LAKHIMPUR: In view of achieving blessings from “Bathow Bwrai” for ushering in unity, common peace and progress, strengthening the bond of brotherhood in the society and to render inclusive development of the Bodo community people with the effective implementation of the Third Bodo Peace Accord, Bathow Kherai Puja, the important traditional festival of the Bodo community, was conducted at Sanjari Nwgwr under Simen Chapori area of Dhemaji district on Sunday. The religious event was organized at Satish Basumatary HS School playground under the auspices of the Bodo-Kachari Welfare Autonomous Council (BKWAC) in association with the United Bodo People’s Organization (UBPO), Jonai Jila Bodo Sahitya Sabha, Undivided Lakhimpur District Ex-BLT Welfare Society, Dhemaji District Bodo Women Welfare Federation, Undivided Lakhimpur District Bathow Mahasabha, Undivided Lakhimpur District Brahma Dharma Samiti, Dhemaji District Ex-NDFB Aikya Mancha, Dhemaji District Surrendered-NDFB Welfare Society including other Bodo frontal organizations.
As per the programme, the altar of “Bathow Kherai” was set up around 10:00 am by adhering to the tradition. Then the deity was worshipped by offering the ‘Prasad’, made of traditional items, amid blended notes of prayers chanted by male and female priests and sounds of sacred musical instruments. Traditional ‘Bathow Aroj’ and ‘Deudhani Nritya’ were also organized during the course of the event which was conducted by strictly adhering to the religious rituals. Around ten thousand devotees from 22 districts of the State, along with Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya, including all members of the BKWAC, central committee dignitaries of the UBPO, office bearers, delegates from 22 district units of the organization, members from other Bodo community frontal organizations congregated in the event to take blessings of the deity.
Speaking on the occasion, while addressing the congregation, UBPO central committee president Manuranjan Basumatary paid heartfelt obeisance to Bathow Bwrai, the deity, and prayed for divine blessings to be blessed with common peace, progress and unity, extensively in the society and inclusive welfare and development of the community people with effective implementation of the Third Bodo Peace Accord, inked on January 27, 2020. “The common endeavour initiated to organize the religious event, though there are followers of different kinds of religious faith and different kinds of political philosophies in the Bodo community, has reflected their common wish to get divine blessings to build unity, peace, progress in the society and their common zeal to ensure comprehensive development in the community. The Puja has been conducted to get blessings of the Bathow Bwrai for inclusive development, secured future of the Bodo community and to build a peaceful society for the upcoming generations”, Manuranjan Basumatary said. He thanked Tribal Welfare Minister Dr. Ranoj Pegu for the recent declaration, in which he said that the processes for the notification of Bodo villages to form the BKWAC constituencies and to hold election to the autonomous council concerned would be completed very soon. Manuranjan Basumatary expressed optimism regarding the implementation of the Third Bodo Peace Accord in letter in spirit and hoped that the issues of the Bodo people living outside BTAD and issues of the BKWAC would be resolved permanently under the incumbent State Government, led by Chief Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma.
On the other hand, Chief Executive Member of the BKWAC, Mihiniswar Basumatary explained the religious philosophy, significance of the Bathow Kherai Puja, and appealed to the community people to come forward and extend their united cooperation to render comprehensive development of the community.