■ Sunil Singha ■
Maha Rash Lila, the largest religious and traditional festival of Manipuri community, started through Rakhal dance in Moulvibazar’s Kamalganj upazila on Monday afternoon.
Rakhal dance or Gosthalila of the fest started from 1 pm on Shibbazar open stage at Madhavpur under Kamalganj upazila.
On the occasion of the fest, Manipuri people are dressed in traditional clothes. The night-long festivities will conclude with the Rash Lila, a dance performance of the Radha-Krishna love story of Vaishnava literature. The main Rasleela will start from 11 pm and continue till the next morning.
Devotees give gifts Batasa and money to the dancing artistes. In addition, young women take part in the fest in three Mandaps.
Maha Rasa Lila Seba Sangha general secretary Shyam Singh said, “This time at 3.30 pm on the occasion of 181st Maha Rasa Lila at Madhavpur Jora Mandap, former chief whip Freedom Fighter Dr Abdus Shahid MP will be present as the chief guest at the exchange of greetings and lamp lighting and Kamalganj Upazila Parishad chairman Freedom Fighter Professor Rafiqur Rahman, Sreemangal Upazila Parishad chairman Bhanulal Roy, Kamalganj Municipal mayor Jewel Ahmed will be present as special guests.”
He also said, ”Sylhet divisional commissioner Abu Ahmad Siddiqui will be present as the chief guest at the discussion and cultural event at 7:30 pm. Sylhet additional divisional commissioner Debjit Singh, additional DIG (Admin & Finance) Syed Harur Or Rashid, Moulvibazar deputy commissioner Dr Urmi Binte Salam, police super Manjur Rahman, Kamalganj UNO Joynal Abedin will be present as honored guests.