PM Modi greets people on Bohag Bihu, Poila Boishakh, Vishu and Puthandu

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday greeted people across India on Bohag Bihu, Poila Boishakh, Vishu and Puthandu. “Greetings to people across India on the various festivals. May this auspicious day bring joy & prosperity in everyone’s lives,” PM Modi tweeted this morning. “Shubho Nabo Barsho to my Bengali friends. Wishing you all on Poila Boishakh & praying for a wonderful year ahead,” PM Modi tweeted on Bengali new year. He wished people of Assam “on the auspicious occasion of Bohag Bihu.” PM Modi also extended Tamil New Year greetings. “Greetings on Puthandu to my Tamil sisters & brothers. May the year be full of happiness, good health and prosperity,” PM Modi said. On the occasion of Vishu, PM Modi conveyed his good wishes to the people of Kerala. “I pray the coming year brings joy & good health,” the PM said. “Greetings to all Odia people on Maha Vishuba Sankranti. May all your wishes be fulfilled in the coming year,” PM Modi tweeted. The PM also said that he will visit Odisha on April 15 and 16. “Looking forward to being among the people of the wonderful state,” PM Modi said.

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Assam Governor Banwarilal Purohit and Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal had greeted the people of the state on Rongali Bihu and the Assamese New Year. Conveying his warm greetings on the joyous occasion of Rongali Bihu, Governor Purohit said, “Let this Bihu, which also marks the advent of Assamese New Year be a harbinger of a new dawn of warm and harmonious relationship, peace, prosperity and progress in the state”.
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Greetings on Puthandu to my Tamil sisters & brothers. May the year be full of happiness, good health and prosperity.
6:17 AM – 14 Apr 2017
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Wishing the people of Assam on the auspicious occasion of Bohag Bihu.
6:16 AM – 14 Apr 2017
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Shubho Nabo Barsho to my Bengali friends. Wishing you all on Poila Boishakh & praying for a wonderful year ahead.
6:12 AM – 14 Apr 2017
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Greetings to people across India on the various festivals. May this auspicious day bring joy & prosperity in everyone’s lives.
6:10 AM – 14 Apr 2017
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In a message the Governor expressed hope that the celebrations of Rongali Bihu would reinforce love and goodwill among the people and strengthen the bond of unity, and bonhomie among them.
“Let this Rongali Bihu and the Assamese New Year be an opportunity for the people of Assam to take a pledge for a Swachh, Samriddhi and Shashakt Bharat”, he added.
Chief Minister Sonowal in another message also extended his Rongali Bihu greetings to the people of the state and wished that the festival would bring lasting peace and prosperity to the state, and strengthen mutual bonding among the people.
The Chief Minister hoped that Rongali Bihu will bring happiness and merriment to the lives of people and inspire them to commit themselves to the cause of the state with renewed vigour to establish Assam as one of the best states in the country.
Saying that the celebrations of Rongali Bihu would bring the people of Brahmaputra and Barak valleys, plains and hills closer, Sonowal expressed optimism that this festival symbolising Assamese cultural identity would strengthen the age old friendship and camaraderie among the people cutting across ethnicity, caste, creed and religion in Assam.
Puducherry Lt Governor Kiran Bedi and Chief Minister V Narayanasamy today extended Tamil New Year greetings to the people of Union Territory.
In her message on the eve of Tamil new year, Bedi said, “Tamil new year dawns at the beginning of the month of Chithrai tomorrow and marks the beginning of new hope and aspiration inculcating a sense of festivity and prosperity.”
She said, “May all be blessed with good health, peace, prosperity and joy in their life on the auspicious occasion.”
The Lt Governor also greeted Malayalees, Bengalis, Punjabis and Assamese living across the globe and here on the eve of Vishu, Baisakhi, Bihu and Naba Barsha celebrated by people in respective states.
Chief Minister V Narayanasamy and a host of leaders were among those who greeted the people on the eve of Tamil New Year.

About the BIHU in Assam

Since 1696, when Ahom King Rudra Singha gave the festival of Bihu royal patronage for the first time by allowing it to be performed in the courtyard of Rang Ghar, to the 21st century where Bihu has almost become synonymous with commercialization, the festival has seen many changes.
During the Ahom reign, the Koris and the Paiks, soldiers in the Ahom army, took part in this celebration with a free mind as granaries were filled with food. They considered it as the onset of an agricultural New Year that corresponded with the spring equinox.
Rongali Bihu has come a long way – from once being considered as a low-key festival celebrated by a few to a wholesome celebration accepted by all, traversing different ethnic groups, tribes, and communities – a new symbol of Assamese identity.
But the most significant change that the festival has undergone in the past three to four hundred years is the participation of both sexes in the Bihu dance.
It is not exactly known when males and females were allowed to dance together, but it is known that it was once considered social taboo if a man and a woman were seen dancing together.
“It was the advent of the British in Assam that saw the changes of perceptions towards Bihu. A new emergence of intelligentsia among the populace back then began to view Bihu as somewhat erotic, with the mingling of both the sexes during a Bihu dance,” said Anil Saikia, a Bihu exponent and cultural exponent.
Saikia believes that Bihu was present in the state long before the arrival of the Aryans and its value was held dear since time immemorial.
It was only after the coming of the British with the annexation of Assam in 1826 that Bihu was given a ‘maancha’, or a stage rendition. In the 1930’s, litterateurs and poets like Raghunath Choudhury and others decided that in order to make Bihu more popular among the people, it should be allowed to be held publicly. The first public Bihu was held in upper Assam, probably in the district of Golaghat.
“It was in 1931 when Bihu was given a public shape or performance. It was held in Golaghat district. Later it continued in 1935 in Dergaon, then again in 1941 in Sivasagar, 1948 in Nagaon and 1952 in Guwahati at the historic Latasil Playground,” added Saikia.
Since 1952, the Bihu Maancha at Latasil has continued reverberating with the sounds of Bihu. To perform at Latasil is a matter of pride for every Bihu aficionado or connoisseur.
The actual Bihu performance has also undergone a lot of changes, also due to changes in technological availability. Participants earlier used to perform in a circle, with the dancers taking different positions within it, later dancers performed within a U-shape formation. Nowadays the practice of night Bihu has almost disappeared. Husori or traditional Bihu troupes going from house to house to perform has also lessened.
Some say Bihu has lost its rustic flavour, but according to one Bihu icon, the changes brought by technology is not that bad as others seem to perceive. The expert on Bihu dance and music told TOI that change is omnipresent and cannot be stopped.
“Earlier there was old Bihu, a dance form which very few of us today know about. With the advent of radio, gramophone records and later on television everything changed. Singers could record their works which could be used later. Not only this, the very fact that at one point women were not allowed to participate in the Bihu dance is significant,” said the Bihu exponent.
In the distant past, men used to dress up as women and take part in the dance. Later on, the mindset changed and women were allowed to take part, which not only enriched the dance but added grace to it as well. Today, only the female participants are called dancers.