Tribune News Service
Jammu, January 12
Lohri, the festival celebrated in the region to bid adieu to the winter solstice and welcome the arrival of longer days, has almost lost significance among the new generation.
The festival, which falls on January 13, is considered pious by Hindus and Sikhs.
Days ahead of Lohri, there used to be long drawn festivities and young and old would dance to the drum beats in their areas, but the grandeur is missing now.
“Today, festivals have almost died an unnatural death due to the onslaught of the western culture. The young generation does not even know why the festivals are celebrated,” said Deen Dayal Sharma, a retired government employee.
Though he held elders guilty, he admitted that the fast-paced transition in lifestyle of the young generation had alienated them from their culture.
“The cut-throat competition for survival and continuous migration of youth from the state in search of employment has distanced us from our culture, heritage and festivals,” said Bhupesh Sharma, a resident of Jammu, who works in a company in Gurugram.
Like Lohri, many other festivals have also lost significance as most of them have been reduced only to exchange of greetings on WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
While the festival celebrations may be low-key for the common man, political and social organisations are making good use of the opportunity to make a point.
Senior BJP leader and MLC Ramesh Arora on Saturday announced a ‘chajja competition’ under the banner of the Dogra Warrior Munch.
Arora said Jammu Dogras were humble as they had accommodated refugees from Pakistan, Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, war refugees and people who had migrated from Kashmir due to militancy, knowing well that it would affect the value of their land and property and reduce the share of jobs meant for the people of the region.
Team Jammu along with the Jammu Heritiage Society and Jammu Dogra Warriors on Saturday organised a Lohri procession to revive the disappearing Dogra cultural ethos.
Team Jammu chairman Zorawar Singh Jamwal said as the Jammu region was facing a cultural aggression due to the anti-Dogra policies being propagated by the ruling class since 1947, the organisation along with other bodies had taken the initiative with the involvement of youth, elderly and prominent persons of society.