Guwahati (Assam) [India], Apr. 9 : Regarded as the lifeline to millions of people of the region and a source of livelihood to many, the mighty Brahmaputra is the most important natural treasure intrinsic to the economic and socio-cultural aspects of the state.
However, to bring forth the renaissance of the river and as a mark of campaign and to create awareness among people and let the world know about the essence of the river in bringing prosperity to the lives of the people, 'Namami Brahmaputra' or obeisance to Brahmaputra a festival like never before was recently organised by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal-led Assam government.
Brahmaputra has been at the core of Assam's folklore, inspiring literature, music and art. Many poems and songs have been dedicated to the mighty river and for the people, their very lives revolve around it and its streams and tributaries.
Lakhs of visitors from across the country and the region gathered on the bank of the river to be a part of the celebration with much spirit and joy.
President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the festival calling it the lifeline of the people of northeast.
"Brahmaputra river passing through different states ultimately going into Bangladesh near Dhubri and to meet and reach its destination the confluence at Bay of Bengal.
It has witnessed rise and fall of mighty empires; it has shown heroism indomitable spirit of men and women living on the banks of Brahmaputra," President Mukherjee said.
The festival is aimed at showcasing the trade, tourism and cultural possibilities of the state along Brahmaputra River.
"We all know Brahmaputra is our civilization, culture, economy and the lifeline. It has given special status to the people of Assam in the map of the world. So now being the son of the spoil it is our duty to glorify our Brahmaputra its resources, its potentialities and prosperities," Chief Minister Sonowal said.
'Naam Proxongo' accompanied by 'taal' and 'khol', marked the obeisance being paid to the mighty river by the Satradhikars.
Brahmaputra 'Aarti' by the priests reverberated the atmosphere and offered the visitors a mystical overview of the beautiful river.
The festival was celebrated in 21 districts of Assam along the Brahmaputra in its entire stretch from Sadiya to Dhubri, celebrating the existence of life-sustaining River.
Moreover, in Dibrugarh district of Assam, thousands converged on the boundless white sands of the Brahmaputra at Kacharighat to celebrate the indomitable spirit of the life-giving river.
"Brahmaputra is the source of life for many. This river is not only spreading a cultural message but can also be a source of trade and tourism potentialities of the state.
To make it successful work is in full progress. For strengthening river linkages, this is one of the platforms I would say," said a visitor. Varieties of cultural dance, music, art forms, and cuisine, handloom-handicrafts etc. of various communities of the state were the major highlights of the five-day long festival. On the second day of the festival, Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama made his congenial presence.
"In the year 1959 I first came from Tibet through Arunachal so there is an emotional bond with the people of the state.
I feel very happy. Hence I want to extend my greetings and good wishes to the people of the state. Under the able governor and Chief Minister I think your future is more prosperous and more united," said his holiness, Dalai Lama.
Along with the northeastern states dignitaries, Bhutanese Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay, who attended the inaugural event as the guest of honor, said that Brahmaputra is pride of South East Asia and there should be cross country event to promote the mighty river.
Besides these, foreign delegates from Japan, China, Thailand, Vietnam and a host of other nations also marked their gracious presence in the festival.
Moreover, a special tribute was also paid to the legendary singer Late Dr Bhupen Hazarika whose words, thoughts and his deep tribute to the mighty river was always reflected in his beautiful composition of songs.