Admn Imposes Blanket Ban on Vulgar Dances During Sital Sasthi Carnival

Sambalpur police has decided to impose a blanket ban on vulgar dances during the three-day Sital Sasthi festival which will be celebrated here from 2nd June.

Taking note of strong reactions to ‘public display of obscenity’ in the procession during Sital Sasthi celebration, police administration here has come up with strictures not to allow vulgar dance, locally termed as ‘Bai Nacha’.

Sambalpur SP Prateek Mohanty, at a preparatory meeting on Wednesday, said vulgar dance will not be allowed during Sital Sasthi Jatra on June 3 and 4. He threatened of stringent measures against the organisers and the artistes if they do not follow the stricture. Mohanty asked all the organising committees to submit route charts for their processions.

Speaking on the occasion, Collector Balwant Singh said police would initiate immediate step if any of the committees is found holding dance performances by nautch girls during the carnival.

Sital Sashti marks the marriage of Lord Shiva with Goddess Parvati. The festival is conceived as a real marriage with two families playing the roles of parents, one of them as Bara Pita (groom’s father) and the other as Kanya Pita (bride’s father). But it is the return of the ‘barat’ which is the highlight of the festival drawing crowds in droves.

Traditional folk dances like Dalkhai, Rasarkeli, Gotipua and Ghumra add to the festive spirit. Eunuchs and nautch girls also join in. While eunuchs from nearby areas participate in large numbers to pay their obeisance to Lord Shiva, also referred to as ‘Ardhanariswara’, dancing girls, popularly referred to as ‘bais’, are roped in from neighbouring states. Of late, vulgarity has crept into the performance of the dancing girls leading to public outcry with many demanding it to be stopped. Although every year, the local administration steps up vigil to put a ban on ‘indecent’ performances by these nautch girls during the carnival, it has proved futile so far.

Meanwhile, it was also decided that a police control room would be opened at the Town police station where officials of all line departments like fire, PHD, health, excise and Wesco will remain present to attend to the complaints. Police personnel in civil clothes would be deployed to check crime and raids undertaken jointly with Excise officials to curb sale of liquor during the carnival.

The Sambalpur Municipality authorities were directed to maintain sanitation in the town and supply water through tankers. It was also asked to spruce up bathing ghats of river Mahanadi.


Sital Sashti marks the marriage of Lord Shiva with Goddess Parvati

Traditional folk dances like Dalkhai, Rasarkeli, Gotipua and Ghumra add to the festive spirit

Dancing girls, popularly referred to as ‘bais’, are often roped in from neighbouring states

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