[Assam] It’s anything, but not Bihu - AT Letter

Ram Sarangapani assamrs at gmail.com
Mon May 21 08:37:36 PDT 2007

Dear Mridul

That is indeed sad. No, I am not against Hindi or Bollywood - but the Bihu
functions ought to at least keep those traditions.

In the US, sometimes we do resort to some Bollywood numbers - my point is
that B'wood or H'wood ought not to be the main attractions.

-Ram da

On 5/21/07, Mridul Bhuyan <mridul_mb at yahoo.com> wrote:
> Dear Ram Da,
> Yes, It's been a trend nowadays specially in Assam, where bolywood songs
> are a must. In the Bihu's celebrated in New Delhi, Gurgaon, Hyderabad,
> Mumbai atleast, it's seen that the organisers stick to the Assamese songs,
> Bihu, Bihu dance etc. But the inclination towards hindi, english songs are
> more in Assam and in some instances, I have seen video clips of bolywood
> dances in some bihu organised in US, I forgot where. I personally don't
> support that.
> Rgds.
> Mridul
> *Ram Sarangapani <assamrs at gmail.com>* wrote:
>  This is an interesting letter at several levels. Bihu functions years
> past,  barely had any Hindi songs. In those 'old' Bihu functions, there
> would be the local artists, children, maybe a tiny natok (play), a lokogeet,
> a Manipuri dance item or two,  and they then would slowly bring in the big
> guns, (someone like Dr. Bhupen Hazarika ). The major artist would them croon
> well into the night.  I wish they had stayed that way.
> I guess, performers and audiences must have changed. Pallavi Barua (the
> author of this letter) cites Majou (don't know who that is) & Garg for their
> English and Hindi inclinations - but they are just the artists. If one
> doesn't like that particular strain, they ought not to invite them to
> perform. Shouldn't that do the trick? Apparently, that seemingly is not the
> case - without Bollywood songs, crowds in Guwahati and other places don't
> crowd "Bihu Samelans".
> Barua also cites "French singer Celine Dion" and "Paris"  -- well,
> well, almost! Dion is from Quebec, Canada, and has as much to do with Paris,
> France as I have to do with singing.
> I hope it doesn't come down to NRAs and those Assamese in other states in
> India becoming the only ones to host Bihus, and dance to the tune of Bihu
> songs at the various locations and keeping up traditions.
> Just my thoughts.
> --Ram
> ___________________________________________________
> It's anything, but not Bihu
>  Sir, –The Bihu functions of recent times organised in the State ought to
> be named anything but not 'Bihu Sanmelans'. Going by the steep rise of Hindi
> songs in such functions, they ought to be named 'Bollywood Sanmilans'. Let's
> not bring all sorts of so called 'Sanmilans' under the orbit of 'Bihu'. As
> for the 'folk' festivals taking place every now and then in the region as a
> whole, it is amusing to watch Lou Majou crooning English songs in Shillong
> and Zubeen Garg doling out Hindi songs in Dimapur, Guwahati, Sivasagar etc.
> Even amusing is the phenomenon of 'campaigning' promoted by the cell-phone
> operators in collaboration with the numerous Hindi TV channels. For those
> who harbour the illusion that Assam would shoot into limelight through
> winners in Hindi song competitions, let us look into an even broader arena.
> If Assam wants to hog the limelight all over the world, there has to be
> winners in Olympics, Wimbledon, World Cup etc. Small countries in the
> European Union like Spain, Czechoslovakia, Belgium, or even impoverished
> ones like Algeria (in Africa), Brazil, Argentina (in South America) are
> known world-over not because of any Hollywood connection or English songs,
> but because of world class players like Rafael Nadal, Jana Novotna, Kim
> Clijsters, Zinedine Zidane, Pele, Maradona et al.
> Also, when the celebrated French singer Celine Dion renders her voice to
> an English number at times, the French people donot take out processions on
> the streets of Paris. It is her own business and the French public donot
> waste time in English affairs in a collective manner. Though the number of
> English speakers far exceeds the French, they know it very well that
> Hollywood is not the platform for a whole nation to be known for. –Yours
> etc., Pallavi Barua, ManiramDewan Path, Guwahati
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