Why Assam will host National Handloom Day celebrations this year?

This is for the first time that Guwahati, the capital of Assam, will play host to the National Handloom Day celebrations in India. The event will be organized on August 7. This is part of governmental efforts to provide due recognition to the north east of India by highlighting the rich culture of the region in terms of art and craft. A fantastic ceremony is expected to be organized in order to display handloom products that have been created by artisans from the seven states of this part of India. An exhibition and a fashion show are expected to be organized for this purpose as well.

Film being showed

A film is expected to be shown during the event. It has been made by Muzaffar Ali, the director who made Umrao Jaan, and would showcase the unique handloom work that is a signature of this region. The film will have a geographical indication status and can be expected to be an important part of the event proper. Among the various dignitaries who are expected to be present at the event are Smriti Irani, the Union Textiles Minister, and Sarbananda Sonowal, the Chief Minister of Assam. Shantmanu, Development Commissioner (Handlooms), has said that the show will give equal focus to all the seven states of north eastern India.

This year's National Handloom Day will celebrate in Assam
This year’s National Handloom Day will celebrate in Assam

Equal emphasis

The event will be displaying all the silk and handloom products of the states. It is the Office of Development Commissioner (Handlooms) that will be responsible for running the event. Incidentally said office is part of Indian Government. This time around the national awards – as well as Sant Kabir awards – will not be given to the artisans though.

The national government has instead decided to group them together with Shilp Guru Awards that are conferred on handicraft artisans.

Presentation of awards

The recipients will be handed over the awards at a function that will be organized in New Delhi, the capital of India. Handicraft is a major occupation for many people in the north east of India – they are known to be able to create magic with their hands. August 7 is an important date in the history of India’s independence movement considering how on this day in 1905 Swadeshi Movement was started.

The movement was meant to bring back the importance of production processes and products of India at that time. As such this is going to be a major event – perhaps the first of its kind in this region that has often felt left out of the mainstream.