River festival: Assam’s Brahmaputra to get a touch of Ganga
Assam’s Brahmaputra, the only ‘male river’ in India, is set to get a touch of the ‘feminine Ganga’.
The 10-month-old BJP-led coalition government in Assam is celebrating ‘Namami Brahmaputra’, billed as the biggest river festival of India, from March 31 to April 4.
The highlight of this festival will be a lamp-lit show of spiritualism inspired by the elaborate ‘Ganga Aarti’ on the ghats of Varanasi.
Priests in Varanasi provided a step-by-step guide to the festival’s organiser, the Assam State Transport Corporation. But they ran into a “technical” problem while trying to compose a hymnal song for Brahmaputra because they weren’t used to singing paeans to a masculine river.
A pundit from Hardwar was roped in to compose the hymn, said AP Tiwari (IPS), managing director, Assam Transport Corporation and director, Assam Skill Development Mission who was on a visit to Lucknow on Thursday to promote the river festival in Uttar Pradesh.
What is Namami Brahmaputra event all about? “Assam’s life and culture are deeply influenced by the rejuvenating splashes of the Brahmaputra – one of the most powerful rivers of the world.
To pay a fitting tribute to the river’s life-giving prosperity and countless blessings, a five-day-long event, Namami Brahmaputra is being organised under the leadership of Sarbananda Sonowal, chief minister of Assam, across 21 districts along the Brahmaputra in its entire stretch from Sadiya to Dhubri,” said Tiwari.
The river festival will serve as an ideal platform to showcase Assam’s potential as a state brimming with trade, tourism and culture opportunities, he said. Why is Brahmaputra called the only male river in India? “As the name suggests – Brahmaputra is the son of Lord Brahma, The Hindu God of creation,” he explained.
The event would take off in the form of a spectacular opening ceremony on March 31, 2017 at the riverfront of Bharalumukh, Guwahati – the land of Kamakhya Temple, one of the most important and popular Shakti-peeths in India.
The event will include a soulful veneration of river Brahmaputra along with other attractions like indigenous sports, local food, laser shows, exhibition of organic tea, display of handloom and handicrafts, cultural evenings, film festival, business meetings and symposium among others. The conclusion of the event shall be equally spectacular with a grand closing ceremony on April 4, 2017.
Currently, the state government has sanctioned a budget of Rs 10 crore for this event. To promote the event, the organisers are conducting roadshows across the country to create awareness about this event.
What about the security issues in Assam? “Currently, there are no security issues in Assam. However, for this event the respective departments have taken measures to ensure security and safety of the event,” said the IPS who hails from UP.
“Brahmaputra deeply influences the life and culture of Assam. It is Assam’s pride. The Namami Brahmaputra initiative inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Namami Ganga project is aimed at restoring the lost glory of the ancient, holy river that remained neglected for so long,” said BJP national secretary Mahendra Singh, also the party’s Assam in-charge.
He said the party’s win in Assam has shown widespread acceptance for BJP’s policies and restoring Brahmaputra’s glory was part of the party’s commitment.