This is about a journey of a song genre of Assam, a state in the north eastern part of India. The genre is known as Goalpariya Lokgeet. I have been trying to study the journey of this song genre from the local to a more popular pan-Assamese mainstream song genre and the role of important cultural figures in the mediation and popularization of this genre. However, this is just an introductory step of research. I have been tryingto understand the socio cultural significance of this song genre in the present context of Assam by raising questions about the popularization of this song genre and the role of the culture industry in this. While the genre has undergone significant changes, issues revolve around the revival and search for authenticity. I am trying to understand how this in turn is linked to the recent politics of NRC.
The genre is named as Goalpariya Lokgeet, based on the region it originated from, known as Goalpara. Goalpara is in western part of Assam and it shares its borders with another state of India, i.e. West Bengal and also with Bangladesh
Goalpariya Lokgeet is a broader term that includes many song genres like Kushan gaan, Bhawaiya etc. But my focus of research is particularly on the genre called Mahut songs. Here to be mentioned that although these song genres have various names, yet, they are known outside the region as Goalpariya Lokgeet only. The term Goalpariya Lokgeet for all the genres were coined by Bhupen Hazarika in 1958.
Sounds interesting? Wait for my next blog for genre description…