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Nusrat Jahan, Mamata Banerjee flag off ISKCON’s Kolkata rathyatra

By Simran Kashyap
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Kolkata, July 04: Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee and actor-turned-politician Nusrat Jahan on Thursday flagged off the International Society For Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON)'s Kolkata Rathyatra on Thursday. Notably, the event coincides with Jahan's wedding reception day.

Accepting the invite on Tuesday, Jahan tweeted, "Thank You @iskconkolkata for the invite. It would be my pleasure to be associated with this inclusive event." The ISKCON said Jahan was showing the way forward to achieving "social harmony".

Nusrat Jahan, Mamata Banerjee flag off ISKCON’s Kolkata rathyatra

Taking to Twitter, the TMC leader also shared a message by Radharamn Das, the spokesperson of ISKCON Kolkata. "ISKCON Kolkata Rath Yatra is an example of that social harmony where the Lord's chariots are also built by our Muslim brothers. Some of the most beautiful Lords dresses are also made by our Muslim brothers & they are doing it for decades in some of our temples," said the message.

The 48th edition of the Rathayatra organised by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) since 1971, will be inaugurated by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

Jahan, who got married to a Kolkata-based businessman and was heavily trolled for wearing vermilion and sporting a 'mangalsutra' at her oath-taking ceremony, had said, she represents an "inclusive India... which is beyond the barriers of caste, creed and religion." The actor and her husband will also be present at the inauguration ceremony along with other film stars.

I represent inclusive India: Nusrat Jahan hits back to 'fatwa' over attire, sindoor

The Rathayatra is expected to attract lakhs of devotees who will pull the chariots of deities of Lord Jagannath, Balaram, and Subhadra on the occasion, he said.

Starting from the city's Hungerford Street opposite the ISKCON temple at Albert Road, the yatra will move through important thoroughfares of the city to reach Brigade Parade Grounds, where arrangements have been made for the people to have a special darshan of Lord Jagannath till July 11. Groups of devotees from south India will be present in front of the three chariots to make street art with organic 'gulals'.

Internationally famous 'kirtaniyas' will render 'kirtans' (devotional songs) to the accompaniment of drums and 'kartals' (percussion instrument) during the yatra. The 'Ultarathayatra' will start on July 12 noon when the chariots will return to the Albert Road temple.

(with PTI inputs)

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