BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, May 3: Attending the ‘Guest of the Month’ program of the Guwahati Press Club, renowned Xattriya exponent, Padmashree awardee Jatin Goswami on Tuesday lamented the present condition of xatras in the State.
Stating that the most of the xatras are in dilapidated condition, Goswami said, “Their very existence is in question now. And if we don’t act according to the demands of the time, it will be history. Nowadays no youth comes up to be a bhakat.”
Adding that Assam’s real identity before the world is associated with Bihu, Kamakhya temple, Kaziranga and Xattriya dance, Goswami said, “We should preserve all these components to safeguard our identity.”
Squarely blaming the Assam government of doing nothing to promote Xattriya dance, Goswami said, “When Hiteswar Saikia was the chief minister, he created around 200 different posts to appoint people associated with the cultural are to ensure promotion of cultural heritage of the State. But successive governments did nothing similar for to further the cause.”
Goswami rued that even if the present government now musters the will to do something and asks xatras to refer experts of the respective fields, the xatras will not be able to provide much assistance as very few people take up Xattriya dance these days for not being a career oriented art.
“In 2000, on the initiatives of Dr Bhupen Hazarika, Xattriya dance got the recognition, but only on paper,” he said.
On the other hand, lamenting that the cultural pages of newspapers are diminishing, Goswami said, “The cultural pages of a newspaper carries a lot of value. It not only helps a cultural exponent, but also inspires people. But we have observed that the cultural pages are diminishing nowadays. It will have a negative impact on society, particularly the cultural are.”
Born at Adhar Xattra of Dergaon on August 2, 1933, Nrityacharya Jatin Goswami received his basic cultural education at home under the guidance of his father. Later he learned Xattriya dance from Maniram Dutta Muktiar and Roseswar Saikia Bayan. He got the opportunity to learn Assamese folk songs and dances under the guidance of Kalaguru Bishnu Prasad Rabha.
The Padmashree and Sangeet tak Akademi awardee has performed Xattriya cultural items in various sessions of Axom Xahitya Xabha, Asom Sangeet tak Akademi, Asom Sangeet Sanmilan etc. Presently Goswami is engaged in conducting training and workshops of Xattriya dance & dramas in different parts of the country.