Santal artistes perform at the programme
The 153rd anniversary of Santal Hul (revolution) was observed on June 23 in Kakonhat upazila in Rajshahi with a call for enactment of laws to protect the traditional culture and language of the indigenous people.
To mark the day, a colourful rally, discussion, archery competition, cultural programmes, including Santal traditional dance, were held.
Adivashi Sangskritik Unnayan Sangstha (ASUS) organised the daylong programme to mark the day.
During 1855-57, Santal revolution was one of the major revolts against the British rule. During the revolution 2 million people, mostly Santals and farmers, were killed.
The day's programme began with offerings to 'Sidhu-Kanu', the two brothers who spearheaded the Santal Hul.
Wreaths were also placed before the idols on the occasion.
At a discussion at Kakonhat High School playground, speakers urged the government to observe the day at state level and to ensure the rights of indigenous people to their land and language.
Speakers also discussed the sacrifices and role of indigenous people during the Liberation War in 1971.
Freedom Fighter, Nurul Islam; Jatiya Adibashi Parishad central president, Anil Marandi; district president, Bimol Chandra; secretary, Suses Kumar; indigenous leader, Modhusudon Maitra; Godagari Upazilla Nirbahi Officer (UNO), Sarwar Murshed Chowdhury; Rajshahi Social Welfare Deputy Director, Mozammel Haque; Kakonhat municipal mayor, Abdul Majid and local Adibashi leaders addressed the discussion.
Rajshahi Deputy Commissioner (DC) Ibrahim Khalil was present as the chief guest while ASUS executive director Rajkumar Shaw was in the chair.
This year, three indigenous freedom fighters were awarded the 'Sidhu-Kanu' Award.
After the discussion, Santal women performed their traditional dances, songs and staged plays to mark the day.
Earlier, a colourful procession was brought out from Kakonhat village with different traditional musical instruments.