Guwahati: There is palpable anger among citizens of Assam about restrictions imposed by the state government on the celebration of ‘Magh Bihu’ this year with a political blame game already on.

On Monday, many social organizations demanded that the night curfew on the day of ‘Uruka’ be relaxed till 12 am to let people of the state celebrate the annual harvest festival. The fresh SOP has restricted the celebration on Uruka till 10 pm.

Notably, popular singer Zubeen Garg sarcastically said in a programme, “After some days, there will be an SOP to even use the toilet….there is an SOP when to start the programme…when to end of the programme.”

Congress deputy leader in Lok Sabha and Kaliabor MP Gaurav Gogoi took to Twitter to express displeasure over the state government’s decision to restrict Bihu celebrations but giving a go-ahead to election campaigns for local body polls.

“New SOP in Assam have closed schools and restricted Bihu celebrations but election campaigning for local Thengal Kachari Autonomous Elections are untouched by the state government,” Gogoi tweeted.

He termed it an irony to have dual approach of the state government towards elections and festivities, and classroom activities amid alarming surge in Covid cases.

Echoing similar sentiment, peasant leader and Sivasagar MLA Akhil Gogoi has threatened to violate COVID-19 restrictions on Magh Bihu.

“The restrictions imposed by the Assam government on is not acceptable. How did  government relax all norms on December 31? They are attacking our culture and it cannot be accepted,” Akhil Gogoi said.

The celebration of Magh Bihu is synonymous with feasts and bonfires. The day before Magh Bihu is known as Uruka, the last day of the month of Poush as per the Assamese calendar.

On Uruka, people erect makeshift huts called Meji from bamboo, leaves and thatch. The food for the feast is prepared in the Meji with a community gathering.

The next morning, the Meji is burned down and the ashes scattered on the farmlands to increase the fertility of the soil.

Bihu is a set of three important Assamese festivals which include Rongali or Bohag Bihu in April, Kongali or Kati Bihu in October and Bhogali or Magh Bihu, observed in January.

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