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Avishek Sen | HENB | Kolkata | April 21, 2019:: Every race needs its hero to identify with. Among illustratious examples are Maharana Pratap for the Rajputs, Chatrapati Shivaji for the Marathas, Maharaja Ranjit Singh for the Sikhs and Lachit Borphukan for the Ahoms. For the Bengali Hindu, a martial hero from the depths of history was elusive until now. 20th of April 2019, Bengal Theosophical Society witnessed a revival of the forgotten custom of’Pratapaditya Utsav’ to honour the warrior king of Bengal who put up a valiant fight against the marauding Mughal army.
The meeting, organised by an apolitical organization called ‘Pashchimbanger Janya’, was the reincarnation of a revered festival initiated originally by Sarala Devi Choudhurani of the Tagore household. The programme started with the incantation of Vedic hymns followed by the screening of a documentary on the life and times of Maharaja Pratapaditya. Eminent speakers like litterateur Binayak Bandyopadhyay, Professor Bimal Sankar Nanda and Colonel (Retd.) Sabyasachi Bagchi addressed the august gathering.
Bandyopadhyay emphasized on the grassroots connection of the Bengali Hindu revivalist movement. Others endorsed the relevance of Maharaja Pratapaditya’s political philosophy and vision for the Bengali Hindu in today’s existential crisis in terms of economic and political clout. The programme was also marked by the felicitation and award distribution to distinguished people who displayed exemplary courage to rescue abducted Hindu girls in rural Bengal. Among the awardees was the Hindu activist Dinabandhu Gharami who took immense personal risk and displayed indomitable courage to rescue several Bengali Hindu girls from the jaws of traffickers and love Jihadists.
The program also saw the inauguration of Bengali calendar for 1426 with the life size image of Maharaja Pratapaditya. The meeting witnessed a massive gathering of people from all walks of life and held great promise for the future.
Kalyan Sarkar, one of the organizers of the event told HENB that they felt the need of mass celebration of Pratapaditya Utsav throughout Bengal as an effective way to connect Bengali youths with a glorious past of ‘Heroic Bengali Hindu Age’ against oppressive Muslim rulers.
Courtesy: Paschimbanger Janya.