GUWAHATI, Jan 10 � The Auniati Satra of Majuli river island has planned to hold a 12-day grand bhaona festival from January 22 at its Manikanchan Rangakshetra. The festival is planned to be inaugurated in a unique way with the joint performance of 1,000 artistes.
Speaking to this correspondent, Auniati Satradhikar Dr Pitambar Deva Goswami said that the 1,000 artistes will play the role of Shishupal of the Rukmini Haran Naat of Srimanta Sankaradeva and they will utter in unison the dialogue � �Hamu Bidyamana Thakite Hamar Bibahaka Kanya Kothako Yadave Loiya Jai?� (Where Yadava (Krishna) is taking away my bride when I am personally present at the venue?). This will be followed by the urulis (whirling sounds produced by womenfolk on auspicious occasions) of 1,000 ladies with the accompaniment of khols (a kind of drum) to suggest elopement of Rukmini with Lord Krishna.
Within five minutes this scene will be enacted to mark the beginning of the festival. The artistes for this scene have been drawn from different communities and ethnic groups, irrespective of their caste, religion and language. The main stress of this festival is to make the people aware of their social responsibilities and also on social amity.
In all, 25 bhaona troupes have joined the festival and on 11 nights, 22 plays will be staged and the troupes taking part in the performances on these nights will be made to compete with each another so as to elevate the standard of their performance. However, the performances of the three troupes on the night of February 2 have been kept out of competition, said the Satradhikar.
On January 29, 1,000 ayatis (ladies) will take part in a community Diha Naam being organised as a part of the festival. On January 31, a poets� meet on a vessel over the Brahmaputra has been planned. Around 200 poets from different parts of the State are expected to take part in this event, being held from 12 noon till 2 pm.
The poets are expected to recite their impromptu poems on Srimanta Sankaradeva, bhaona culture, Brahmaputra and Majuli, said the Satradhikar.