shelter in West Bengal, Tripura, Assam and Meghalaya. (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