Guwahati, Tuesday, November 27, 2012
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Majuli Raas festival gets under way today
AJIT PATOWARY
 GUWAHATI, Nov 26 – River island Majuli is agog with preparations to celebrate the Raas festival from tomorrow with a three-day programme. The rehearsal for enacting the Raas plays completed yesterday in most places of the river island after a month-long practice. Raas is the main festival of Majuli.

For nearly two hundred years, the islanders have been celebrating the Raas festival. The emotional impact of the festival on the islanders is tremendous.

According to Ghanakanta Nath, principal, Pitambardev Goswami College, Garamur, the festival is linked with the islanders inseparably. After the havoc of recurring floods, they celebrate the festival starting from the Raas Purnima (full moon) day and for the three days of the Raas festival the island is swayed by the Bhakti Rasa generated from the Raasleela plays based on the Raasleela of Lord Krishna.

Each and every islander community takes part in the festival. The spirit of the festival is such that the people of Ratanpur Mirigaon stage a Raas play in Mising language. The people of Jengraimukh also stage a Raas play in Mising language on the final day of the festival, Nath said. He further informed that around 50 Satras and cultural organisations of the island organise the festival in a befitting manner.

Kaliram Kauli, president of the Nayabazar Rangamancha, also the vice-principal of the Ujani Majuli Kherkatia College, told this correspondent that since 1972, the people of Nayabazar area have been celebrating the festival in their area. The play of the Nayabazar Raas festival has won fame. It is next only to those of the Garamur area in terms of popularity, he said.

Tarun Bora, adviser, Bangshigopal Natya Mandir, Garamur, said that after the Raas Puja being offered at the Garamur Satra, the Sri Sri Krishnaleela Naat written by the great freedom fighter and social reformer Satradhikar Late Pitambardev Goswami will be enacted. This play will be staged for the three days of the festival in front of hundreds of audience by the local artistes drawn from all communities, Bora said.

Umakanta Takoe, adviser, Majuli Milan Sangha, Kamalabari, said that the Sangha has been celebrating Raas since 1938. The play staged by the artistes of the Sangha was written by late Bipin Bora, a former teacher of Auniati Hemchandra HS School.

Celebration of the platinum jubilee of the Sangha will start from the next year. The Sampurna Krishnaleela play of the Sangha has been staged at various places of the State like Sonari, Guwahati, among others, he said.

Putul Mahanta, chief adviser, Balichapori Milita Kristi Sangha, said that its Raasleela play written by a former Satradhikar of Kamalabari Sattra, is preceded by the Ananta Sajya and Kangshalaya scenes staged in flashback.

The Sri Sri Krishnar Raasleela play of the Srimanta Sankaradeva Kristi Sangha, Garamur Saru Sattra, written by Dronakanta Bhagawati, a former BDO, 53 years back, draws huge number of audience, said Dhrubajyoti Payeng, secretary of the Sangha.

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