Amid the rising controversy over use of paired Assamese-Bangla gamosa at the state representative conference of the Bangla Sahitya Sabha, Assam Linguistic Minority Development Board chairperson Shiladitya Dev on Monday stated that there is nothing wrong with adorning the two gamosas, saying it is a sign of communal harmony.
He also wondered how embellishing both pairs of "gamosas" could cause controversy in a session where proceedings began with the state anthem "O Mur Apunar Dekh".
“There was a clear indication from the conference of the Bangla Sahitya Sabha that Bengali society wanted to spread a message of communal harmony along with the Greater Assamese society. Every Bengali speaking people in the state knows the importance of the ‘Assamese Gamosa’ and they respect it by heart. They don’t place a ‘Gamosa’ on bare ground to offer Namaz, rather, adorn it in the neck. In my opinion, there is nothing controversial in this.”
The BJP leader Shiladitya Dev who had also been into headlines for his alleged controversial statements while he was an MLA from Hojai constituency further claimed that it is up to the people of Assam to decide whether they want both these communities should work together for the betterment of the society or not.
“Just like the picture of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu at one side and Mahapurush Srimanta Sankardeva on the other side of the podium in the conference. The Bangla Sahitya Sabha representatives had tried to keep both the ‘Assamese-Bangla Gamosas’ in combination. Now it’s up to the people of Assam to decide whether they want both these societies to cooperate jointly in the near future or not,” added Dev.
Meanwhile, the gamosa controversy has been making headlines grabbing reactions from several people from the Assamese community.
How did the gamosa controversy started?
On Sunday, the Bangla Sahitya Sabha on its first state-level conference honoured Assamese-Bangla paired gamosa to their guest including Assam Education Minister Ranoj Pegu.
With the photo of Ranoj Pegu adorning the paired gamosa around his neck, a photo of Bimal Borah smiling as he was looking at the gamosa on his hands was also making rounds on social media.
Yesterday, following the controversy, Ranoj Pegu issued a clarification.
He said, “At the first conference of Bangla Sahitya Sabha, they kept the photo of Rabindranath Tagore on one side while on the other side photo of Lakshminath Bezbaruah was seen. They identify themselves as Bengali-speaking Assam people. They honoured me with the paired gamosa at the event.”
“Gamosa got the GI tag which means that no other state or region can claim gamosa as their own. It was just an event where they honoured us with the gamosa. I don’t feel there should be any controversy regarding this matter as gamosa will always remain gamosa and no other region can claim it to be theirs,” he added.
However, his statement was not accepted by the masses.