State To Host ‘Hul Utsav’ At Junglemahal

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Kolkata: The west Bengal government is set to organize a state-level ‘Hul Utsav’ at Jhargram in West Medinipur to commemorate the fight of the state’s tribal population, Santhals, against the British Raj in 1885.

The three-day festival, slated to begin June 30, will be the first such state-level programme organised in the formerly Maoist-dominated Junglemahal. West Medinipur has Bengal’s greatest concentration of tribal populations.

Officials said while the main event would be held at Kumud Kumari Institution in Jhargram, simultaneous programmes would be organised in all other districts, including Kolkata, the same day. “While all events will be of two-day duration, the one in Jhargram will be held for three days. Earlier, a programme used to be held only in Kolkata. But the state government has decided that it should be held away from the capital, in Jhargram, where Hul Ustav is a critical part of Junglemahal’s history,” said an official.

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When contacted, Jhargram MLA and former Tribal Affairs Minister Sukumar Hansda said: “It’s very important that such events are no longer Kolkata-centric and are focused around the issues and communities living in Jangalmahal. This is more than a celebration of an historic event, this is the celebration of a community’s identity.”

Indian Express