MANGALDAI, May 16 - Bihu was celebrated on stages across the State for the whole period of Assamese month ‘Bohag’ which has just got over.
However, unlike the big budget celebrations in open fields till the late night literally crossing all limits of ecstasy by the Bihu revellers, Bihu was celebrated with a difference within the four boundaries of the District Jail, Mangaldai.
The inmates of the district jail – who have already been in the limelight for developing a silent literary revolution by publishing a hand-written wall magazine continuously for more than three years – once again set an example on how to celebrate Bihu. People from various communities and religions celebrated the festival in the day but under strict discipline.
A collective effort and small amounts of voluntary contribution by every inmates from the savings of their daily wages and a polished management by the organising committee led by life- term convict Sat Ram Nath as the president and Arupjyoti Deka as the secretary and guided by senior jail officials and staff made this unique Bihu celebration possible.
In addition to small contributions from each inmate, convicts Chanika Purti, Sadeb Gour and Illias Purti willingly sponsored the ‘Jhumur’ dance team, while convict Gazi Rahman, Khabir Ali, Abdul Hai and Momin Ali jointly sponsored the ‘Bihu’ team. Former inmates of the jail, Ibrahim Ali, donated 40 phulam bihuwan and Illias Ali sponsored another Bihu team.
Bipul Barua of Dhemaji, who was compelled to spend several days in the Mangaldai Jail a few days back, sponsored the required sweets and biscuits amounting to Rs 10,000.
Thus Mangaldai District Jail on Sunday was virtually transformed into a holy place of unity, solidarity and the traditional year-long communal harmony of the State as the inmates, supported and encouraged by the jail authority, celebrated the ‘Bohagi Utsav’ with a daylong programme.
Setting aside their religion, language and caste, all the inmates, including the convicts and the undertrial prisoners, took part in the celebration thereby showcasing their hidden talents in culture and literature.
The celebration featured a variety of sporting competitions and cultural presentations, including Bihu group dance, Jhumur dance, solo Bihu and modern dance, besides songs rendered by guest child artiste Anwesha Goswami, Gokul Das and Tara Sankar Saikia, among others.
The presence of several leading personalities, including the District and Sessions Judge of Darrang, Alakesh Bhattacharyya; Chief Judicial Magistrate, Bijoy Kumar Sing; Judicial Magistrates Syed T Alam and Riha Paridhi; Assistant Commissioner Hemashree Khanikar; prominent businessman and president of Mangaldai Chambers of Commerce Mukul Chandra Deka; and vice-president of All Assam Child Welfare Committee Upasana Deka; Jail Superintendent Ashok Kr Goswami; Jailor Munindra Sarma; Associate Professor of Mangaldai Commerce College Prabodh Ch Sarma; senior eye specialist from Nalbari Dr Subhra Kinkar Goswami, among others.
Earlier, District and Sessions Judge Alakesh Bhattacharyya formally inaugurated the programme, while industrialist Mukul Chandra Deka unveiled the wall magazine Karalipi, edited by life- term convict Arupjyoti Deka with literary contributions from the other inmates of the jail.