Traditional festival of Bengal “Joydev Kenduli Mela” cancelled because of surge in Covid-19 cases

News Desk: This year’s Joydev Kenduli Mela, one of the traditional festivals of the state, has been cancelled because of the surge in Covid-19 cases. The Kenduli Mela is a traditional Baul music festival held in Birbhum every year on the occasion of Makar Sankranti. The Bauls, who are the bearers of this unique religious musical tradition, gather at the Kenduli Mela.

Kenduli Mela is held in the Kenduli village on the banks of Ajay river in Joydev Panchayat of Birbhum district. Kenduli is considered as the birthplace of 12th century poet Joydev, a pioneer of Bengal’s Bhakti tradition.

The preparations for the fair were going on but now the district administration has cancelled the festival due to the surge in Covid-19 cases and the restrictions imposed by the state government. Though the fair will not be held, devotees will be allowed to take holy dip in the Ajay river on the occasion of Makar Sankranti on January 14. According to the district administration all devotees will have to strictly follow Covid-19 norms.

On the other hand, the state government is in favour of holding the Gangasagar fair adhering to all Covid-19 norms. The government said that no person with suspected Covid symptoms will be allowed to visit Gangasagar Mela. The state government has also clarified that no one is being encouraged to take a bath in the Ganga river on Makar Sankranti day.

Being unhappy with the state’s decision, a lawyer has filed public interest litigation in the High Court to stop the Gangasagar Mela. According to him, it is impossible to organise Gangasagar Mela in accordance with the Corona rules.