There is much enthusiasm over the Dahi Handi celebrations every year and rightly so given the thrill of the game. A human pyramid to break the pot containing curds to pocket a fat purse as prize. It requires team work that calls upon trust and also agility. It is indeed a spectacle for the beholder and a test of grit and determination for the participant.
However, this year there was added enthusiasm to organize Dahi Handi competitions because sponsorships were just waiting to be handed over, the reason being the municipal elections scheduled to be held next month and aspiring candidates wanting to build up their vote base.
In Margao there was a substantial increase in the number of these competitions which were held for the first time at many places. The new sites for these competition are too many to list out but notable was the Sirvodem-Sarvodem-Khareband area where there were as many as four competitions. Whether they will be repeated next year is a question?
Meanwhile at Vasco the power play for the next assembly elections manifested in the Dahi Handi competition. The Three Brothers Club that has been organizing it for the last 37 years, had a rival this year with Revenue Minister Jose Philip D’Souza sponsoring the rival.
As Three Brothers Club president Sudesh Kolgaokar has decided to contest the municipal elections with Deputy Speaker Mauvin Godinho’s backing, he invited Mauvin for the competition. Miffed that he was ignored this year after having been the chief guest for the last two years, Jose Philip organized his own competition and that too barely 50 metres away.
While this cultural activity took political hues, the group that was truly harassed and had a hard time were the police personnel. They had to ensure that the programmes went on without any incident and at the same time make arrangements for flow of traffic.