All tions, States and ethnic groups have their festivals that they are all justly proud of. The Assamese are no exception. Of the several festivals and holidays that we celebrate, our Rangaali Bihu or Bohaag Bihu, which also happens to mark our New Year, is certainly the most cherished. It is a happy occasion for the young and the old alike. However, in recent years, what some organizers of Rangaali Bihu have done to the cherished festival is certainly not calculated to do much good either to the festival or to the people who have celebrated it for centuries. In the first place, a festival that should be confined to no more than three days is sought to be extended to a whole month. We do not hear of Kandigas seeking to extend Yugaadi to even three days. We do not see Tamilians wanting to extend their Pongal beyond a day. And the same can be said of Punjabis and their Vaisaakhi. Here we not only have people trying to extend Rangaali Bihu to about a month, but also trying to make the festival a means of earning a livelihood for the whole year. Such perversions do neither the festival nor the people who celebrate it any good. Likewise, the entire business of trying to collect dotions for Rangaali Bihu by force must come to an end if we know what is good for us in the long run.
Rangaali Bihu Musings