Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Cultural news related to Assam in 2007

FM radio becoming popular in city
GUWAHATI, May 3 – After a rocking start in Guwahati and gradually winning accolades from the city music buffs, the BIG 92.7 FM radio network of Reliance Adlabs, is now taking on ‘utility service’ to inform and empower its listeners.In a conference held in the city on Wednesday, Sudev Datta, Associate vice president of BIG 92.7 FM, announced that the priority of the FM would now be on ‘local connect’ through the radio network. “We aim at transforming the everyday life of every person through entertainment as well as utility services providing life enhancing contents and making every listener feel special,” said Datta. For the purpose, the radio station is tying up with the city traffic police to guide people about the day-to-day traffic jams, road safety, etc. “Our people will be with the traffic police suggesting the listeners on traffic tips like which roads to be taken to avoid traffic jams etc.,” he added. This apart, the station is also broadcasting weather updates, time checks and health tips benefiting the listeners. The radio station also claims to play the largest collection of Assamese songs — the golden oldies as well as peppy numbers — ranging from Bhupen Hazarika, Khagen Mahanta and Ridip Dutta to Zubeen and all the new talents of the Assamese music industry. The song collection is also flavoured with the local folk melodies to lure all sections of music lovers.Older people are also seen equally interested in the music along with the hap generation, he added. According to the FM members, Guwahati is the 17th station in India and in a short period, the total count of the stations will become 54. To ensure greater appeal of the listeners, Bollywood heartthrob Abhishek Bachchan has been signed as the brand ambassador of the FM.“We are keen to do our bit of the corporate social responsibility and recently, we organized ‘Big Walkathan’ to commemorate the International Anti-Child Labour Day,” said a member of the radio station, adding that around 500 people walked from Chandmari to Nehru Park in the Walkathan to draw attention towards the good work done by Snehalaya, a shelter homes for children in the city. The press conference was also addressed by Terence Asish Mandle, Station Head of the FM and Leepika Das, programme head, Guwahati Station.

Kadamtole ... invited to New York fest
GUWAHATI, May 1 – An unconventional film made with an aim to highlight the Vakti cult of saint Sri Sri Sankardeva at an international platform has been invited to the Diaspora Film Festival, Brooklyn, New York. Kadamtole Krishna Nache, by young filmmaker Suman Haripriya, will be screened before an international audience on September 22, coinciding with the 559th birth anniversary of the saint, who had ushered radical changes in the socio-cultural life of the people by his Neo-Vaishnavite religion.The film, the first ever full length Assamese feature film on art, culture and social achievement of Sri Sri Sankardeva, has already bagged a good number of prestigious film awards in the State in 2006, besides being exhibited in the mainstream section of the International Film Festival in Goa.“ It is great pleasure for me and the entire team that the film has been invited to New York because we would be able to tell the international audience how a great genius of Assam thought and achieved more than five hundred years ago,” said Suman while talking to The Assam Tribune.The film projects the dance, music and drama created by Sri Sri Sankardeva in the 15th century through a contemporary storyline that was penned by the director’s mother a couple of decades back. The director confesses that it was her mother’s prodding that helped her in deciding to make a film on the Krishna-centric culture propounded by the Saint.“ We had to do an exhaustive research before making the film,” informed Suman. The director and her team mates had to devote one full year to their research. “We are grateful to the people of the State and all the organizations and individuals working in the field of propagating the culture of Sankardeva,” Suman expressed her gratitude.It needs mention here that the film has earned rave reviews from the critics, who have described the venture as a commendable effort at capturing the local flavour and beauty. Suman and her team believe that the blessings of Sri Sri Sankardeva have fallen straight on the film. “The task was challenging and without the blessings of the Saint, the film would not have been possible,” said Suman.The director is now toying with the idea of making a film on the popular novel of Kanchan Baruah Ashimat Jaar Heral Seema, and another film on the great warrior of the State Lachit Borphukan.The prime objective of the film maker of Kadamtole Krishna Nache has been achieved. “We are hopeful of the film making an impact on the international audience and that would bring recognition to the creations of Sri Sri Sankardeva,” concluded Suman.
Dev asks media to highlight development needs of NE GUWAHATI, April 29 — Union Minister of State for heavy industries Santosh Mohan Dev on Sunday announced a grant of Rs 10 lakh for Media Trust, successor to 150 years of Newspapers in Assam Celebration Committee.Speaking at a felicitation programme of 100 eminent journalists organised by Media Trust, the minister said that the media could contribute to the development of the North East by bringing to light the developmental needs of the region. The Union Minister, while elaborating on the different welfare schemes and projects of the Central Government, commented that for the projects to reach the target group, the media must highlight them and called upon the media persons to shoulder the responsibility.On the other hand, the Union Minister said that for the development of the North East, more investment must come to the region. Making his observations on the flow of investment to the region, the minister said that investors were showing interest in the region and he praised DONER saying that the department had played a significant role in attracting investors to the region. He further said that since the conclusion of the North East Business Summit, many companies were showing interest to invest in the region, which was a good sign for the backward region. He released the annual publication of Media Trust The New Spectrum on the occasion.The felicitation function presided over by veteran journalist Radhika Mohan Bhagawati, was attended by a cross section of citizens. Welcoming the dignitaries, Profulla Chandra Borua, executive trustee of Media Trust, outlined the activities of the trust and the ongoing project of Media Archives cum National reference library. It needs mention here that besides a two storyed guest house for journalists named in the hallowed memory of Bodofa UN Brahma, the trust has been managing the Institute of Mass Communication and Media under the guidance and active co-operation of leading journalists of the State. It has also published a comprehensive History of Journalism in Assam (1846 to 1996) in Assamese and its English edition, complete with new chapters of study in some important segments of journalism in greater Assam was released today.The trust had held its first felicitation programme way back in 1996.With the objective to preserve and provide access to all media materials, both retrospective and current as well as all documentary materials related to the North East, the trust has taken up the ambitious project of Media Archives. The total cost of the project is estimated at Rs 22.83 crore including the total of Rs 6.13 crore for the building.

