Ram Rai Kuthi Xatra in dire straits
By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, July 10: Since five centuries, the Ram Rai Kuthi Xatra of Dhubri has been spreading the ideals of Vaishvite culture along the Indo-Bangladesh border - and it has been doing so without any government support whatsoever.
Located at Satrasal in Golockganj constituency, the xatra was established by Srimanta Sankardeva way back in 1556. In fact, it is the only xatra to be established by the great Vaishvite saint in Dhubri district.
Towards the south of the xatra lies Bangladesh and towards its west is West Bengal.
Due to oversight of successive governments, the xatra is now in a state of acute distress.
The government acquired 1,267 bighas of land belonging to the xatra six decades back. In lieu of it, the government, through the Revenue department, had been paying the xatra an amount of Rs 4,395 every year. However, even that measly aid was stopped three years ago.
"It has become difficult to run the xatra. The yearly expenses come to around Rs 2.5 lakh. We hold several programmes, including a rath yatra and other functions for pilgrims. We have to mage everything from the contributions of devotees," xatradhikar Jitendra th Pradhani lamented.
The Archeology department had taken up a development project at the xatra three years back, but the State government did not release the entire estimated amount to the department.
"There is a rath (chariot) made of brass at the xatra. It is 12 feet in height and 6 feet long. The government needs to preserve it as it is not in good shape," Pradhani said.
According to the xatradhikar, some land of the xatra is under encroachment. "The government should hold a dialogue to settle the encroachment issue," he felt.
The xatra origilly had 1,429 bighas of land. It currently has just 13 bighas. Around 70 bighas are ryot land - given to farmers for cultivating.