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We welcome Pahela Baishakh

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14th-Apr-2017       
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THE nation celebrates 'Pahela Baishakh' - the Bengali New Year-1424 today with colourful festivities and eye catching socio-cultural events. The day breaks with welcoming soirées at the city's Ramna Botomul as it has emerged as a tradition of our  New Year's celebration over the past decades. Meanwhile, soirées and celebration at other places in city parks, colleges and university campuses and open-air grounds turn the occasion to an event of endless jubilation. Similar festivities welcome the Bengali New Year in the districts and at local level. Expatriates abroad also celebrate the occasion with fanfare highlighting Bengali culture.

We welcome the New Year and join the nation wishing the people everything that would bring them good and keep them away from every other evil. The occasion always comes to fulfill people's new hopes and aspirations leaving behind pains and perils of the outgoing year. Pahela Baishakh originally appeared in Bengali calendar for collection of revenue by Moghul Empire Akbar from farmers of this region; which was later accepted by local traders to mark the opening of new business year. The occasion has assumed more socio-political colour now contributing to reshaping Bengali culture with emphasis on its secular values.

It is a public holiday and most people will stay out-door enjoying open air festivities. 'Hilsa-Panta' highlights the occasion to a growing section of people in the city although its origin can't be traced far into the past. The occasion brings brisk business to wayside vendors while band groups, theater parties and vocalists render to the crowds in streets and public places.

Needless to say we are concerned about public safety in the light of the unpleasant occurrences two years back when unruly elements went berserk sexually harassing women in Suhrawardy Uddyan. The time is also marked by militants' threats and attacks from religious extremists groups taking public their victims. We are however confident that the law enforcers will take elaborate measures to thwart the risk of such attempts in the capital and outside. 

The 'Mongol Sovayatra' highlights the Pahela Baishakh celebration marching city streets from the Institute of Fine Arts of the Dhaka University in the morning. Displaying signs and symbols of old relics, ghosts and animals; which are highly ambient of pagan culture it invariably marks the cultural transition now at work in this predominantly Muslim society. Organizers claim it is part of secular culture and although it is in direct conflict with Islamic values, it nonetheless reflects the cultural diversity in our society.

We share a liberal democratic outlook within our religious faith and socio-cultural values; but nonetheless we join to celebrate the occasion with renewed commitment to our past heritage. We wish everybody a happy Bengali New Year today on this occasion.    


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