Sunday afternoon turned out to be an ugly one for the fans of Metropolis 2016, Winter Festival as a simple 4 liner Tweet by Assam’s Tourism Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma brought an unexpected yet abrupt end to the 4 day long Metropolis 2016-Urban Winter Festival in Guwahati that was scheduled to take place from January 8 to 11. However, the premature end to it after the very first day left many in Guwahati and other parts of the Northeast Indian region in disbelief. Below is the tweet tha left many in disarray:
What a child activist opined on the Abrupt closure of ‘Metropolis’:
The Metropolis Urban Youth Festival was closed by the District Administration on the premise that it intruded into a park, that was meant for children and that it vitiated the atmosphere.
I was at the festival last evening myself. I had the most invigorating session on corporal punishment in schools with a host of distinguished guests. After the programme, I met lots of lots of children, along with their parents, who told me that they were absolutely enjoying the festivity. The children I had taken with me, from the community, were in awe of the beautiful decorations and wished to stay longer.
The festival had hundreds of vibrant young students, scholars, artists, musicians, photographers, designers, dancers, social workers, activists, actors, couples; each one celebrating the beautiful occasion of childhood and youth. There were no brawls, no misdemeanour.
How can such a beautiful thing vitiate the atmosphere? If this decision was taken in the interest of children, I am completely against it.
As a Child Rights Practitioner, I know children love festivities, they love colours, they love music and we have no right to take that away from them.
Were children interviewed before coming to this conclusion? Clearly not. It is time we give due importance to the narratives of children rather than arbitrarily imposing our own ideas, on what is right or wrong for children. I am of the opinion that the Minister, Himanta Da, was heavily misguided by some unintellectual interest group, who know nothing about children.
– shared from Miguel Das Queah’s FB post
Reacting to Himanta’s decision, Gaurav Gogoi on the same day reacted to the decision by Himanta as under:
It may be mentioned that this so called ‘political debate’ over a jolly fest like the Metropolis has sparked up a debate between the Congress affiliated Gaurav Gogoi and the Saffron backed Himanta Biswa Sarma. Moreover, the intricacies of the aftermath of BJP backed state government under whose umbrella the Metropolis was being conducted for the very 1st time may have had an impact on the event.
People from all walks of life have been giving mixed reactions on social media and even otherwise and the fact that the issue of using a park for an event instead of it being used as a recreation place for children was raised, has left many wondering.
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