No community can thrive by severing ties with past: Assam CM
The Government of Assam paid an amount of Rs 15.20 crore to the family members of Pratima Pandey Baruah for parting with the ownership of their ancestral property.
DHUBRI: Chief Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma on Monday visited Gauripur town in Dhubri district to attend the ceremonial handing over of the authority of 'Hawa Mahal', built by Prabhat Chandra Baruah of the Gauripur royal family, and which was the residence of late Pratima Pandey Baruah, the doyen of Goalparia folk music, by her family members to the Government of Assam for its restoration and conversion into a museum. Located on the bank of river Gadadhar, the construction of 'Hawa Mahal' was completed in 1914, costing a total of Rs 3.2 lakh at that point of time. The Government of Assam paid an amount of Rs 15.20 crore to the family members of Pratima Pandey Baruah for parting with the ownership of their ancestral property.
Addressing a public meeting correlating with the event, the Chief Minister said converting 'Hawa Mahal' into a heritage monument and a museum would be an appropriate tribute towards the "empress of Goalparia lok sangeet" for her extraordinary works in the field of art and music. Stressing that the lack of scientific approach in preserving 'Hawa Mahal' and items associated with were leading to its gradual decay and destruction, the Chief Minister exuded confidence today's formal handing over of ownership would ensure the structure with great historical significance would receive its due care and attention from now onwards. He expressed his gratitude towards the family members of Pratima Pandey Baruah for their generosity, as parting with ancestral property is never an easy decision for anybody.
Referring to 'Hawa Mahal' as the place from where Goalparia folk music spread far and wide across the country, the Chief Minister said the Government of Assam would ensure the sentiments of the people of Gauripur would be taken care of, while developing the premises. He said the aim was to complete the renovation and restoration by December 2023 and open Hawa Mahal for the public from January 1, 2024 onwards.
The Chief Minister also spoke on the life and works of Pratima Pandey Baruah. Despite being born in a royal family, she preferred to live life like that of the common man, the Chief Minister said, adding her music was a reflection of her simplicity and extraordinary personality. He specifically referred to her observations of the relationship between mahouts and elephants, which she depicted through her musical works.
Stating that a community cannot thrive for long, if it severes its ties with its history and the past, the Chief Minister appealed to the residents of Dhubri district to rise above religious and ethnic compartments and unite under one umbrella for preservation of the area's rich and varied indigenous beliefs and culture.
Tourism Minister Bimal Bora, Guardian Minister of Dhubri Jayanta Mallabaruah, Secretary of Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra Society Sudarshan Thakur, Cultural Affairs department Secretary Laya Maduri, along with senior officials of the government and family members of Pratima Pandey Baruah were also present in today's event.