Thousands of literature lovers participated in a book procession to mark the start of the 84th Akhil Bhartiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan on Friday.
Flowers and colourful rangolis were drawn on major roads in the city to welcome the procession. The procession started amidst drum rolls and traditional musical instruments. Participants were dressed in traditional attire and students performed the Lejim (a folk dance form) and the tribal Tarpa dance, native to Thane district.
Granth Dindi is a tradition followed in every sammelan where books are worshipped. In Thane, the organisers decorated a traditional doli with flowers and ribbons and some of the well-known works in Marathi literature including Dasbodh, Bhagwad Geeta, Dyaneshwari and Tukaramachi Gatha were placed in the doli.
The procession began from the house of late Jankavi P Savlaram, a renowned poet and lyricist, who lived in Thane. The procession was flagged off by Member of Parliament, Sanjeev Naik, Uttam Kamble, president of the Sammelan and Thane mayor, Ashok Vaity by garlanding the photograph of Savlaram. Twelve chariots ferrying dignitaries like the mayor and the president of the Sammelan were also a part of the procession.
The procession passed Savlaram’s house in Naupada to Gokhale road, Ram Maruti Road, Masunda Lake, Marathi Granth Sangrahalay and ended at the Sammelan venue at Dadoji Konddeo Stadium.
Nearly every school and college in the city participated in the sammelan. To mark the 84th year of the sammelan, 84 students were clothed as 84 famous books in Marathi literature. DK Soman, the co-ordinator of the sammelan said, “This is a first time something like this has been attempted. These students have dressed up as famous books in Marathi literature to promote our literature.”
“After Pune, Thane is known for its love for literature and culture. I am appealing to every book lover in Thane and nearby areas to attend the three-day sammelan. We have made adequate arrangements to host plenty of people,” Vaity said.
Apart from a minor disruption caused by the members of the Sambhaji Brigade, the procession ended peacefully. The Brigade had demanded that the stadium be renamed as Chhatrapati Shivaji Stadium.