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Call to restrict Rongali Bihu celebrations

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Dec 18 - Urging all concerned not to continue Rongali (Bohag) Bihu functions beyond 12 am in the night and also to restrict all Rongali Bihu programmes to one month alone, public activist Prof Deven Dutta has said that people should not give donations for any Bihu functions that are conducted after the end of the month

of Bohag.

In a statement, Prof Dutta said that Bihu celebrations had degenerated into a perverse culture, with innumerable Bihu organisers continuing with Bihu programmes well beyond the month-long Bihu season.

�This is nothing, but perverse culture when Bihu functions are continued for as long as three-four months under different names such as Bohagi Utsav, Bohagi Bidai and what not. This needs to stop, and I appeal to the people not to give any donation for any Bihu function that is scheduled after one month of the Bohag Bihu,� he said.

Prof Dutta also called for stopping Bihu functions by 12 midnight for avoiding unwarranted situations that have come to plague late-night Bihu functions.

�Bihu functions should be over by 12 midnight. There is an urgent need for reining in unrestrained celebrations of stage Bihu across the State,� he said.

Prof Dutta also said that the tone and tenor of celebrating the occasion on the stage � as also carrying the celebrations into prolonged periods � was far removed from the ground realities confronting the State.

Prof Dutta said that while the State�s flood-ravaged agriculture and denuded forests did not exactly inspire the festive Bihu mood, the local economy in its diverse aspects was totally under the grip of outsiders.

�While the people have long discarded the age-old practice of making Bihu delicacies at home, the popular readymade Bihu delicacies prepared by local self-help groups are sold at such exorbitant rates that it amounts to plain cheating,� Prof Dutta said, adding that every conceivable item associated with Bihu celebrations � from gamosas to gamkharus � were coming from outside.

Criticising the trend of performances by highly-paid local artistes, Prof Dutta said that they, together with the MNC patrons, were actually fleecing the people in the name of organising extended Bihu celebrations from April to July.

�The sooner the people realise that Bihu will not survive the ongoing unbridled commercialization at a time when the local economy comprising agriculture, trade and industry is under the total domination of outsiders, the better it would be for the future of the State and its inhabitants,� Prof Dutta said, adding that to survive as a real people�s festival and to retain its indigenous flavour, Bihu would need something more than �vested patronage� from corporate houses.

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