BHUBANESWAR: Rajya Sabha member Sasmit Patra on Wednesday raised Odisha’s demand for National Maritime Festival status to Cuttack Bali Jatra in the Parliament.
“Bali Jatra is one of the most ancient festivals held in Cuttack. It commemorates the glorious seafaring activities of Odia sailors known as Sadhavas. They used to set sails to distant Java, Sumatra, Bali and Borneo for trade and cultural expansion. We need to appreciate the history by according it the National Maritime Festival status,” he demanded.
Patra apprised the Upper House about Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s letter to Union Minister for Tourism and Culture Prahlad Singh Patel.
Naveen had urged Patel to consider the socio-cultural importance of the annual festival and accord ‘National Maritime Heritage Festival’ to Bali Jatra at Cuttack.
Rajya Sabha Chairman and Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu complimented Patra. “This is the way of putting things,” he said.