FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT
SIVASAGAR, February 16: The three-day Shivratri Utsav and Mela got underway amidst colourful festivity around the mela site on Monday. The iuguration ceremony of the utsav and mela was held in the premises of the Shiv Dol, headed by Sivasagar Deputy Commissioner Virendra Mittal, who is also the president of the Sivasagar Temple Development Board. After iugurating the mela by illumiting the ceremonial lights amidst chanting of mantras by Sumahesh Brahmachari, Mittal, in his speech, lauded the efforts of the Shivratri Celebration Committee and said, “Shivratri mela in Sivasagar is largest in the State.” Dr. Gajendra Adhikari, secretary of Kamrup Anusandhan Samity and noted historian, who was the chief guest on the occasion, spoke on the significance of Satan Dharma. He said, “We belong to Satan Dharma. The British had first used the word ‘Hindu’ so as to create a difference from Muslim and Christian.” A souvenir titled Bhim-Shankar, edited by Simanta Baruah was also released on the occasion. Shivratri has been celebrated here since the time the Shiva Dol was constructed by Borraja Ambika Konwari, second wife of Swargadeo Shiva Singha in 1731. Among others, Additiol Superintendent of Police Debasish Sarma, ONGC, executive director Budhin Deori, prominent citizens and Mela Committee members were also present on the occasion. The Sivasagar district administration has declared a local holiday on February 18 for Shivaratri.