| Artists Sujit Baruah and Sikhasmita Baruah paint a canvas in front of Cotton College on Tuesday. Picture by UB Photos |
Aug. 7: An artist couple have taken the aid of an acrylic canvas to draw people’s attention to the deteriorating communal harmony and violence in the state.
The young couple — Sujit Baruah and Sikhasmita Baruah from Sivasagar — painted a 100-metre canvas on the riots in the Bodoland Territorial Areas District (BTAD) in front of Cotton College.
The clash, which left more than 70 people dead and thousands of families homeless, continues to mar peace in BTAD.
While there are allegations and counter allegations by various organisations for the reason behind the riot, it continues to take more lives. Today, four more bodies were recovered from Kokrajhar district.
“Our effort is to highlight that communal harmony in the state has been shattered and has affected every sphere of life,” Sujit said.
Sujit has campaigned on the state’s flood problem, which creates havoc every year by destroying paddy fields, taking lives of animals and human beings.
He said he had decided to take up brush and colour as a means to create awareness on the problem of floods after he witnessed a village at Disangmukh in Sivasagar district being washed away.
“It was 40 years ago when Aphala village in Disangmukh was washed away by floodwaters that I decided to start the campaign. Since then I have been doing this — sometimes in Guwahati, Jorhat, Sonitpur, Mangalore, West Bengal or Chhattisgarh,” he said.
As Sujit and Sikhasmita coloured their painting, students of Cotton College and other passers-by stopped to admire their work.
Some of them put their signature on the canvas giving the message that they were against violence no matter what may be the reason behind it.
A student of Cotton College, Soumen Mitra, put his signature and said, “It is their (Sujit and Sikhasmita) way to call for peace and harmony. If everybody plays their role like this, I hope things will be different.” Sujit has decided to send his canvas to the governor with all the signatures as a gesture of his tirade againstviolence.
“A canvas or a painting will not stop communal clashes. But it is a voice against such things and it is essential to channelise more voices,” Sagarika Duara, another student of Cotton College, said.