Former State Cultural Minister Pranati Phukan is nowadays busy brushing her acting skills. Far away from the world of politics, the former minister on October 29th, 2019 was seen with a group of women in a new avatar at Namrup in Assam’s Dibrugarh district.
Phukan was spotted rehearsing dance steps and hand gestures in sync with the rhythm of khol (traditional drum) and was heard delivering dialogues (bachan) of bhaona, a traditional form of entertainment in Assam like a pro.
“We are organizing a woman-only bhaona in our town for the very first time. Bhaona is the root of Assamese culture. I am very glad to inform you that I am playing the character of Krishna in the bhaona. This bhaona which will be performed solely by women will empower our women to a great extent,” said Phukan while talking to Time8.
Besides being the former cultural minister, Phukan was also given the charge of handloom and textiles during the Congress regime and was also a Congress legislator of the Naharkatia legislative assembly constituency for fifteen long years.
“We are trying to keep Gurujana’s (Sankardeva) creations alive. Earlier also, we performed Gurujana’s Borgeet, Khol Badan at different platforms. Since Gurujana was never against women performing bhaona , we took up this initiative,” said a performer.
Bhaona is one of the creations of Mahapurusha Srimanta Sankardeva. It was written in the early sixteenth century. The saint created the form to convey religious messages to villagers through entertainment.
“We are very excited about this bhaona. We urge everyone to come and watch us perform on November 2nd, 2019 under the banner of Namrup Samannay Mahila Samiti. We have worked very hard to showcase Gurujana’s creation in the best way possible,” said another performer.