Baba Farid Agman Purb gets political hue | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Baba Farid Agman Purb gets political hue

The five-day Baba Farid Agman Purb, which has been declared a heritage mela, is getting the political hue slowly but surely. A large number of posters and banners to please their political bosses put up by various societies, workers and office-bearers of political parties and others whose only concern is politics rather than Baba Farid Agman Purb celebrations are defacing the city at prime locations.

punjab Updated: Sep 20, 2012 21:07 IST
Raghbir Singh Brar

The five-day Baba Farid Agman Purb, which has been declared a heritage mela, is getting the political hue slowly but surely. A large number of posters and banners to please their political bosses put up by various societies, workers and office-bearers of political parties and others whose only concern is politics rather than Baba Farid Agman Purb celebrations are defacing the city at prime locations.

The main chowks and entry points in the city are crowded with flex boards. Even the local or mohalla level leaders are putting up banners and flex boards to please their political bosses. These boards eventually cause distraction to vehicle drivers. They have not even spared the main gate of NH on the Kotkapura-Faridkot road at the entry point to the city.

Instead of highlighting sacred "shaloks" (couplets) from spiritual and religious poetry written by Baba Farid, a sufi saint who is believed to have visited Faridkot city in the 13th century, the flex boards are full of photographs of politicians. Political workers and others who are apparently competing in fixing flex boards, though ensure to print the photos of Baba Farid on most of the boards.

The bigger the crowd the mela draws every year, the faster it is losing its true spirit. As most melas in the state are used by the political parties to address gatherings, Baba Farid Agman Purab is no exception. The VVIP movement requires high-security arrangements causing inconvenience to people. The foolproof security arrangements to ensure the safety of VVIPs affect free movement of people, who only want to enjoy the mela.

The flex boards also reflect to eagerness of vested interests to get involved in political system and Baba Farid mela is offering them a chance to come close to politicians. There is hardly a flex board, which might have Baba Farid's teachings or couplets written by him. Those from the ruling alliance are at the forefront in displaying flex boards as compared to the main opposition party. However, the Congress, too, have not missed the opportunity to display pictures of their leaders.

It is hard to believe that top political leaders have missed these flex boards, which have been put up to draw their attention. But the work of hanging, fixing or putting up flex boards is going on with an aim to draw a large crowd to the mela on September 22.

As per the schedule, Parkash Singh Badal, chief minister, will visit Agman Purb on September 22 and deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal visit the mela on September 23, the last day of mela.

"I am not certain if all those who have fixed flex boards, etc, have got the permission. I can tell you only after enquiring from the staff concerned," said Amar Kumar Beenu, president of municipal committee, Faridkot.