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The changing face of night life in Guwahati and its consequences

The time was 10.45 pm. My friend Rajiv (name changed) and his friend Pallav (name changed) drove down the GS road stopped the car in front of a posh restaurant and honked. The doorman came near and gestured to him to park the car at the inner area next to the restaurant. They parked the car and walked in. The restaurant was dimly lit (they came to know it was a lounge) Enigma was playing in the background and there were comfortable sofas with tables in between. They were offered the table nearest the counter as it was empty. Rajiv and his friend sat down and glanced around. There was a lot of smoke in the air and the place was full and bubbling with energy and laughter.

The next table was occupied by some teenagers both girls and boys and in the table further down there was a couple whom they judged to be in their late thirties. The rest of the place was also full mainly with youngsters. Drinks and Music followed for the next two hours and the joint (he was no longer sure whether it was a restaurant, pub, or lounge) finally closed at around 1.00pm. Rajib stays in Mumbai and was down in Guwahati to visit his family. Rajib called me up the next day in the morning and told me, “This place is better than Mumbai. In Mumbai the pubs close at 11.30 and here I could sit at one till 1.00 pm.” I told him then, “If you like it so much, why don’t you come back to Guwahati? Anyway your parents need you”. The reply was typical of Rajib and perhaps of many other Assamese and Northeastern people who stay outside, “Well, security you know. In a Mumbai Pub you enjoy and go home but in Guwahati you enjoy but you may not go home ever after that.” I reflected on this later. Yes what Rajib said was true. Recently one Rajesh Kumar Shah, a sweet shop owner from Guwahati was shot dead by one Tarun Baruah a businessman in a bar in Ganeshguri. In another incident a couple was manhandled in one of the bars in Zoo road allegedly by some inebriated youths. And many other such cases have been reported.

The Police stations in Zoo Road. GS Road have various cases originating from bars and pubs recorded in their registers.Modernisation is a two way-street where the boons are equally proportionate to the banes of urban living. Guwahati is not lagging behind in the march towards progress the effects of which are out there for everyone to see, be it the cell phone revolution that has enabled all and sundry to flaunt one or the IT revolution. Similarly a cultural evolution is also going on hand in hand which is evident in the, mall culture, dress codes of the young people and the mushrooming of pubs and night clubs in the city. In keeping with the rest of the country Guwahati too has a few addresses some of them notorious for the nocturnal birds to let their hair down and relax. The total number of Bars in Guwahati is a voluminous 98 which cater to the increasing club hoppers. Though many are licensed to close in late hours some openly defy them and keep open their shutters till late at night. Though minors are prohibited in such places but many are still allowed to pocket a fast buck. Spirits flow in abundance here and sometimes these act even as pick up joints attracting unscrupulous characters. As a result brawls have become a regular occurrence in such bars. These bars are defying norms blatantly without the authorities noticing them or rather ignoring them. There are no adequate security measures in these bars and pubs. Security guards and bouncers are hardly there.

The closing times should be monitored so that the common public is not disturbed by the late night ruckus or loud music which is usually a fixture here. Minors should be refrained from frequenting such places by the owners themselves. The police have received many complaints in this regard but they shove their responsibilities towards the Excise department which is legally empowered to bring those offending bar owners to book. But the Excise department too is ready with a suitable excuse to shirk responsibility, which in turn has given the leeway to bar owners to jive in their own spirits. The night life in Guwahati is becoming murkier by the day with violence and crime interspersed with the flow of spirits both, alcoholic as well as emotional The authorities are lending a blind eye to the abnormalities and in a way lending a hand to such incidents.

It is time the authorities acted before the situation gets out of control and we all need to guide the new generation accordingly

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Arindam Garg's picture

Arindam Garg, Associate Professor and Head, Department of Management, Rajiv Gandhi University, Arunachal Pradesh.


mitu's picture

Guwahati is booming cheers

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Grand chariot festival Poi-Leng begins

8 Feb 2016 - 9:44pm | Chow Bilaseng Namchoom

Thethree-day grand chariot festival locally known as Poi-Leng got started today at Namsai Poi-Leng Ground at the bank of Dihing river with great enthusiasm and participation of large number of people from all walks of life. The Poi-Leng celebration is held in honour of Late Venerable NyanapriyoBhikkhuMahathero of Port-Blair, Andaman who attained Nibbana (Nirvana) on January 8, 2016.

