In Punjab, the eve of Makkar Sangranti, Pongal ( TN, Kerela) and Magh Bihu (Assam), is celebrated as Lohri.
Today, Google, Wiki and every other Media (mis) reminds you that Lohri is the harvest festival of Punjab. Harvest festival of Punjab is Baisakhi, that is celebrated in the month of April, when crops are nearly ready for harvest.
Lohri is different. Legend has it that during the reign of Emperor Akbar, Dulla Bhatti became a local hero in undivided Punjab by standing up to the Mughal tyranny. He and his group of ordinary people would waylay the caravans carrying loot and women of India. He saved these women, arranged suitable matches for them and organized their marriage ceremonies. He was the local Robin Hood. Bon Fires are lit in central location and fire is sanctified with offerings of mungfali, gachak, rewari and Til. The newlyweds and newborns are blessed.
Let the new generation learn the real significance of Lohri. Let us get back to our roots, not on the optics and commercials of Lohri. Let people know that the plight of girls and women of minority in Pakistan till date is the same. We need Dulla Bhatti as much now as then.
That traditional song, ‘Sundar Mundria tera kaun bechara. Dulla Bhatti wala.. .. .. …’ is not just a film lyric. That song reminds that there was one real hero by the name, Dulla Bhatti, who cared and protected, with his group of ordinary people, the dignity of girls by the name Sunderi and Mindri, from zamindars (landed aristocrats) of his time.
May we always respect and protect the dignity of ALL our women folk, around the Globe.
Happy Lohri to All!