GUWAHATI, March 27 - The worldwide crisis caused by COVID-19 has directly affected every sector including art and culture. Needless to say, all cultural events in the State have been cancelled to avoid public gathering.
In Assam, the singer fraternity faces a huge crisis as most of the Bihu events across the State have been cancelled after the government imposed a lockdown across the country.
�It is really a very tough time for us. Not only singers, even common people will be badly affected due to the lockdown. In Assam, most probably no Bihu function will be held this time. So it will really cause a big financial loss to us, as for a large section of singers Bihu functions are the main source of income,� singer Anupam Saikia told The Assam Tribune.
But Saikia acknowledged that everyone should focus on preventing the pandemic so that human civilisation gets relief from the crisis soon. �If we remain healthy then in coming days we will definitely get scope to perform on stage again. But at present we should act responsibly to prevent the disease,� he added.
Saikia also opined that the State government should take steps to help the artiste fraternity in such a difficult time. He stressed social distancing and urged the Assamese society to celebrate the upcoming Bohag Bihu in their homes.
Echoing similar sentiments, singer Biman Chaudang said, �My team comprises 35 members including musicians, sound technicians, drivers, etc. So this time all these 35 families will be affected because for us Rongali Bihu is the main source of income. Already most of the Bihu programmes have been cancelled.�
Singer Zublee Barua was of the view that as a relief to the artiste fraternity the Bihu committees of Assam can organise cultural events when the situation becomes normal.
�Especially, the folk artistes will be affected badly as there will be no Bihu function this time. We have no idea how to repair this damage in future. Still, I am thinking of ways to help the entire artiste fraternity in such a tough time, because we have already suffered losses due to the anti-CAA movement,� she said.
Singer Dikshu stated that this crisis will affect both music and video industry of the State. �As I am not going to perform during this Bihu, all the 24 members of my team including musicians, sound technicians, drivers and caretakers will face financial hardships,� he said. Veteran music director Biman Barua said, �For the first time I will be deprived of celebrating Rongali Bihu. It is really a tough time for us. Hope God will save us.