Mangal Shobhajatra with ‘borisho dhora majhe shantiro bari’ theme

Many people have taken part in the Mangal Shobhajatra with a colourful variety of masks

The Mangal Shobhajatra was brought out on Friday, the first day of Bengali New Year-1430, on the Dhaka University campus with the hope to move ahead with new vigour and determination leaving the past failure, disappointment and weariness behind.

The theme of this year’s Mangal Shobhajatra was chosen as ‘borisho dhara majhe shantiro bari’, a line from a song of Rabindranath Tagore, hoping for peace especially because of the war going on in Ukraine and its fallout around the globe.

The Mangal Shobhajatra was brought out at 9:00 am from the Fine Arts faculty of Dhaka University and ended there after parading up to the Shahbagh intersection in the capital.

Teachers and students of the university and people from different walks of life gathered in the university area to take part in the Mangal Shobhajatra. A huge number of law enforcement members, including SWAT, RAB, police and members of different intelligences were deployed in the university area to ensure security of the Mangal Shobhajatra.

The students of the 24th batch of the Fine Arts faculty worked hard for more than 15 days to make the Mangal Shobhajatra, which was included as a UNESCO heritage in 2016, a success.

Most of the female participants were wearing the traditional white sari with red border and the male with panjabi.

The traditional animal and doll effigies were ready in front of the Fine Arts faculty in the morning. The Mangal Shobhajatra started within a few minutes past 9:00 am to the beats of ‘dhak’. BNCC and Rover Scouts ensured order and discipline at the procession.

One section of the Mangal Shobhajatra ended within 15 minutes after parading up to Shahbagh intersection while another section went towards TSC (Teacher-Student Centre) chattar. The Mangal Shobhajatra was finally ended at around 10:00 am at the Fine Arts faculty.

Masks, artistic models of traditional dolls, fish, birds and various other elements of traditional Bengali culture were prepared this year. Fine Arts faculty students made peacocks, nilgai, lambs, tigers, elephants, horses and mother and child effigies of bamboo and paper.

They also painted motifs at the walls of the Fine Arts faculty.

A huge number of CCTV camera and archway were installed in the area at the request of the Dhaka University authority to ensure security of the Mangal Shobhajatra.

Different animals at the Mangal Shobhajatra

The Mangal Shobhajatra is brought out on the Pahela Baishakh every year at the initiative of the teachers and students of the Fine Arts faculty. The university administration forms a coordination committee too to celebrate the programmes smoothly.

The Fine Arts faculty arranges funds for the Mangal Shobhajatra at its own initiative. This year also the cost was met by selling art works of the teachers of students of the faculty.

Speaking to Prothom Alo, Shimul Kumbhakar, a Fine Arts faculty student, who was involved with organising the Managal Shobhajatra said, “The theme ‘borisho dhara majhe shantiro bari’ was chosen to convey the message of peace not war. Different structures were made in congruence with the theme. We are happy for the opportunity of getting involved with the celebration.”

The Managal Shobhajatra is being brought out at the initiative of the Faculty of Fine Arts of Dhaka University in the capital for the last three decades. The Shobhajatra is considered as the meeting point of Bangalees’ non-communal tradition of thousands of years.