Assam Higher Education Board to introduce Bihu in syllabus

News Bharati    15-May-2019


Guwahati, May 15: While the Rajasthan Government headed by Congress Chief Minister Ashok Gahlot has decided to drop lesson on Swatantrya Veer Vinayak Damodar Sawarkar, a great freedom fighter and leader of the revolutionaries in India and mocked at him as the one who sought mercy of the British for his release from the Andamans, the Government of Assam has taken a most laudable and commendable decision to preserve the culture, tradition and history of the state for the present generation and for the posterity as well.

The world knows that Bihu is the famous festival of Assam, particularly for the dances and dance competitions associated with this festival. Of late, the nature of this festival was getting corrupted partly due to ignorance and partly due to influence of the western ideas and cultural traits. To avoid this and to save the tradition from getting completely corrupted the Assam State Higher Education Board has taken an important step to introduce this as a subject of study. Dainik Asom, a premier Assamese language daily has commended the desicion of the board.

The Assam Higher Secondary Education Board has decided to introduce from 2020 the traditional Bihu as an optional subject. Bihu represents the rich cultural tradition of Assam and the Assamese society. Bihu or Assamese New Year is the chief festival in the Assam. It refers to a set of three different festivals: Rongali or Bohag Bihu observed in April, Kongali or Kati Bihu observed in October, and Bhogali or Magh Bihu observed in January.

Bohaag Bihu is celebrated on the first day of the first month of the solar calendar known as Bohaag, which coincides with mid-April as per the Gregorian calendar. Bohaag Bihu is celebrated by the entire state as this is a cultural celebration and alludes to the harvest season.

Bihu is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Vishu’. It not only marks the beginning of the New Year but also signifies the beginning of the harvest season in Assam. The festivities of Bihu are spread over a period of seven days and each day is devoted to a special custom. Largely, the festival revolves around the preparation of special food items and celebrations that include the famous Bihu dance, which is a local form of dance.

 

The decision to introduce this subject at the higher secondary and graduation level was taken by the Board in view of the recent corruption that has crept in the celebration of these purely cultural festivals. Says HSC Board Chairman Dayanand Borgohain, “Bihu has played a key role in the Assamese society in maintaining unity, peace, love and integrity since ages. However, at present it is observed that some efforts are being done to corrupt this sacred cultural tradition of the state by certain vested interests depriving the young generation of Assam getting an opportunity to know the pure, uncorrupted nature of this festival and as a result they tend to take this existing form of Bihu as real.

“Therefore, to make this young generation and the future generations as well familiar with the pure form of Bihu and to preserve that uncorrupted nature of the festival the board has taken this step. This responsibility of preserving the original culture and tradition of the state obviously falls on the people of the state lest it would die its natural death. That is why the Education Board has taken up upon itself the mission to preserve the originality of Bihu by introducing it as a subject in the higher studies. The Board will also publish a text book on Bihu for the students and for common people also so that they know the original concept of Bihu and the inherent cultural tradition of it. All important aspects of this great cultural festival of Assam will be included in this book”, he said.

Borgohain said that it is important to make the students of Assam to know about the culture, geography, history etc. of the state and its people. This knowledge of history land and people is necessary to resolve the issues of the present confronting the society. Though late, this dawn on the education board of Assam is certainly a welcome step for the better future.