Assam singer uses music to protest bandh culture

Guwahati, Jan 3 (IANS) Assam’s main city Guwahati Friday witnessed an unusual kind of protest. Manas Robin, a popular lyricist-musician, opposed the “Assam bandh” culture through his music.

Manas took to the stage in the city’s popular Ganeshguri area and appealed to the people to stop supporting bandhs which have ill effects on the society and economy.
Accompanied by members of the Jonbai cultural group and businessmen of Ganeshguri area, Manas sang songs highlighting the ill effects of bandhs, one of the most popular forms of protest in several parts of the country.
“It’s enough. We have seen the ill effects for decades since the 1980s. We have achieved nothing but losses throughout the years. If people of other parts of the country have marched forward, we people are lagging behind because of this kind of activities,” he said.
Manas compared the bandh culture with the deadly cancer disease.
The artiste began his protest against a bandh called Friday by the Socialist Unity Centre of India (SUCI) against the government’s decision to set up a legislative council or Vidhan Parishad in Assam.
He said there were several other ways to express one’s grievances in a democracy.
“We will very much support their cause but there are several other ways to stage protests. I feel that bandhs will never solve our problems… rather it will lead us backward,” he said.