A faction of the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) has slammed the Tarun Gogoi government for conferring on film personality Sharmila Tagore the Srimanta Sankardev Award.
President Pranab Mukherji gave away the award to Tagore in Guwahati on Monday for her “rich contribution to India’s cultural life”.
“Selecting Hindi cinema’s bikini girl Begum Ayesha Sultana (Tagore) for the award is an insult to the 15th century Vaishnav saint-reformer of Assam in whose honour it was constituted,” said an emailed statement issued by Arunodoi Asom, publicity secretary of anti-talks Ulfa (independent) led by Paresh Barua.
The statement added: “The government could have spared us this ignominy after New Delhi insulted the people of Assam by rejecting the state’s Republic Day tableau on Chaolung Sukapha.”
The reason cited for the rejection was that Sukapha, founder of the Ahom dynasty, was an invader and thus did not merit the honour, the statement said.
On April 18, the outfit warned Assam’s popular singer Zubeen Garg of serious consequences for disobeying their diktat ordering singers not to sing Hindi songs on stage at Rongali Bihu functions. However, Garg and organisers of Bihu functions had ignored the threat.