PM Modi gets into Bihu mood after world record show 

He grooves with more than 11,200 dancers, drummers, and pipers in a repeat of the performance acknowledged by Guinness 

Updated - April 15, 2023 01:58 am IST

Published - April 14, 2023 09:43 pm IST - GUWAHATI

Bihu dancers in their traditional attire at the Sarusajai Stadium in Guwahati on Friday, 14 April 2023.

Bihu dancers in their traditional attire at the Sarusajai Stadium in Guwahati on Friday, 14 April 2023. | Photo Credit: RITU RAJ KONWAR

Exactly 24 hours after creating two world records, more than 11,200 Bihu performers did an embellished encore on Friday. 

The repeat performance was not just for the formal handing over of the certificates of record by a representative of the Guinness World Records. It was for the special guests to whom the certificates were presented — Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma — at the Sarusajai Stadium in Guwahati. 

The first record created was for “the largest Bihu performance at a single venue” by 11,298 performers — female dancers in colourful mekhela chadors and male drummers, gogona or jaw harp and pepa or buffalo hornpipe players. The second was for the largest dhol recital by 3,000 drummers at the same venue. 

“The record-breaking Bihu performance was aimed at taking our indigenous cultures to the world stage. The occasion has been made special by the presence of Narendra Modi dangoria (honorific equivalent to ji), the first Prime Minister to spend Rongali Bihu in Assam,” Mr. Sarma told the gathering. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma view the Bihu performance at Sarusajai Stadium in Guwahati on Friday, 14 April 2023.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma view the Bihu performance at Sarusajai Stadium in Guwahati on Friday, 14 April 2023. | Photo Credit: RITU RAJ KONWAR

The Prime Minister did not just groove from the dais, clapping to the drumbeats. He moved around the venue in a modified battery-operated vehicle and interacted with some Bihu dancers before the show began. 

“Bihu is a symbol of unity and of the synchronicity between human beings and nature,” he said, extolling Assam for the gamosa (woven scarf towel) that earned the GI tag, unique silken attire, cuisine, and organic farm produce, some of which have received geographic indications. 

Slew of projects 

Earlier, Mr. Modi inaugurated or laid the foundation stones of projects worth ₹14,300 crore. These include the first All India Institute of Medical Sciences in the northeast at Changsari near Guwahati built at a cost of ₹1,120 crore and for which he had laid the foundation stone in May 2017. 

Among the other projects inaugurated was a medical college in Kokrajhar, Nagaon, and Nalbari, several railway projects worth ₹7,300 crore, and an ethanol plant at Namrup in eastern Assam at an investment of ₹1,709 crore. 

The Prime Minister launched the Aapke Dwar Ayushman campaign by distributing Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana cards to 1.1 crore beneficiaries. 

He also laid the foundation stones for the Assam Advanced Healthcare Innovation Institute within the Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati complex, and the Palasbari-Sualkuchi bridge across the Brahmaputra to the west of Guwahati. The bridge is estimated to cost ₹3,200 crore and will take about four years to build. 

Mr. Modi also addressed a programme marking the platinum jubilee celebrations of the Gauhati High Court. During the event, he launched the Assam Cop mobile application designed by the Assam police to narrow down searches from the database of the Crime and Criminal Network Tracking System and the VAHAN national register.

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