ARE MARWARIS ONA AXOMIYA???

Sunday, 24 February 2019

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ARE MARWARIS ONA AXOMIYA???

Admin | February 11, 2019 19:03 hrs


Marwari community hailing from Rajasthan and Haryana began settling in Assam two centuries ago when the British took control. With the onset of the British empire trade and communication developed and Marwari trader's started settling across the length and breadth of North East. 

Assam being the most prominent of the state's, saw the settlement of Marwaris from Sadiya to Bongaigaon. Leave aside big urban centres like Dibrugarh, Sibsagar, Tezpur, Guwahati ,Marwaris could be found in all the rural areas of Assam. The Marwari establishment began to be popularly known as GOLA in such rural areas.These establishments usually dealt in banking and trading and shops used to be mini departmental stores selling everything. 

The community because of its honesty and peaceful nature got assimilated with the local populace. The prosperity of the community helped in developing the surroundings resulting in the building of charity school's, colleges, community centres, health institutions and naamghars. This nature of contributing towards the welfare of the general public earned lot of goodwill. People began to look towards the MARWARIS with high regards.

Though the community did lot of welfare activities it never left behind its Rajasthani culture and traditions.As they began to develop roots in Assam, they slowly severed ties with Rajasthan. Marriages were held locally and were fixed within families settled in Assam. With the passage of time and love and affection of the local inhabitants, they began to completely invest in Assam. As a result they completely broke down their ties with Rajasthan. Their generations being unaware of their ancestral legacy went to Rajasthan just like any other tourist. 

As time passed by the community became more prosperous and MARWARIS rose to high positions in fields other than trade and commerce.

Everything was running smoothly till we saw foreigners agitation set in. Though lot of people from the community participated in the agitation ,the anger against the central forces found soft targets in MARWARIS. Marwari people born during the seventies like me still relish the slogans like "tez dim tel nidiu and amar dabi maniboi lagibo ". Many of my age still remember shouting the popular slogans while playing. 

But due to the love and affection and trust built with the local community, the friction did not last long .Situation slowly turned normal but with the rise in militancy in the eighties direct attack on the community was witnessed for the first time. The decade saw a lot of turmoil within the community. For the first time a sense of anger and hatred was witnessed for the MARWARIS.

Extortion and kidnappings were on the rise and a lot of people fled Assam. But as we say you can take an Indian out of India but can't take India out of him, the same adage holds true for the Axomiya MARWARIS who left Assam. Fortunately with the slowdown of militancy most of the people who fled returned back to their beloved motherland. 

Marwaris though religiously holding on to its language,culture and traditions adopted the local system of showing respect without any revolt from within the community. The Fulam Gamusa soon replaced the Rajasthani Pagadi (turban)with ease.The community started to honour and falicitate everyone with the most revered Fulam Gamusa. Rural households including females started communicating in Axomiya. 

So far so good ,but with the rise in regionalism, student politics and subsequent growth of print media ,the attitude towards the community changed. Though some sections of the community are also responsible for the ill feeling but fortunately the hatred is confined to a small section of population. Such hatred towards the community is witnessed when there are elections around or when there is some agitation taking place. 

Currently, a  trend is seen that when some Marwari names crop up in some big deals or scams or when there is a one to one tussle with some trader, some voices become aggressive blaming the whole community, labeling them as Ona Axomiya or non assamese. Such labeling hurts and does more harm than good to our beloved state. 

Majority of marwaris residing since ages in Assam are as true sons of the soil as any other fellow axomiya. Our beloved state anthem "O MUR APUNAR DEKH" and the slogan "JOI AAI AXOM" is in our blood. Our marriages are incomplete witout Bihu dance and zubeen songs. 

Though we have closely hold on to our traditions, one emotion every Marwari prides in is, being called AXOMIYA MARWARI. Some people with vested interests may call us Ona Axomiya but I can assure everyone that Marwaris will not just live as proud Axomiya but will also die as proud Axomiya. It is a request with folded hands, "ridicule us,be little us, call us by any names but please don't label us ONA AXOMIYA.....IT HURTS 
JOI AAI AXOM

(The author has written this in a anonymous name)

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