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Assamese 'Miyah' poets condemn artwork 'censure' at Goa fest

Panaji

20-December-2019

'Miyah' poets from Assam, whose artworks were barred from being displayed at the ongoing Serendipity Arts Festival in Goa, have expressed deep disappointment and blamed "political suppression" for the move.

Citing a "technical glitch", exhibits of poets Ashraful Hussain and Hafiz Ahmed, which were a part of a segment curated by well known contemporary artist Sudarshan Shetty, were kept out of bounds for public viewing on Wednesday, reportedly on account of oblique references to the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

"It is not a technical glitch, it is political suppression," Hussain told reporters here.

"It was our fundamental right and it has been violated. I heard about the development on Thursday morning and I am deeply disappointed. This is not a technical glitch," Ahmed said.

'Miyah' verse is a unique contemporary Assamese genre of poetry captures the angst of discrimination towards Assamese Muslims.

Several display screens broadcasting verses of 'Miyah' poetry by Dalit members and some poets from the northeast, articulating the anxieties faced by the Muslim community in the region, was suddenly off limits for viewing on Wednesday, the fourth day of the festival.

Reacting to the move, Shetty, in a statement issued here, expressed pain and has bemoaned the lack of freedom in art spaces.

Organisers of the festival were yet to comment on the development.IANS