Paresh Baruah-led faction of the banned outfit — United Liberation Front of Axom (ULFA) has condemned popular Assamese singer Zubeen Garg for performing a Hindi song on stage during the most cherished Rongali Bihu Festival at Latasheel in Guwahati on Thursday.
Yahoo India reported a media statement sent by the outfit, “He is a very talented singer and we want that he takes Assam’s art and culture to the world stage. But if he chooses to act as an agent of Hindi aggression in Assam, the conflict that we have with him now will take the shape of a clash. The ULFA shouldn’t be held responsible for any eventuality as a result of the clash.”
During the function, Garg sang his hit song “Ya Ali” from the blockbuster movie “Gangster” that went on to top charts across India, Middle East and South Asia. He also said that Hindi is the “national language” of India and that he loves it.
The ULFA has condemned the singer for disobeying their earlier diktat preventing singers from intoning Hindi songs at Bihu festivals and the outfit also stated their stand, “Hindi is India’s official language and not national language as asserted by the singer”.
“He had to confront with the ULFA in early 1990s for a similar offence. Then, he had promised that he would not insult Assamese art and culture in future. But, he seemed to have forgotten that now,” ULFA publicity secretary Arunodoi Asom added in the statement.
Later, the singer posted on his official Facebook page, “ULFA has banned me before in the 90’s. It’s nothing new for me. I always wrote songs against terrorism and violence. As an artist I can’t support these bullsh*t. Assam is heaven and we are only destroying it. It’s a call for everybody.”
Started as a revolutionary political organization in 1979, United Liberation Front of Assam is now a separatist group of Assam, among many other such groups in North-East India, seeking to establish a sovereign Assam via an armed struggle against economic and cultural exploitation by Indian govt.
The government of India banned the organisation in 1990 citing it as a terrorist organisation, while the United States Department of State listed their movement under “other groups of concern.”