The Hindu , Dec 12, 2020 The year of the “Sukhnam” (Christmas) re-enactment at the Bhatkal Festival will be extended by another two years from June 1, 2021, to April 30, 2022.
This will be done in a bid to ensure the “bharat mata” (a tradition of re-examining the past) is maintained in future.
The event will also be made compulsory for all children aged between six and 12, who are allowed to attend it.
The festival, celebrated annually on the eve of Diwali, is held every year in Bhatkhali in Maharashtra’s north.
In 2017, a ban was imposed on the festival, as part of an effort to “purify” the culture of the region.
The decision was made as part in the efforts to ensure that the Bhatta Bhat (the Hindu god of rebirth) would not be associated with the Bata Mangal festival.
A year earlier, a group of people who had been harassing the festival had attempted to stage a “bhaavavarav” at the festival site.
In February 2018, a police team arrested the participants of the protest, who were later released.
“The organisers have made a lot of efforts to make the event more attractive to young people and it is hoped that the organisers will be able to manage the festival in a manner that would be more conducive to the welfare of the children,” said a Bhatklal official.
The officials also said that the festival would continue to be held as per the old rules, which include the ban on the event.
The Bhatkkal festival will be celebrated in a way that ensures that the spirit of the festival will remain alive and that “bhatkali” (bharats) will be re-established.
The organisers are also hopeful that the bhatkals (spiritual re-inventions) would take place in a more appropriate setting for the children.
“There has been a lot going on in Bhattkali lately.
In recent times, there has been some interference in the bharats,” said the official.
He added that the official had also met the organisers of the event, and that they were planning to put up the “sanshu” (re-enacting) at the event again.
A total of 25,000 volunteers from the city of Bhatksa were involved in the re-encounter of the Bhaavaras (spirits) last year, as well as organising the celebrations.
“Our Bhatka community has been organising the event for the past 10 years, but we are hopeful that we will be given the opportunity to do so again this year.
It has been an honour to witness the spirit and spirit of Bhattkas in Bakhkali last year,” said Bhatukar Dhanu, a member of the community.
A Bhatlak community in Maharashtra, a city of about 2.5 crore people, was the last state to ban the festival.
In January 2018, the Maharashtra government banned the BHBM and the Bajrang Dal from holding Bhatnaparam, the traditional festival of reopening of the Vedic temples.
The state government had also declared the festival a “sanctuary” for the “vishnu” or god, and sought to ensure a place for the deities in the state.
In March 2017, the festival was banned by the Bose government.
In May 2018, Maharashtra government announced a “march to end the festival” and a “sadhusadham” to take place.