GUWAHATI, June 4 � Criticising the candle-lit tribute-paying ceremonies in memory of artistes or other persons who had died in the recent road accidents, public activist Prof Deven Dutta has said that people, especially the �ultra-commercial singer-artistes� who pay lip service on such occasions, would do well to ask themselves and the State Government a few fundamental questions.
Prof Dutta also called for a stop to the practice of carrying the Bohag Bihu celebrations for months together in the form of Bohagi Utsavs and Bohagi Bidais, terming it as a �socio-cultural nuisance and money-making business.�
�Over three thousand people are dying in Assam�s roads every year due to accidents caused by irresponsible and drunk drivers, including those who do not have valid licences. Such utter lawlessness on our roads is being perpetuated due to the sheer inertia of the State Government, especially Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and Transport Minister Chandan Brahma, and the police. Have the artistes mourning the death of their brethren ever posed such questions to the Government and its machinery as to why such murders are being permitted on the roads?� Prof Dutta said in a statement.
Pointing out that reckless drivers of vehicles � especially commercial vehicles � were letting loose a reign of terror on the roads because of slack enforcement by police and transport officials, Prof Dutta said that the deplorable role played by the many so-called mass and student organizations also aggravated the situation.
Severely criticizing the practice of Bohagi Bidais, Prof Dutta said that the trend had ominous implications for the State�s socio-economic spheres. �First, carrying the Bihu festivities for months is ridiculous and defies all logic and this is nothing but perverse culture which has shamed the State. Secondly, the organizers of such events collect huge sums of money to satisfy the artistes and it is the common man reeling under price rise and other pressing problems who ultimately bear the burden,� he added.