Thousands of devotees are paying tribute to legendary mystic bard Fakir Lalon Shah at a three-day Lalon Festival under way at Chheuria village in Kushtia.
The festival features fair, discussion, presentation of Lalon songs and others.
The Lalon Academy and Kushtia district administration have jointly organised the festival, which commenced on Wednesday, in association with ministry of cultural affairs marking Fakir Lalon Shah’s 129th death anniversary.
Awami League joint general secretary and Kushtia-3 constituency MP Mahbubul Alam Hanif addressed the inaugural session of the festival as the chief guest with Kushtia deputy commissioner Aslam Hossain in the chair.
Kushtia-2 (Mirpur-Bheramara) constituency MP Hasanul Haq Inu, Kushtia-1 constituency MP AKM Sarwar Jahan, Kushtia-4 constituency MP Selim Altaf George, Khulna police range deputy inspector general D Khandaker Mohi Uddin, Kushtia superintendent of police SM Tanvir Arafat, Kushtia zilla parishad chairman Rabiul Islam, Kushtia sadar Awami League president Sadar Uddin Khan, its general secretary Asgar Ali and Kushtia Press Club president Rashedul Islam Biplob spoke as special guests.
Islamic University pro-vice-chancellor Professor M Shahinoor Rahman delivered speech as the chief discussant.
The Lalon fair features nearly one thousand stalls displaying traditional clothing’s, sweets, traditional pottery and toys along with others.
‘I have taken a sweet stall at the fair which draws thousands of Lalon devotees every year. I hope the visitors will like the sweets as well as enjoy the songs,’ Maksudur Rahman, a participant at the fair, told New Age.
Abdus Shaheed, a musical instrument seller said that a lot of people from across the country have come to the fair to buy traditional musical instruments like ektara, dotara and others.
‘I have sold a lot of instruments in the previous years and hope to do more business this year,’ he said.
A visitor of the fair, Ratul Chowdhury, said,‘ I have enjoyed the fair along with my friends for the last three years. I am a huge fan of Lalon songs and didn’t want to miss this opportunity.’
Fakir Nazirot Shah, a Lalon devotee, expressed his grief because Lalon had left the world on October 16.
‘We observe the day rendering his songs at the Lalon Akhra, as a way of paying tribute to him,’ said Nazirot Shah.
‘Tight security measures had been put in place to ensure safety of the devotees,’ said Kushtia deputy commissioner Aslam Hossain.
‘Additional police personnel have been deployed in the area to avert any kind of unwanted situation,’ he added. Lalon Shah was a Baul, a mystic, a songwriter, singer, social reformer and secular thinker. He has become an icon of religious tolerance and secularism in Bengali culture.
The festival will end on Friday morning.
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