Damu ups ante on state festival status for Dindi

The demand for according the status of a state festival to Margao's famed Dindi is beginning to gain ground in the state's commercial capital. Leading the brigade voicing the demand is ex-Fatorda MLA Damodar 'Damu' Naik who heads the organizing committee of the festival this year, which marks the 103rd year of its celebrations.

Speaking to TOI, Naik said he has already spoken to chief minister Manohar Parrikar in this regard and expressed the hope that the demand would be considered favourably by the government.

"The proposal for granting the status of state festival to Dindi was first put forward by the organizers before Margao MLA Digambar Kamat when he was the chief minister. It's disappointing to note that despite the fact that he hailed from Margao and understood the significance and popularity of the festival, Kamat failed to bestow the rajya utsav (state festival) status to Dindi. I am confident that Parrikar, who is sensitive to the sensibilities of the people, will consider this demand seriously," Naik said.

Propelling Dindi to the status of a state festival would, besides enjoying state patronage, attract tourists from far and wide to witness the religious event, thereby boosting the local economy, Naik said.

"Declaring Dindi as the state festival would provide the much-needed fillip to the efforts aimed at conserving and promoting the age-old traditions associated with the festival. Sangeet maifals and bhajani baithaks (devotional recitals) are the hallmarks of Dindi," Naik added.

Dedicated to Shree Vithal Rakhumayi, Dindi has been celebrated in Margao since 1909.

This year, the Dindi celebrations will start from November 21 and conclude on November 27. [TOI]