GUWAHATI, March 11 � In what can be termed as a landmark endeavour at cultural exchange, Guwahati-based cultural activist, documentation consultant and curator of the Guwahati International Music Festival, Aiyushman Dutta, has been invited to join a first-ever documentation project of the centuries-old 'Dol Purnima Utsab' of the Bauls to be held from March 14-17 in Kushtia, Bangladesh this year.
The documentation project �The Road to Bauliana: Mapping the Baul Traditions of Bangladesh� has been conceived and implemented by acclaimed Bangladeshi fusion musician and poet of Assamese ancestry Maqsoodul Haque (Mac Haque). Maqsoodul Haque, 57, is widely known in Bangladesh as a jazz-rock fusion musician with a career that commenced in 1977. He has 11 albums to his credit and two of which are exclusively devoted to Baul music and its tradition. His ancestral home is in Borholla, Jorhat. However his family migrated to Bangladesh in 1952 where he was born in 1957. He has earlier performed at the Guwahati International Music Festival 2012.
Bangladesh witnesses the Dol Purnima Utsab at Seuria, Kushtia every year for a period of three consecutive days. The festival this year will commence at 8 am at the Ankhra (sakta in Assamese) of Fakir Lalon Shah on March 15 and continue non-stop until March 17. Over 1.5 million Bauls from across Bangladesh and India, as well as the US, UK, Scandinavian countries and Japan, among others, are expected to join in.
There will be music, spiritual engagements, alternative medicine camps, herbalist and Baul rituals, like communal meal and diksha ceremonies, guru-sisnya parampara, etc.
�The Dol Purnima Utsab is very significant in Baul spirituality because the revered sage of the Bauls, Fakir Lalon Shah would organise this during his lifetime, meaning the festival has been going on with unbroken regularity every year for over a century. The three-day festival is focussed on the Bauls getting together and sharing their spiritual insight,� said Aiyushman.
It may be mentioned here that Baul music and spirituality together with the corpus of Fakir Lalon Shah's work were included in the UNESCO's list of Intangible Oral Heritage of Humanity in 2005. The festival also has another pertinent aspect in the sense that Dol Purnima is actually the birthday of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the scion of the Vaishnavite movement.