SIVASAGAR, Jan 31 - The two day Me-Dam-Me-Phi programme, organised by the Brihattar Rangpur Me-Dam Me-Phi Udjapon Samity at the Boarding Field here came to an end today with a multi-ethnic cultural evening.
The open session was addressed by former Nagaland Chief Minister and this year’s Padma Bhushan awardee SC Jamir and Satradhikar of the Aunuati Satra, Sri Sri Pitambar Deva Goswami while the former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi attended the function as a distinguished guest.
Jamir speaking in English and Nagamese said that the Nagas and the Assamese, or for that matter any NE tribe, may be different or may live in different places but their eyes and hearts are the same and one cannot be separated from the others. “If we are to go ahead and prosper, we must go together. Some Indians looked down on us as inferior, backward, connected only by the chicken neck corner around Siliguri. But now there is a sea change in one’s perception as the world has become a global village,” he added. He also said that since the days of Narasimha Rao, India is looking toward the NE and the present government is practically ‘Acting East’ and trying to make Assam in particular, the gateway to the entire South-east Asia.
Speaking to this correspondent specifically, Jamir said that as Indians we must now feel proud. While referring to the anti-CAA protest movement spilling outside the State, he said that every State has its unique problems and the rest of the country may not fully understand or appreciate the measures taken to solve them.
Sri Sri (Dr) Pitambar Deva Goswami, Satradhikar, Auniati Satra, in his speech lauded the role of the Ahoms in the making of ‘Bor Asom’ and for their unstinted support and patronage to the Auniati Satra since the days of Naria Raja (Sutingpha), Jayadhwaj Singha to Purandar Singha.
Pradyut Kishore Manikya Debabarma, the ‘Maharaja’ of Tripura in his address said that Assam and Tripura have lost their unique identity. “We must respect and educate the new generation about our own leaders rather than leaders from other places in India,” he said.
Noted journalist Nitumoni Saikia while releasing the souvenir, said Me-Dam-Me-Phi is the most significant religious celebration among all other celebrations because it has been observed by the Ahoms for over six centuries and is still being observed by the community. But it should not be observed by the Ahoms alone, but by one and all. He added that there should always an assimilation of all cultures. Earlier, Dayananda Borgohain, president, Purbanchal Tai Sahitya Sabha, delivered an enlightening speech. In the morning session, traditional Me-Dam-Me-Phi rituals were performed by Tai priests from Patsako and community prayers were organised.
Me-Dam-Me-Phi was also observed at the historic Gargaon Karengghar premises, Talatal ghar premises, Nazira Bhogbari, Nahar Ali and many othe places of the district. In Bhogbari, an anti-CAA rally was also organised at the same venue.
Our Dibrugarh Staff Correspondent adds: The holy festival of ‘Me -Dam-Me-Phi’ of the Tai Ahom community, was observed in various parts of the district here today where the Ahom priests offered prayers followed by offerings to their ancestors.
The festival was organised at the community level at the Tai Educational and Cultural Centre, Boiragimoth, Milannagar and Borpathar. Apart from the religious ceremonies, various other activities like, workshops, competitions and cultural events etc., were also organised at the venues.
Eminent language researcher, Dr Stephen Morey of La Trobe University, Australia who along with Martin Hosken of Summer Institute of Linguistics were instrumental in developing the Unicode proposal of the Tai Ahom script attended the religious ceremony at Milannagar. Dr Stephen Morey expressed his pride in undertaking research of the language and culture of the Tai Ahoms. Dr Morey’s research mainly entails three language groups – Tai, Tangsa and Singpho.
It is pertinent to mention here that the organisers of the community festival also reiterated their opposition to the Citizenship Amendment Act from their venues.