The Assamese community is celebrating the Bhogali Bihu, a festival of feasting celebrated after fields are being harvested, in a different way across the state. The community, which has been historically fighting for its existence, has not sidelined their protests even during the celebration of the annual festival for which people eagerly wait. How can they sideline when the Citizenship Amendment Act is hanging like the Sword of Damocles over the head of the people of the state?
People have put placards with slogans against the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) at the mejis and Bhelaghars (makeshift huts) and burnt the copies of the CAA in the flames of mejis to register their protests.
The peace-loving greater Assamese community has continuously raised its voice against the act, which jeopardises the existential identity, in a peaceful and democratic way.
This time the nature of the movement is unique in many ways. People are doing protests and at the same time, they are doing their jobs also. The teachers are teaching, lawyers are going to court, students are appearing for examinations, musicians are creating music and at the same time, they have come out for the protection of the land, language and culture and chanted Joi Aai Asom unanimously.
There is no doubt once the festival is over, the focus will again be upon this act completely. If protests are resorted to, they must be attuned to the significance of the moment and be absolutely peaceful sans violence of any kind. However, it is unfortunate that the proponents of the act have failed to heed the voices of the protest, which started on December 11th, 2020 after the parliament passed the Citizenship Amendment Bill.
The need is to stand in unison for the greater interest of the Assamese community. Otherwise, the community will be projected as a weak community in history.