January 13, 2016
Banglar Jibone Jatra – WB CM inaugurates 20th Jatra Utsav
West Bengal Chief Minister inaugurated the 20th edition of the State Jatra Festival at Kachhari Maidan, Barasat today. This year’s theme is “Banglar Jibone Jatra”.
Speaking on the occasion, WB CM reiterated her commitment to keep the tradition of jatra alive. She also took on her critics who take potshots at her for ‘too many festivals’. “It is impossible to imagine our lives without festival. Problems will be there but we must never stop celebrations,” she said.
“We are alive because our culture is alive. Society thrives because of heritage,” the CM commented. Drawing the reference of folk artists who have roped in to perform at government functions, WB CM said she will also use the talent of Jatra artists for the same.
The 32-day long Jatra Festival will showcase the best of the Bengal’s traditional playact format which generally centres around social issues and mythological events. Several veteran Jatra artists were honoured during the inaugural ceremony.
Reviving Jatra tradition
The West Bengal Government, under the initiative of the Bengal Chief Minister has been instrumental in providing ‘jatra’ artistes with several facilities including that they would be brought under mediclaim facilities by the State Government.
Setting up of a data bank on ‘Jatra’ is on process. The government also decided to increase the annual remuneration of poor ‘Jatra’ artistes from Rs 8000 to Rs 9000, last year.
The State Government has come up with ‘Jatra Darpan’ – a booklet consisting of various Jatra groups and has given a copy to all district magistrates and police superintendents in the districts in an effort to rejuvenate Jatra culture in the state.