Friday, June 21, 2024

‘Debate over festivities on Sunday a non-issue’


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By Our Reporter

 SHILLONG: Prominent citizens of Shillong have expressed their displeasure with certain organizations who are trying to impose their opinions over holding of festivities on Sundays even as some of them termed this ongoing debate on ‘festivities on Sundays’ as a non-issue.

Commenting on this controversy, Independent legislator Manas Chaudhuri said the idea of holding a festival on a Sunday is an unseemly controversy, adding that the matter should be left to the respective persons to decide their choice.

“In the worldwide culture of Christian countries in the west it is seen that events are organized even on Sundays,” Chaudhuri said on Thursday while giving his personal opinion on this matter.

He further emphasized that an individual should be given the liberty to make his/her choice on whether to attend the festival or give it a miss.

“I am totally against imposition. The freedom and choice should be left to an individual,” the independent legislator added.

Senior advocate WHD Syngkon, while terming this ongoing debate as a non-issue, said that he did not agree with the idea of imposing views on others, while adding that each and every individual should be allowed to take his/her own decision.

“I do not think there is any wrong in holding cultural festivities on a Sunday,” Syngkon, a former Additional Advocate, said.

“After attending their Church services people can always attend the festivities with their children and family members,” he added.

Meanwhile, Meghalaya Right to Information Movement activist Angela Rangad also echoed similar views.

“The Church groups have the right to protest or object and at the same time the organizers of the said festival have the right to organize it,” Rangad said.

She also said that the most important thing is that the festival is being organised to promote tourism.

Echoing her views, a filmmaker on condition of anonymity, said that it is a non-serious and non-debatable issue that deserves no time and attention.

“But one should respect the fact that both sides have the right to express their stand. People have the right to boycott and at the same time the organizers have the right to go ahead with the event,” he said.

Dr C Massar, Principal, Lady Keane College, however said that it was very difficult to give an opinion on the matter.

“Sunday is a day when the Christians go to church and they may not be able to attend the festival,” she said, adding that if the church timing does not coincide with the festival timing then it is alright.

Senior journalist Philip Marwein said that the Shillong Autumn Festival is being organised to promote the tourism sector in the State.

“But I do not think it is the right idea to organise this festival on a Sunday since it affects the sentiments of those who are following the Christian faith,” Marwein said. He also raised doubts over whether this kind of festival has to be held only on a Sunday.

Marwein however, took strong exception to the attempts made by certain sections to impose their views on the society.

“We should leave it to the wisdom of the individual to decide whether to attend the festival or not,” the senior journalist said, while adding that this is secular a country and no one can impose anything in the name of religion.

Shillong carnival from today

The MTDF will kick-off the Autumn Festival 2011 with the Shillong Carnival to be flagged-off by Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma from Madan Iewrynghep at 11:30 am on Friday.

The Shillong Carnival would begin from Madan Iew Rynghep and pass through Laitumkhrah, Don Bosco, Dhanketi, Barik, State Secreteriat, Khyndai Lad to finally iculminate at the Shillong Club. A total of 9 floats depicting the culture of the eight sister states of the North East along with other parades from Schools and Colleges would be part of the carnival. The floats will culminate with a typical Shillong Fete which would feature food and game stalls from various localities of Shillong ending with a concert by local band Afflatus. In what would be a first for Shillong, paragliders from France would exhibit their equipments to the public and interact with media persons at the venue at 3:30 pm.

Meanwhile, as per the directive of the District Administration and the SP, Ri-Bhoi district, all vehicles coming for the Autumn Festival 2011 at Umiam on Saturday and Sunday would not be allowed to park along the highway. Vehicles found violating the traffic regulations would be fined and towed away by the traffic police. Parking facilities with a fee has been arranged at the MeECL office premises and the road leading to Nongsder Village.


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