Will our politicians dance to the tune of Bihu amidst LS polls?
GUWAHATI: With Bihu being around the corner, people across the length and breadth of the state are gearing up to celebrate the festival.
Even though the politicians are busy campaigning for the LS election, the flavor and charm of Bihu has not failed to grip them.
We spoke to few of our politicians to know how they are preparing to celebrate our Bapoti Xahun Bihu and welcome the onset of spring. Here are the excerpts of what they told us about their preparations for Bihu amidst the election season.
Tarun Gogoi (Former Chief Minister, Assam)
“We will definitely celebrate Bihu. Election is another Bihu for us. We will celebrate both. Bohag Bihu is the most auspicious occasion for us and we will take part in the festival. At the same time, we will seek blessings from the people of Assam to vote for us.”
Pabitra Margherita (BJP state spokesperson, Assam Pradesh)
“This Bihu is fully dedicated to “Akou ebar modi sarkar.” Few years back, I produced Bihu songs during the season, but this time I am producing songs only for the election.
“I have produced our (BJP) official song “Akou ebar modi sarkar,” which is sung by singer Simanta Shekhar and has become a massive hit. The song is being played everywhere including 25,000 election booths and rallies. It has given me immense pleasure and complemented the activities that I usually do during Bihu, which is compiling Bihu and folk songs.
“My schedule is packed throughout the Bihu season until 23rd of April, by preparing posters, banners, street plays, production presentations and social media content. Our party is celebrating election, the biggest festival of democracy and Bihu hand in hand. The party has its own way of celebrating the festival. It is committed to the culture of the indigenous people and the party workers will definitely celebrate Bihu.”
Mominul Awal (BJP minority cell chief)
“Since I am busy with the election, there is little time left for me to make any prior preparations for Bihu. I am currently in upper Assam and the nature here has already given the sign of the festival. The atmosphere now smells of Bihu, with the people getting ready to welcome the festival amidst preparations for the polls. So, our minds too have started to have the feel of Bihu.
“Yes, my schedule is tight, but I have started noticing the joy on people’s faces at the market. The poll preparations cannot mar the spirit and fever of Bihu.”
Debabrata Saikia (Leader of Opposition, Assam Legislative Assembly)
“This time the election is our Bihu (laughs)... We hardly get any time to think about the festival. I don’t even know whether I will be able to spend the time with my family or not.
“Now-a-days, indigenous Assamese foods are available throughout the year and as an ardent lover of these foods I buy them from the market whenever I want to.
“Bihu songs are now played in all the seasons, leading to a decrease in craze for the festival.
“Still, I will continue to follow the traditions of taking blessings from my elders, wishing health and prosperity to everyone during Bihu.”
Haider H. Bora (General Secretary, AIUDF)
“Bihu is our ‘bapoti xahun.’ It is the identity of Assamese people. It comes naturally to the minds and lives of Assamese people. The very word ‘Bihu’ naturally brings joy and sensation to the minds of the people.
“This feeling cannot be overpowered by any other feeling. Even a person undergoing treatment at a faraway hospital in Mumbai becomes joyous when he hears the word, Bihu.
“Therefore, I wanted to say that the natural attitude and enthusiasm that we have for Bihu is always there. But, as the upcoming election has consumed most of the time, people are finding it hard to make preparations for Bihu.
“Though political activities are keeping the people busy, yet the age old spirit of the festival remains the same. The spirit is there among our party workers too. Our party president and Dhubri MP, Badruddin Ajmal, is wishing a very happy and prosperous Bihu to all the people of Assam.”
Angoorlata Deka (MLA, Batadroba, Assam)
“This time Bihu and election are happening simultaneously and hence the momentum for both began long back.
“I have to keep a day or two aside for my family to celebrate the festival amid the election. The feel of Bihu comes only when we shop for our near and dear ones, when we gift them something as ‘Bihuwan’.
“The joy of shopping for our beloved ones ahead of Bihu has a special place in our lives. This time, because of the election, people might not get enough time to shop.
“But, I have managed sometime out of my busy election schedule to shop, so that I can gift something, whatever small it may be, to my friends and family.
“I have travelled across the state to campaign for the election, which gave me an opportunity to meet and greet people.”
“I am wishing a very happy Bihu to all the people of Assam including the voters of the remaining two phases of the election. I pray for the well and safe celebration of both Bihu and election.”