Didi again falls back on ‘Mati’ to strike a chord

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has instructed her ministerial colleagues to attend Mati Utshab wearing soil-coloured panjabis to send a message to people from the rural areas that the state government is deeply attached with their emotions.

The week-long Mati festival will begin at Panagarh in Burdwan on February 9.

A minister told reporters on Monday that the chief minister, during a casual discussion regarding the festival, had requested them to attend the festival wearing soil-colored panjabis. "She herself will attend the inaugural session of the festival wearing a soil-coloured shawl. She has authored a poem for the festival," he said.

The poem — Mati Utshab — will be recited by her at the inauguration of the festival. The finance department has reportedly sanctioned Rs 2.5 crore for the festival. "By holding Mati Utshab, Mamata will showcase her deep attachment with the earth and rural people," said a senior cabinet minister on Monday.

During the programme, locals will showcase traditional culture and activities of the rural people, which are on the verge of extinction due to urbanisation. Tagore's lyrics — Gram chara oi ranga matir path — has been selected as the theme song of the festival.

A live demonstration of typical village life will be on display at the festival.

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