GUWAHATI, May 31 � Expressing concern over the prolonged �celebration� of Bohag Bihu � often extending the occasion to three or four months � public activist Prof Deven Dutta said that it is a perverse practice that needs to be stopped forthwith.
Prof Dutta said in a statement that such ridiculous practices totally negate the true Bihu ethos and, in fact, amount to �anti-culture.� This, he added, is seriously polluting the Assamese socio-economic life, as nowhere in the world does any community indulge in celebrating a particular festival for months together.
�The extended Bihu celebrations are also causing a spurt in the �donation culture�, with Bihu organisers indulging in collection of money from individual households as well as from the business community. The traders simply pass on the burden to the common man by raising the prices of essential commodities, creating a vicious cycle,� he said.
Prof Dutta said that Bihu celebrations should be limited to seven days as has been the traditional practice. At the most, he said, Bihu functions can be held during the month of Bohag (mid-April to mid-May), but never beyond that.
�All right-thinking people should join their hands to put an end to the perverse culture being perpetuated in the name of Bihu. The horrible practice of holding �Bohagi Bidai� in particular must end,� he said.
Prof Dutta said that another disturbing fallout of the prolonged Bihu celebrations is the crass commercialisation of what is essentially a community festival. Those benefiting most from extended celebrations of the Bihu are a class of irresponsible and money-hungry �cultural traders�,� he added.
�The corporate culture has also corrupted the traditional Bihu spirit, commodifying a mass festival that has its roots in agricultural practices. The farming community, which is a most neglected lot today, hardly has any link with Bihu,� he said.
Prof Dutta also criticised the electronic media of the State for encouraging extended Bihu celebrations by telecasting live Bihu functions even in the months of May, June and July. �This is most irresponsible to say the least,� he said.
He was also critical of the present lot of artistes appearing in innumerable Bihu functions, saying they completely lack social responsibility.