Gobindapur (Baksa), Feb. 2: The 72nd biennial session of Asam Sahitya Sabha today organised Ramdhenu (rainbow), a programme to enable youths to showcase their talent.
Several delegates, like Bhubaneswar Baishya from Nalbari, felt that involving the youths in the Sabha’s activities was the need of the hour. “The Sabha is losing its influence over the new generation. It has failed to involve the youths,” he said.
Before the start of the event this morning, Sabha’s outgoing secretary Paramananda Rajbongshi admitted, “If we cannot attract the youths, we will never be able to go ahead.”
Sabha’s outgoing president, Rong Bong Terang, chose to be poetic in describing the situation. “It is not monsoon, there is no cloud in the sky. Yet, the Sabha has created a rainbow. These youths have carried with them the thoughts and ideas of the generations to create a rainbow here,” he said.
Three guest writers from Nepal — Rana Deb, Sanjita Verma and Sulochana Manandhar — participated in the programme. Deb sang shayaris and Bhupen Hazarika’s song Manuhe manuhor babe.
Another dominant feeling at the session was that the organisation should work to stop infighting among its leaders to grab power. Of late, the Sabha has faced immense criticism from different quarters. Its former presidents Homen Borgohain and Nagen Saikia even surrendered their membership, unhappy with the prevailing state of affairs.
Lohit Nath, a member of the Sabha from Barpeta Road, said people have become tired of its leaders’ power struggle. “The situation is such that when we went to collect donation for this session, people were not willing to contribute. Rather, they talked about the controversies surrounding the Sabha of late.”
Khanindra Nath, a delegate from Nalbari, said the Sabha’s image had changed over the years and a united effort from all sections of society was required to revamp it. “But I think the Sabha is still sticking to its goals,” he added.
Unlike yesterday, the footfall was impressive today. Writer Madhumita Saikia, who coordinated the event, said the number of participants in Ramdhenu was encouraging. One organiser said the footfall was likely to cross one lakh tomorrow against more than 20,000 today and an approximate 2,000 yesterday.
Around 1,000 delegates attended the literary meet today — an improvement over yesterday.
A huge procession will be organised at Barpeta Road, the venue of the session, tomorrow as the Sabha’s new president, Imran Shah, takes charge.
This morning, a few temporary hotel owners organised a rally behind the main pandal, alleging mismanagement in allocating stalls. They alleged that the organisers had charged a high fee while allocating stalls, promising that not more than 17 hotels would be allowed at the venue and in the nearby areas. But the number had crossed 100, affecting their business.