GUWAHATI, Jan 25 � Saraswati Puja was celebrated with great enthusiasm throughout the State, with revelry reaching its zenith on the second day today, as devotees thronged pandals seeking the blessing of the Goddess of Learning.
Schools, colleges and other educational institutions wore a festive and colourful look on the occasion as Saraswati Puja is considered a puja of students. It may be noted that this year the puja was a two-day affair with the occasion being observed at many places on Saturday also.
Apart from the educational institutions, banks, newspaper houses and offices also celebrated Saraswati Puja. As in previous years, Saraswati Puja was celebrated on�The Assam Tribune�premises and the employees offered prayers to the Goddess. This was followed by distribution of prasad. Small pandals were put up in several localities where the local people paid obeisance to the Goddess of learning. However, over the years, Saraswati Puja is being taken by many as an opportunity to flaunt the best of their dresses, fashion accessories and indulge in unrestrained frivolity.
The young and fashion conscious crowd was the main attraction on the occasion. However, at some places, some revellers created trouble for others by flouting the traffic norms. Many commuters were heard complaining about the �deteriorating� trend of preferring fashion parade over actual worshipping. While the occasion was enjoyed to the fullest by the puja revellers in Guwahati, massive traffic jams left others in the lurch and vehicular movement on arterial roads came to a standstill for many hours.
The traffic police had a tough time managing the crowds at GNB Road, MRD Road, MC Road, GS Road, RG Baruah Road and many other parts of Guwahati. Chandmari area witnessed the worst of traffic jam, due to a huge crowd on streets and also because of the road digging work taken up by the PWD at Zoo Tiniali area. Different amusement points including parks, restaurants and the riverbank were seen teeming with young people till late evening.
Saraswati Puja was celebrated for the 32nd consecutive year by the Baghorbori Asomi Mahila Samiti with religious fervour and gaiety.
The Mahila Samiti�s pioneering endeavour of worshipping Goddess Saraswati drew large crowds of devotees since morning.
Urmila Chakravarty, president of Asomi Mahila Samiti, welcomed the guests and thanked the local women for their unstinted cooperation for the cause.
DN Chakravartty, who addressed the devotees, appealed to the intellectuals in particular and the public in general to discourage mischievous attempts by a section of the media to distort the pristine glory and sanctity of Saraswati Puja by introducing elements having the furthest link with Indian culture in general and the Hindu religion in particular. Younger elements with undue influence of western culture should be dissuaded from the mindless practice of arranging beauty contests to overshadow the spiritual sanctity and appeal of Saraswati Puja, he said.