Tribute To The Ascetic

In an age where conflict and war seem to be the most obvious of solutions to most problems, hundreds of villagers from Redhakol Block, in Odisha’s Sambalpur district are leading the way to celebrate peace & unity. Here is a video by Mamata Patra documenting the culture of celebrating.

 

Alasua Baba, was a famed ascetic who is honoured by hundreds of villagers on his death anniversary, 4th December. The villagers congregate from over 20 villages across 4 panchayats, namely Bansajal, Tribenpur, Paratpur, and Gadadhara. Started as a tribute to Alasua Baba, this festival has now been celebrated for over 40 years and has become a symbol for the strength & harmony among the villages. The much loved ascetic has been the inspiration for naming many schools, health centres and various organizations, not just in these regions but also beyond.

 

What is unique about this gathering is the pure joy that vibrates through the celebrations and ceremonies. There is no discrimination on basis of caste or class, and all the villagers perform the functions together. Even eating, usually the most controversial aspect of caste discrimination, is done en masse. “This is the form of equality, peace and unity we wish to see in coming ages’ says Community Correspondent Mamta. “This is precisely the reason we need to preserve our culture and traditions. There are many which promote peace, love and friendship in the communities, and I hope, with this video, I can inspire future generations to find prosperity in peace.”

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