Gangtok, September 29 (IPR): The state level Indrajatra celebration organised by Sikkim Newar Guthi culminated at Manan Kendra, Gangtok today.
Earlier, the celebration commenced with the Nitya Puja at Bhanu Udhyan which had the presence of Chief Minister, Shri Prem Singh Tamang, Madam Krishna Rai, Cabinet Ministers, MLAs, Chairpersons, Political Secretary to HCM, Press Secretary to HCM, other dignitaries, and participants from across the State.
Thereafter, the Rath Yatra (cultural procession) set off for MG Marg via Tibet Road. The Chief Minister visited the stalls set up at MG Marg and interacted with the entrepreneurs. The dignitaries witnessed the mask dance and other cultural performances by various groups and individuals.
The celebrations culminated at a grand event organised at Manan Kendra. The function was graced by Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang as the chief guest.
He was accompanied by Madam Krishna Rai, Cabinet Ministers, MLAs, other dignitaries, and special invitees.
On their arrival at the venue, the chief guest and the accompanying dignitaries were treated to the customary delicacy prepared by the Sikkim Newar Guthi.
Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang, in his address, extended Indrajatra greetings to everyone present, and congratulated Sikkim Newar Guthi for successfully organising the State Level Indrajatra celebration. He said that the Newar Guthi should take pride in being able to celebrate the Indrajatra at MG Marg where people from different communities and all walks of life congregate. He stated that in Sikkim various community festivals are celebrated at various places fostering unity and diversity and making our society more inclusive and resilient. He further expressed that collaboration among the different communities is essential for the progress and harmony of society. When diverse groups come together they can leverage their different perspectives, strengths and resources to address complex challenges and create positive change, he added.
Further, he said that the government will always extend support to such endeavours aimed at maintaining harmony in society. He urged the youth of different communities to learn the respective languages and gain insights into their cultural identity.
The Chief Minister further said that the government will support the proposed project – Namthang Cultural Heritage and Research Centre and stated that the collaborative efforts between the government and civil society are crucial to realise the vision behind the project.
Concluding his address, the Chief Minister urged the people to rely on credible news and information and not fall prey to social propaganda that spread misinformation, incite division and undermine social harmony. He urged the citizens to be critical consumers of information and to rely on credible sources.
Earlier, Shri Mahendra Pradhan, Chairman, Indrajatra Celebration Committee, in his address, welcomed the dignitaries and the representatives present at the function. He thanked the Chief Minister for his unwavering support in preserving the rich Newar culture and empowering the youth of the community. He expressed his deep appreciation to the Chief Minister for allocating land for the Newar Guthi in order to preserve its rich culture and heritage which is a significant step to honour traditions. It also ensures that future generations will have the opportunity to connect with their roots, he added.
Shri Nirmal Kumar Pradhan, President, Sikkim Newar Guthi, thanked the Chief Minister for his support and dedication to the Newar community. He urged the youth to champion the preservation of time-honoured traditions and customs. He said that these are the pillars of identity that bind the community together. He stated that under the patronage of Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang, the Newar Guthi heritage will continue to thrive and be passed down to the generations. Your advocacy for the Newar customs would be a gift to the community, he added.
During the programme, a project vision for the new Namthang Culture Heritage and Research Centre was presented in a video form.
One of the highlights of the programme was the handing over of the Lease Deed for the land allotted to the Sikkim Newar Guthi by the State Government. The lease deed was presented to Shri Nirmal Pradhan, President, Sikkim Newar Guthi. The formalities were carried out by Shri Anil Raj Rai, Secretary, Land Revenue and Disaster Management Department, Government of Sikkim.
On the occasion, Sikkim Newar Guthi felicitated eminent personalities of the Newar community in recognition of their major contribution towards the conservation, preservation and promotion of Newar culture, tradition and language in Sikkim. The recipients included Shri Ram Kumar Pradhan, Shri Bhakta Bahadur Pradhan, Smt Ambika Pradhan, Dr Gopal Pradhan, Shri Bhim Pradhan, Ms Kalpana Pradhan, Shri Dili Ram Pradhan, Shri Sanjay Pradhan, Shri Sudip Pradhan, Shri Basant Pradhan and Shri Tara Kumar Pradhan.
During the programme, a Smarika (memorabilia), a magazine, a book on Butterfly, website of Sikkim Newar Guthi and a video documentary on Indrajatra were released by the Chief Minister.
The audience were treated to colourful cultural presentations featuring Bajrayogini, Unity, Pancha Buddha, and Bhairav Kali dances along
with the fusion of Lepcha, Bhutia and Nepali dances. The function also had performances by the Newar Culture Band, Nasadhyah, the Rhythm band and dance performances by artists Prashna Sakhya and Nisha Deshar.
The programme also saw the felicitation of the chief guest and the special guests by the Sikkim Newar Guthi.
Earlier, the welcome speech was delivered by the General Secretary, Indrajatra Celebration Committee, Dr Sushen Pradhan.
The vote of thanks was proposed by the Vice Chairman, IJCC, and Vice President, Sikkim Newar Guthi, Shri Mahendra Pradhan.