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Bihu dress code

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  1 April 2016 12:00 AM GMT

With election temperatures rising, Rongali Bihu seems far from people’s minds. But with less than a fortnight remaining for the springtime celebrations, a controversy has once again erupted over a proper Bihu ‘dress code’ for artistes. A recent comment by singer Zubeen Garg has triggered outrage among Bihu organizers in Guwahati. Garg is purported to have poured scorn on ‘those who make others wear dhotis’, prompting the coordition committee of Bihu organizers of greater Guwahati to ban him in as many as 23 community Bihu stages in the city this year. The controversy is a throwback to the brouhaha last year when singer Zublee was ordered off stage by a Guwahati Bihu committee for being clad in ‘improper’ dress. Much heat was generated across the divide as some artistes argued that free artistic expression is a complete package including the right to dress as they please. Others maintained that Rongali Bihu being a cultural extravaganza that comes but once a year, it is entirely appropriate to dress in the spirit of the occasion. With Garg raking it up again, it seems the controversy will not end anytime soon. The Guwahati Bihu organizers have taken pains to clarify that while they are not enforcing the dhoti, they will continue to insist upon ‘decent attire’ for artistes, as well as zero tolerance to drunken behavior on stage. Instead of getting side-tracked by this slanging match, Bihu organizers will do well to stand by another decision — to end all stage functions sharp at 12 o’clock midnight. If this one decision is strictly enforced, not only in Guwahati but across the State, it will put an end to noise pollution during late hours. It will also make it possible for Bihu troupes to return home with a better degree of safety. The State has had enough of Bihu artistes perishing in road mishaps at unearthly hours year after year.

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