By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, April 25: Ever since Bihu came to the stage it has been losing the sheen of its folk essence. Culture vultures, who are used to the traditiol Bihu dance and songs, feel the rampant use of modern instruments in Bihu songs as cultural onslaught.
“The rampant use of modern instruments almost in every modern Assamese song, especially in Bihu songs, seeks to ruin the essence of the famous Assamese folk dance and songs. Yesteryear artistes like Bhupen Hazarika, Ridip Dutta, Jayanta Hazarika and others were well aware of the mood and needs of the audience. They had special songs for Bihu functions. For other functions, they had separate clusters of sings,” 60-year-old gen Kalita said.
“I’ve watched multiple shows of Bhupen Hazarika all over Assam. People understood each and every word from his lyrics, also because of his bare minimum use of musical instruments. Nowadays, singers are making chartbusters with the domince of music with zero renditions from his/her vocal cord. The use of noisy electronic sounds mars the vibrancy of the simple acoustic guitar, tabla and harmonium. As though to cap it all, modern-day singers don’t pay any heed to audience’s mood. Sometimes they resort to be moody, leading to abrupt end of shows. This is one of the reasons why middle aged and senior citizens ceased to visit Bihu functions nowadays,” said Putul Barman, a resident of Beltola.
Young and aspiring artistes were given chances to perform earlier. Beltola Bohagi Utsav Samiti’s initiative in giving chance to the young was lauded. However, this space for budding talents ceases to exist now. A few Bihu sanmilanis and samitis want to cite the time bar – 12 mid-night – for wrapping up Bihu functions as the reason behind not giving any chances to budding artistes. However, in practice not even a single Bihu function in the city was wrapped up before twelve at night.
“There should be guidelines for Bihu committees to create a segment at least for an hour for young and aspiring artistes. Famous artistes in the music industry are making it big now only because they had chances to perform when they were novices. We’re committed to the young, and we would come up with concrete ideas next year,” said Bihu Suraksa Samiti (BSS) president Dr. Amarendra Gogoi.
On the performance of Hindi songs on Bihu stage by singers of the State, Gogoi said that industries and companies should not expect any returns for their fat dotions. “They should dote for the worth of doting. It is their corporate social responsibility to help develop Assamese traditiol and folk culture as they do business in the State,” he said.