Buddha Mahotsava – reminiscence of a bystander

[ Gocham Taga ]
November is a period eagerly awaited by the people of West Kameng and the nearby districts. By this month, everything around the town blends itself into a beautiful Diaspora of summer and winter called autumn, and Buddha Mahotsava being celebrated in the first week is an alluring reason for the people and tourists alike to celebrate and revel in the three days cultural extravaganza.
Buddha stadium, the venue reflected the traditions of all the six indigenous tribes of the district. With the symbolic pillars in the spacious centre stage and huts built with traditional excellence reflected the rich culture and tradition of the district. The uniqueness of the district lies in the fact that it is the only district in the whole of the state which houses an amazing six indigenous major tribes in its fold, each with their distinct cultural traits existing in peaceful ambience upholding the quintessential essence of tolerance and peaceful co-existence.
Unlike other festivities, Buddha Mahotsava not only facilitated the promotion and participation of the local artists and famous Bollywood singers, but also provided the much required platform for budding talents of the district in the form of ‘Voice of Buddha Mahotsava’.
The three days celebration also included skits on various traditional values and ethos, including the ones on Open Defecation Free status- enacted by officers, school children and local artists – to educate and enlighten the masses on Swachh Bharat Mission, besides respecting nature and learning to live with it.
To spice up the celebration, national and state award winning films produced from West Kameng and Tawang districts were screened on all the three days under the banner of Mon Regional Film Fest 2017 for the public, while various sporting events, like archery, marathon and volley ball competitions were held for men and women to propagate the adage of ‘healthy mind in a healthy body’.
Religious talks by HE, the XIth Kyabje Rigya Rimpoche and HE Guru Tulku Rinpoche on Science and Buddhism featured on the values and responsibilities of a human life. According to the Rimpoche, Buddhism is more than just colourful masks, monks and monasteries. One of the greatest responsibilities of a human being was to learn to live with nature. “Buddha was born under a tree, meditated under a tree and attained nirvana under a tree”, he quoted.
Besides its endeavour to promote tourism on a larger scale, Buddha Mahotsava aimed at doling out a well orchestrated and meaningful celebration of the cultural diversity on a platter with essence of peace, brotherhood and conservation of nature.
The icing on the cake was the presence of Union Defence Minister, MoS (Home), top defence bureaucrats, local legislators of the district and of course the feet thumping numbers rolled out by Bollywood stars Mohit Chauhan, Kailash Kher and the soulful renditions of the Tetseo sisters, besides mesmerizing performances by various tribes attired in the best of their traditional dresses. Local cuisines and other delicacies available in the tribal huts, especially meant for the tourists, were another feature in itself.
The performance of a team largely depends on the role played by the captain. Steering the ship clear out of troubled waters to safety and to the destination is a daunting task. Deputy Commissioner Dr Sonal Swaroop and the dedicated team of hers rightfully deserve all the credit and applause for their endeavours in making the second edition of the Buddha Mahotsava a grand success. (The contributor is DIPRO, West Kameng)