The festival started with hoisting of World Buddhist flag, offering of breakfast to BhikkhuSanghaand chanting of mangalacharan. People in great number thronged the ground to witness the installation of mortal remaining of Late Venerable NyanapriyoBhikkhuMahathero to decorated chariot from Nibbana (Nirvana) Temple and to drag the chariot constructed temporarily to preserve the mummified body of the venerable one. The body of the venerable one will be kept in chariot for three days from today and people from all walks will have the opportunity to pull the decorated golden swan chariot. 

The Poi-Leng is the celebration of reflection of possession of a noble soul of Late Venerable NyanapriyoBhikkhuMahathero who during his life span of 68 years has spent 43 Vassa (monkhood) since his higher ordination to Bhikkhu on May 30, 1973. With his death (nibbana) the entire Buddhist community has lost a respectable Buddhist Bhikkhu who was loved and respected by all people irrespective of caste, creed and religion.

The Poi-LengCelebration Committee under the guidance of Venerable Abbot of Namsai PriyattiSasana Buddha Vihara Venerable B. AggadhammaMahathero has ensuredall effort to make the Poi-Leng celebration a successful event. Community feast for all during the three days celebration is arranged and will be kept open at the venue.The main attraction of the festival is the decorated golden swan designed chariot with 6 wheels constructed and built in 22 days by Venerable SobhitaBhikkhuof Borpathar Buddhist Temple KarbiAnglong (Assam) with help from 10 other monks, novice and Kappiya (disciple) at the Bank of River Noa-Dihing. The 6 wheels on the chariot signify the quality of greatness of Dhamma of the late venerable one. The chariot has three layers, all items donated by various people are placed in the first layer and in the second layer the lifeless body of the venerable one are placed and the third layer is shaped like a temple. The number of layers in the chariots can vary. 

The lifeless mummified body of Late Venerable NyanapriyoBhikkhuMahathero was preservewith great respect and honour for 1 month at the bank of river Noa-Dihing in Nibbana (Nirvana)Kyong (Temple) at Namsai Poi-Leng Ground from January 9. The lifeless body was preserved by mummifying with cotton cloth dip in wax and covered with tobacco leaf. 

Illumination of candles was the other attraction of the event for today.


World Zoonosis Day at Barpeta

7 Jul 2014 - 9:54am | Mridusmita Das

World Zoonosis Day was celebrated and awarness meeting on zoonosis was organised by Assam Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Association, Barpeta branch on Sunday in collaboration with Journalist Union, Barpeta District Committee and Club Rhino (NGO) Barpeta. 58 pet dogs of different species were provided free health check up and medicines were also provided by Dr. Pabitra Narayan Ojah, vice president of Assam Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Association and other district veterinary officers. Meanwhile 30 pet dogs were also vaccinated for Rabies. 

Blood donation awareness meet held

27 Mar 2017 - 6:54pm | AT Kokrajhar Bureau

The All Bodo Students Union(ABSU) organized blood donation awareness meet at Bodofa House in Kokrajhar with Pramod Boro President, ABSU in the chair.

Three doctors were attended for speaking towards awareness, who are included Dr Sunil Mukherjee & Dr Amit Chakroborty, Voluntary Blood Donor’s Association, Jharkhand, and Dr Sunil Kaul, The ANT,Chirang where nearly 150 ABSU volunteers from Chirang and Kokrajhar participated.

A noble initiative taking by ABSU in organizing the training cum awareness regarding the blood donation taking these experts from the Voluntary Blood Donor’s Association of Jharkhand.

The ABSU is planning for the Blood Donation Camp from the Bodoland region in connection with the Bodoland Movement; subsequently ABSU will start the blood donation camp from April 23, 2017 to April 23,2018 next. The beginning will be held from Kokrajhar on 23 April, Chirang 24 April, 25 April Baksa, 26 April Udalguri and 27 April Sonitpur for this year 2017.