GUWAHATI, April 15 - �Bihu is the lifeline of Assamese culture and a meeting point of all communities,� said Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi at the inaugural function of Rongali Bihu celebrations organised by the Guwahati Bihu Sanmilani at Latasil playground at Uzanbazar here on Wednesday.
Gogoi said that Bihu has helped strengthen the bond of unity and amity among different communities by spreading the message of peace, love, unity and integrity. He said Bihu helps in establishing communion with nature, birds and animals.
Reminiscing about his days when he was actively associated with organising Bihu in his home town Jorhat, Gogoi said that he has been coming to attend the Bihu celebrations at Latasil playground for many years and would continue to do so in the years to come. �I consider myself to be a resident of Uzanbazar and will continue to attend the Bihu celebrations here as I have been doing all these years,� said Gogoi to the thunderous applause of the gathering.
The Chief Minister said the State has now been gripped by the Bihu fervour after days of election fever. �People are now looking forward to bringing in the Assamese new year after election fever in the State. This is the time when we must forget our differences and join hands to spread happiness all around,� he added.
The Chief Minister formally released a souvenir titled Bihutoli brought out on the auspicious occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Nabashyam Das said that the Latasil Bihutoli has been a pioneer of stage Bihu in the State and that he feels a sense of pride in being associated with the Bihutoli since long. �The Latasil Bihutoli has been carrying forward a rich legacy for long glorious 65 years and has been a pioneer of stage Bihu in the State,� he said.
Earlier, in his welcome address, president of Guwahati Bihu Sanmilani Kailash Sharma said the Bihutoli at the historic Latasil playground has been a cauldron of different communities and has been in the forefront in projecting the rich cultural mosaic of the State in proper perspectives. Sharma pointed out that the organising committee has been giving due importance to the artistes who constitute the backbone of Assamese culture. �Being the pioneer of stage Bihu, it is our bounden responsibility to show the right path to others and not to discriminate among artistes,� said Sharma, adding that the Bihu Sanmilani prefers to steer clear of controversies.
The inaugural function was attended, among others, by artistes Dilip Hazarika, Samar Hazarika, Tez Hazarika, son of cultural icon Dr Bhupen Hazarika and social activist Bobbeeta Sharma.
The colourful celebrations kicked off in the morning after the flag hoisting by Dr Nabashyam Das in presence of the Chief Minister and other dignitaries. Dr Das entered the playground in a cultural procession comprising dancers from different ethnic communities. The celebrations reached a crescendo as Chief Minister Gogoi got into the festive groove and gyrated to the tune of dhol, pepa and gogona with scores of Bihu dancers in their traditional best.