It all started in the year 2013 when a mob of concerned traders burnt down stocks of low-priced silk garments in Sualkuchi (Assam). The tension started due to the import of cheap, low-quality cheap silk from outside.
Assam a major producer of silk is under major threat due to few under-hands who are routinely importing fake silk to Assam. The silk is being sold at a much lower cost than the actual cost price and it becomes difficult for the customers to identify between the genuine and the sham.
Muga an endemic to Assam is the identity of the Assamese culture and their style. Similarly, Muga silk originated and is exclusively being produced in Assam. The golden Muga silk, Pat silk, and Eri silk rule the handloom industry in Assam. Sualkuchi (district) popularly known as ‘the Manchester of East‘ is a town in Assam which is considered as the main centre of handloom and textile industry. The main profession of the people living in this town is silk production and weaving.
For the Assamese people, wearing a garment of silk produced in this state is a matter of self-pride attached to emotion. It is designed with its unique signature style keeping it foreign to the other states and the communities in India.
An article published by ‘The Sentinel’ states that the Central Silk Board is encouraging sericulture farming in the states of West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh to produce Muga silk when the truth is – while Muga, Eri, and Pat are produced in Assam, only Muga is strictly indigenous to this state. In another interview with Times of India Nripen Baishya of Buwari Silk emporium says “We want the duplicity of Assamese silk to be stopped immediately and the credibility of our own silk has taken an immense hit.”
Due to the bitter rise of the fraud Assam silk being imported from outside as Suwalkuchi silk, the Kamrup district administration had declared a ban on the imports. The fake-flooding in the market is in the high-rise- power loom-made Banarasi silk products are impersonated as Assam silk. The world of fashion is growing rampantly and there are competitions in the plate to catch the bigger fish in the market. In a fast fashion-centric world of claim-game, the product identity gets off-track.