Values are the foundation of our social life. Today there is restlessness in human life. With the alarming expansion of human knowledge in science and technology, values are rapidly deteriorating from human from human life today. There is rampant corruption in every field. These have their evil effects on the sensitive minds of the young generations. This position has to be checked.
Let us first understand the meaning of values. Values are the general guidelines for our social conduct. Values are those factors which affect human behaviour. Values can be Personal, social, economic, cultural, moral, health and many others. But the most important of them is social values. Because social values govern our standard of social behavior. These are expected to be followed for judging and evaluating social interactions, goals, means, ideas, feelings and expected conduct. Values hold a society together because they are shared in common. They develop a sense of belongingness and desirability to act in a particular direction. They bring equilibrium in human conduct. Religion, philosophy, culture, festivals are basis of values. It is with this background and importance of values, let us try to understand what social values are generated by the great Festival of Western Odisha, DHANUYATRA, which is widely recognized as ‘The World’s Largest Open Air Theatre’. While discussing about the social values of Dhanuyatra, let us not forget that it is based on life of Lord Krishna, who is the creator of ‘The GEETA’ which is recognized as storehouse of all knowledge.
The Social values that we can inculcate into the minds of all by Dhanuyatra are:
• Allegiance to Dharma: The central message of Dhanuyatra is that ‘Dharma’ symbolised by Krishna finally prevails over ‘Adharma’ symbolized by Kansa.
• Fighting for right cause: Dhanuyatra is based on the Hindu mythological story of the fight between Lord Krishna and King Kansa. Lord Krishna is considered as epitome of virtues and Kansa is the storehouse of vices. This Yatra provides us strength to fight against not only the Kansas of the society but also the Kansa within us.
• Strengthening Social and Family Relationship: Dhanuyatra organized in the month of Pousa of Hindu calendar is the most awaited festival of the year. Members of family staying at distant places plan to visit their families during this festival. Besides family, friends and relatives also pay visit to almost all families of Bargarh during these days. This helps to strengthen the family and social bond.
• Development of aesthetic values: Various cultural programmes like Folk Dance, Sanchar, Odishi, Bajnia, Ghudka Dance, Sabar Dance and many other dances from different states of the country are organized during the Yatra. Such dances not only make us aware of our heritage and culture, they also develop aesthetic values among the youths. Different art and craft exhibitions also contribute for the development of these values.
• Cultivating a sense of Social Service: The Organizing Committee of Dhanuyatra select and adopt different problems of social and environmental relevance to develop a sense of social awareness and service among the people. This year “Polythene Free Dhanuyatra” has been adopted as the theme to develop a sense of apathy among the people towards the greatest enemy of the environment.
The total configuration of ideals, practices and conducts of Dhanuyatra are nothing but inculcation of values that this great Yatra has been expanding since its inception i.e. 1947. In course of time instead of being faded away, it has not only stayed, but also it has been expanding its scope and boundaries.
Dr. Pandaba Behera
Reader in Education
Panchayat College, Bargarh