Sunday, April 22, 2018 | ePaper

Colour and gaiety

Pahela Baishakh celebrated

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M M Jasim :
The nation on Saturday celebrated "Pahela Baishakh", the first day of Bengali New Year 1425, amid much enthusiasm, festive mood and traditional gaiety.
Different socio-cultural organisations and government institutions organised attractive programmes, including musical functions, colourful processions and road side Baishakhi fairs in the city and elsewhere in the country to welcome the Bengali New Year.
In Dhaka, the day's programme began with the Chhayanaut, rendering songs at Ramna Batamul before sunrise.
People, irrespective of ages, religions and ethnic identities took part in the celebrations braving summer heat under the sun.   
Men and women in traditional pajama and punjabi and women with children in colourful attires in white and red saris joined the celebrations.
Though the government banned all outdoor celebrations after 5:00pm, a nor'wester with hailstorm and rain disrupted the celebrations in Dhaka at about 4:00pm.
The Met Office recorded 30 millimetres till 6:00pm, said Bangladesh Metrological Department Meteorologist Ruhul Quddus.
Many other districts, such as Gazipur, Tangail, Mymensingh, Sylhet, Narsingdi, Brahmanbaria and Comilla also witnessed rainfalls. It jolted celebrations and brought sufferings to the people.
The homebound commuters, who went to Ramna Park, Dhaka University, Suhrawardy Udyan and adjacent areas in Dhaka and other districts suffered due to the rainfall.
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in messages greeted the nation on that occasion. US Acting Secretary of State John J Sullivan, on behalf of President Donald Trump and the US people, wished a joyous Bangla New Year.
With an aim to motivate people to incline to own history and tradition, Dhaka University brought  'Mangal Shovajatra' amid strong guard.
Three-tier security circle were devised with the Rapid Action Battalion in the front row, followed by Dhaka Metropolitan Police and Special Weapons And Tactics, an elite tactical unit of the metropolitan police, to protect the procession, which derived this year's theme from Lalon's song waiting for devotion to humanity.
Rapid Action Battalion kept Dhaka University and Ramna area under surveillance with choppers and ran a mobile court to avoid unpleasant situations. The mobile court also jailed two men for one year on charge of snatching.
In Dhaka, citizens slammed government restriction on any outdoor programme after 5:00pm, saying that government was hiding the failure by imposing the restriction.
 'Why would we stop celebrating outdoor after 5:00pm …this is a failure of law enforcement agencies? ABM Khairul, a banker who came to Dhaka University campus with family said. The Bangla year with its first month as Baishakh was introduced during the rule of Mughal Emperor Akbar.
The day was a public holiday.
All public and private radio and televisions aired special programmes while newspapers published special supplements.
Bangladesh National Museum, Bangladesh Folk and Craft Arts Foundation, and archaeological sites under Department of Archaeology remained open for children, students and persons with disabilities to visit free of cost.
All educational institutions of the country including Rajshahi, Chittagong and Jahangirnagar universities celebrated the day separately with enthusiasm and traditional gaiety.
Different government and other organisations including the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, Bangla Academy, Shilpakala Academy, Sammilita Sangskritik Jote, Jatiya Press Club and Dhaka Reporters' Unity celebrated the day with festivity.
Besides, Pahela Baishakh was also celebrated in Chittagong, Khulna, Rajshahi, Sylhet, Barisal, and Rangpur divisional headquarters and Pabna district, and all other districts with fairs and cultural programmes.

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