Assam eyes Guinness record on Bihu with 11,000 performers
CM Himanta Biswa Sarma addressing a press conference

Guwahati: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will witness 11,140 dancers and drummers performing on Bihu in Guwahati to make it to the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest recital of the folk dance form.

Addressing a press conference on Tuesday, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said Modi will be present at the state government event on April 14, mainly initiated to popularise Bihu at the international level.

“We will also invite all the governors and chief ministers of India. Our ministers will travel to the states from March 20 to 30 to invite them,” he added.

Besides, all the ambassadors and high commissioners of the G20 countries and South-East Asian nations in India will be extended invitations to witness the spectacular programme, Sarma said.

“In total, 11,140 dancers and drummers will take part. The ratio of boys and girls will be 30:70. There will be participants from each district of Assam,” he said.

The chief minister said that the government has already sent a sample video of the Bihu dance with limited dancers to the Guinness World Records, which has given its initial clearance.

“If we can do it as per plan, it will be the largest Bihu dance recital at a single venue. The duration of the dance will be 15 minutes. It will be a short and sharp programme,” he said.

All the participants will be given an allowance of Rs 10,500, from which they will also buy two pairs of costumes, Sarma said.

He said that from next year, the state government will hold a seven-day Bihu celebration in Sivasagar and Guwahati in line with Nagaland’s Hornbill Festival, and will be included as Assam’s calendar event.

“During the function, the prime minister will roll out the beautification project of Rang Ghar. We will also try to inaugurate the AIIMS at Guwahati as well as lay the foundation stone for the Palasbari-Sualkuchi bridge over Brahmaputra,” Sarma said.

The ‘Rang Ghar’, an amphitheatre, was built by King Pramatta Singha. This two-storied oval-shaped pavilion in Sivasagar is one of the largest of its kind in Asia.

Besides, the state government has decided to offer grants of Rs 1.5 lakh to each Bihu celebration committee and a detailed SOP will be published within the next few days, Sarma said.

“After registering Bihu in the Guinness Book of World Records, our next attempt is to include Bagurumba dance of Bodo community in the record book next year. We are already talking to the Bodoland Territorial Council,” he added.

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The chief minister also said that police will launch an “intense operation” to stop sale of machine-made ‘Gamocha’ (Assamese scarf), which has recently received the coveted Geographical Indication (GI).

“There are 12 lakh weavers in the state and all of them were disheartened seeing the machine-made Gamocha, Mekhela-Chador (women’s traditional dress) and Aronai (Bodo scarf) being sold in Assam. All come from outside the state,” he added.

The police have been given instructions to seize all the machine-made products coming from outside the state, Sarma said.

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