Along with rest of Assam, 20 odd families belonging to an Assamese community in Chaligram celebrated Bhogali Bihu with great pomp and joy at the foothills of Kalapahar under Katigorah in Cachar district of Assam.
If dancing to the wonderful renditions of Bihu made young and the old swing to its beats, strong opposition to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB), was also on their platter.
Spread across a paddy field, some of them first gathered around a ‘bhelaghar’ and swayed to the beats of Bihu, while others, got engaged in preparing a sumptuous meal of duck with zucchini on Monday evening.
Balaram Baruah, one of the chief organizers of this festivity, thanking Northeast Now, for visiting this remote village, said, “First of all I would like to thank you for coming to this very interior village of Cachar. We have come from upper Assam and have been living in this district safeguarding our cultural identity, for ages. We have not faced any problem out here, ever and today we have prepared a grand meal of duck with zucchini vegetables for all the villagers to enjoy this Bhogali Bihu.”
Villagers of Chaligram later in the day assembled before their bhelaghar and shouted slogans opposing the CAB. Displaying placards that read, ‘We Oppose Citizens Amendment Bill’ and ‘Jai Ai Ahom’, these villagers vented their anger upon the Centre and the state, for moving this bill and having it passed in Lok Sabha.
Talking to Northeast Now, Dipen Saikia, a resident of this village, said, “I would like to say that both State and the Central Governments are trying to impose this bill upon us. They are trying to destroy our identity. We the residents of Chaligram Chutia community strongly condemn and protest such move.”
Dipen Saikia added, “From outside this bhelaghar, I would like to question our Chief Minister as to why he has not opened his mouth for ‘jati, mati, bheti’ and also our social and cultural security. We won’t allow what Sarbananda Sonowal is doing. We would go all out to stall this bill just as Lachit Barphukan did in trying to protect his land.”
Before leaving this small hamlet on the foothills of Kalapahar, Upen Chutia, talking to this correspondent, informed, “We have organized this small event in a very short time to pass on our cultural heritage and beliefs. We would also like to make known to all that we are strongly opposing this bill.”