Guwahati: The Bangla Sahitya Sabha, Assam on Tuesday, apologised for hurting sentiments through its act of cutting Assamese and Bengali ‘gamosas’ (scarves) into half and stitching them together to felicitate guests.
The idea was taken from a similarly borrowed scarf that was utilised by another organisation more than a year ago and didn’t cause any controversy at the time, BSSA said.
The organisation had used the stitched scarves to honour guests at its first state-level conference held here on Sunday. Notable among the attendees was state Education Minister Ranoj Pegu.
However, one half of the scarf was an Assamese ‘gamosa’ with a red border on a white cloth, while the other half was of a red-and-white checked pattern, used by the Bengali community.
“We had adopted this idea as symbolic of harmony between Barak-Brahmaputra valley. However, a section of people in the state have not accepted this concept”, the organisation stated.
“We apologise if we unintentionally hurt anyone’s feelings, and we’ll take extra care to ensure no recurrence of any such incidents,” they added.
It was done to symbolise harmony between the two communities, many criticised the act, claiming it was an insult to the Assamese ‘gamosa’, and that such acts will increase the divide, they stated.
“We had borrowed the idea of the special stitched scarf from a similar one used to honour dignitaries at a programme in Silchar by another organisation about one-and-half-year ago”, BSSA claimed.
They further added that there was no controversy back then, it has led to sharp reactions now.
However, the protests against the act were held in various parts of the state on Monday including Guwahati, Nagaon, Dibrugarh, Golaghat and Bongaigaon by organisations such as Jatiya Yuba Shakti (JYS), the youth wing of Assam Jatiya Parishad, All Assam Moran Students Union and Bir Lachit Sena.