Silchar, Jan 28: Central Bishu Dima Celebration Committee in collaboration with All Dimasa Students’ Union, Dimasa Sahitya Sabha, Nikhil Cachar Haidimba Barman Samiti and Dimasa Royal Capital Protection Committee, Cachar, organized the daylong festival with the message, calling all to join hands together for the betterment of society on Friday at Khaspur, 30 km from here. It is, in fact, an adoption of Gahamphai, meaning a song in Dimasa dialect which welcomes all to enjoy the harvest season in a spirit of gaiety and joy. The venue of the celebration was well chosen at Khaspur Rajbari, the last capital of Dimasa Kingdom.
Bishu is celebrated after completion of harvest. In this celebration, the supreme God of Dimasa society Brai-Sibrai is worshiped. As a tradition, the new paddy harvested is offered to the God for peace and happiness. Bushu is followed by song to the accompaniment of the rhythm of kharams (drums). Men and women, boys and girls as well as others with their traditiol dress spend whole night by dancing in the festival. Among the festivals of the Dimasa, Bushu is the most joyous and important community festival.
The festival is usually celebrated in the month of January, when all sort or works of the jhum are completed. Thus the Bushu is an occasion for relaxation from hard toils. It can, therefore be termed as harvesting festival or a festival of rejoicing and merry making. It is relevant to mention that since 1994 as per the decision of Dimasa community of Dima Hasao, the Autonomous Council of Dima Hasao had officially declared January 27 as Bishu festival day.
The celebration began with the hoisting of flag followed by prayer to God Brai-Sibrai. A cultural rally, traditiol sports, folk dance and songs added colour to the whole atmosphere of merry-making. Kh. Dibyajyoti Barman, president of the Celebration Committee, welcomed all the distinguished guests and participants and wished their kind presence would make the celebration a memorable moment. Mihir Kanti Shome, MLA of the constituency, appreciated the Dimasa community for their commitment to live together even in dire adversities.
Quite turally, since the venue was Rajbari, it was appropriate for him to question the problem or hindrances that stood in the way of developing the last seat of Dimasa Kingdom as a tourist resort with all the necessary means of attracting the tourists. During the last Congress regime, nothing was done even to protect the Rajbari which is now virtually in ruins with its historic relics being lost in the wear and tear of time. There was much talk of bringing Rajbari on the tourist circuit of certain historical and religious spots of this valley.
He regretted nothing was done even to protect the historic Rani-dighi which now lies uncared for and uttended. Even Rajbari’s boundary walls are tottering. He said, “My government is seriously considering to protect the Rajbari and also develop it as a place of tourist interest.” The basic facilities of electricity, water and beautification of the surrounding areas are to be given priority. Mihit Kanti Shome said remains of the past are to be protected for they are the pride of the people and part of “our glorious history”.
Leaders of the Celebration Committee also drew the attention of the MLA to the encroachments on all sides of the Rajbari and demanded that steps are to be taken to remove them. They expressed their hope and belief that the new government led by Sarbanda Sonowal would give a new look and direction to the last kingdom of Dimasa. Others who graced the occasion included Ajit Singh, former minister, Kulendra Daulagupu, executive member, Dima Hasao Autonomous Council, Birendra Chandra Daulagupu Barman, president, NCHB Samiti, Prafulla Hafila, ADSU, central committee, among others. On this occasion, Mihir Kanti Shome, chief-guest, released the souvenir ‘Gahampai’. Quite pertinent to mention here that Dimasa has a population of 45,000 in Barak Valley with highest percentage of literacy and their main occupation is agriculture.