Who is an Assamese? Panel report raises more questions than answers

Assamese, Panel report
AASU supporters during a ‘Gana Saityagrah’ against Citizenship Amendment Act, in Guwahati. (PTI file photo)

Last December, 37-year-old Junali Bora walked in and out of many anti-CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) protests that had engulfed Assam and the rest of the Northeast. One such morning, she arrived at Guwahati's Latasil playground and found herself amid a sea of protesters listening raptly to an almost clean-shaven man, dressed in a black shirt, scruffy trousers, his head covered in a red phulam gamosa (the traditional white cloth with floral motifs) and eyes hidden behind a pair of dark shades.

It was none other than her favourite icon and singer Zubeen Garg. Not just for Junali, the 47-year-old singer-actor-filmmaker for long has been the heartthrob of the entire state. With the anti-CAA protests becoming louder in Assam, Garg became the face of the movement. By now, every protest was echoing with his song -- Politics Nokoriba Bondhu (Don't play petty politics, my friend). The song, along with many old and new Assamese songs, became an anthem of sorts during the heady days of December.

A little later in January, Garg said that he would not shave until the CAA was scrapped and was seen growing a beard.

More than six months later, the gamusa is gone from Garg's head. So is the beard. An ill-shaped moustache is the only remnant of Garg's ‘leftover’ revolution. The actor just five days back was seen sitting next to a state minister as he was named the brand ambassador of the state agriculture sector.

To continue reading this article...

You have to be a Premium Subscriber

Start your subscription with a free trial

Enjoy unlimited Eighth column, archives and games on
The Federal.com and The Federal APP and many more features.
You will also be supporting ethical and unbiased journalism.
After trial subscription plans start from Rs. 99
Get breaking news and latest updates from India
and around the world on thefederal.com
FOLLOW US: