Is Chhath emerging as a symbol of Bihari sub-nationalism?

Patna,(BiharTimes): Thanks to large scale migration and advent of television channels the festival of Chhath, considered as the biggest festival of Bihar till 20th century, has now become an all-India observance.

Not only that increasing number of Hindus living abroad are observing Chhath.

Notwithstanding Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief, Raj Thackeray’s ridicule Chhath has invaded Mumbai in a big way. Nobody could dare to stop it.

Thus the festival is not just confined to Bihar and Jharkhand––which was earlier its part––and a few districts of east UP. “It is fast emerging as a symbol of Bihari sub-nationalism,” commented Sujata, who herself does not observes Chhath.

The Mamata Banerjee government in West Bengal had announced Chhath holiday this year and Delhi’s chief minister, Shiela Dikshit, had last week called upon the Railway Ministry to give more special trains for migrants to go to Bihar to observe Chhath. She did so keeping in the mind the Chhath-eve stampede at New Delhi railway station a few years back in which six passengers were killed. Then the Railway Ministry was headed by none else, but Lalu Yadav, a Bihari, who along with his family, observe Chhath.

So if people of Bihar take a dip in Ganga or other rivers, ponds and home-made ponds, in Delhi and west UP they observe Chhath on the bank of Yamuna. In Mumbai, no place is better than the shore of Arabian Sea to offer puja.

Deep south in Bangalore and Hyderabad too Chhath has started leaving its mark. As more and more people in these cities outside Bihar and Jharkhand are observing Chhath many Biharis do not deem it fit to return home just to observe the festival. The mad rush are preventing them from doing so. People abroad take Ganga Jal in bottle to observe Chhath at their respective homes.

Chhath is in many ways different from other Hindu festivals. People do fast and there is no idol worship in it. The crime rate comes down considerably on the occasion.




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