A colossal musician from this part of the world, late Bhupen Hazarika describing the spring festival (Bohag Bihu) in Assam sang one of its timeless tune -- ‘Bohag mathu eti ritu nohoi, nohoi Bohag ethi mah, Asomiya jatir.’ Bhupen Hazarika described Bohag, as not only a season or a month but eternal the source of courage, inspiration and lifeline for the Assamese people to win over the darkness of evil.
Taking a leaf out of the lyrical epic of Bhupen Hazarika, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s campaign managers have tried to win over the hearts of the people of the state by splashing hearty Bihu wishes from Modi in daily newspapers in Guwahati, with a big picture of the party’s prime ministerial candidate printed alongside.
On this day of Rongali Bihu or Bohag Bihu, the popular spring festival considered the lifeline of the plural society in Assam, the saffron party in the message wishing all the people of Assam on the occasion says “Let this Bohag carry hopes, fulfill dreams and bring security to all in Assam. Let this Bohag brings an end to all encompassing corruption, injustice and degeneration of culture. Let this Bohag be the promise for a new beginning and brings smiles to the unemployed in Assam besides being the source of courage for the fight against injustice.”
The third phase of election in Assam s going to be held on April 24, well after the Bihu festivities are over, in the six remaining constituencies -- Nagaon, Guwahati, Mangaldoi, Barpeta, Dhubri and Kokrajhar. The BJP has fielded candidates in five of these constituencies while it has extended support to an Independent candidate in Kokrajhar constituency.
Election in eight other constituencies in Assam was held in earlier two phases on April 7 and April 12.
Most of the tribes in Assam celebrate Bohag Bihu in their own traditional style. For instance, Bodos observe it as Baisagu whereas Tiwas call it Bisu. Deoris name it as Bahagiyo Bihu, while Rabhas observe it as Nava Barsa. The Karbis call it as Johang Puja and Tai Phakes observe it as Pani Bihu. Though the celebration varies, quintessentially it remains the same for all the tribes: Bihu as the messenger of peace, brotherhood and joy.
The songs and dances, mostly earthy ones reflected elemental passion. Primarily a festival of youth, the old however did not lag behind in spirits. So, the BJP tries to strike a chord in the heart of the plural Assamese society during the Bihu celebrated in the poll time.
Image: The BJP advertisement which has been doing the rounds of the daily newspapers in Assam.