Himanta Biswa Sarma, the chief minister of Assam, was present for the ceremonial distribution of one-time financial aid of Rs 1.5 lakh each to a total of 2114 Bihu committees from all over the state on Wednesday, April 12.
The Assam Department of Cultural Affairs attempt to provide one-time financial support to Bihu committees was started last year.
Himanta Biswa Sarma, the chief minister of Assam, spoke at the event held at the Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra in Guwahati. Referring to Bihu as a symbol of the rich cultural heritage of the Assamese community, he said the initiative was meant to ensure that one of the most revered festivals of the state is celebrated in a way appropriate to its significance in Assam’s cultural sphere.
The Assam chief minister noted that there is a stark contrast between how Bihu was observed in the mediaeval age, particularly during the Ahom era, and how it is observed today. These developments over time are indicative of how progressive Assamese society as a whole is, he added.
The chief minister emphasised the need to instill in the next generation the value of being anchored to their cultural history and identity, noting that the Assam government has been working relentlessly for the past two years to restore the pride and prestige of Assam’s indigenous communities.
The Assam chief minister continued, “Younger generations are frequently observed engaging in pointless debates and discussions on unrelated matters on social media because they lack basic information about ethnic heritages.”
Himanta Biswa Sarma, the chief minister of Assam, made an appeal to the members of the Bihu committees to use their platforms to promote the values of brotherhood and amity. He claimed that by incorporating inclusivity rather than watering it down, the concept of a composite Assamese identity would be strengthened.
The Assam CM stated that those who consider Assamese to be their mother tongue might take steps to achieve this goal by learning a tribal language in addition to Assamese.
The Assam chief minister also fervently urged the members of the Bihu committees to abstain from alcohol and coercive donations during their respective festivals.