Concern over future of Assamese language
GUWAHATI, April 29 – Of the 6,000 languages in the world, 3000 are already dead and another 1800 will die anytime. Is the Assamese language endangered ? Will it become exitinct ?The frightening matter was raised by Dinesh Baishya, Principal, B Borooah College, while delivering a memorial lecture on ‘Impact of globalisation on Assamese language and culture, at the B. Borooah College auditorium on Sunday.The annual lecturer was organised in memory of Sati Sudakshina Devi and litterateur Jaltiram Lahkar. The function, presided over by Dr Pramod Ch Bhattacharyya, was inaugurated by veteran journalist Shiva Prasad Barooah. Justifying his contentions, Dr Baishya pointed out that the number of people speaking Assamese is going down.’ Very few Assamese students now take up Assamese language course,’ he disclosed.Earlier, Major S B Lahkar, Editor, Nam Nai, welcomed the distinguished gathering. Noted singer Banikona Ghoshal presented an Assamese bhajan while Mukunda Madhab Kalita, director, Rajdhani Cultural Academy, rendered a borgeet. Dr Baishya lamented that the Assamese language is emerging as a hybrid language. He warned, ‘The time will cone when a 75 per cent non-Assamese language will evolve. The danger will come then.’ Citing a disturbing fact, he claimed that more English books than Assamese are sold in the bookstalls in Guwahati.The meeting began with mangalacharanam by Rohini Kumar Sarma. Former DGP Barada Charan Sarmah spoke on the life of Sati Sudakshina while Kanak Ch. Sarma, former IAS, dwelt on the life and works of late Jaltiram Lahkar. Bhuban Ch. Lahkar conducted the meeting while Birendra Kumar Lahkar offered the vote of thanks.

Hinglishmeeya’ monster out to destroy Assam’s language, culture
GUWAHATI, May 11 – The newly started radio frequency modulation (FM) programmes produced by two private commercial parties and broadcast for nearly three weeks now over the Guwahati Akashvani Kendra have proved to be a veritable cultural monster and, if not checked in time, will soon devour whatever has remained of Assam’s indigenous languages and culture, says public activist Professor Deven Dutta. He has further requested all concerned in the fields of language, literature, art, culture, politics and journalism within the wider, composite society of the State, particularly the lyricists, musicians and singers of Akashvani, to seriously ponder the issue and resist the evil before it is too late. Prof Dutta said that over the last 3 weeks or so, listeners of Akashvani, Guwahati, have been treated to two bizarre programmes, one produced by Reliance and called Big 92.7 Radio FM, and the other by NE TV, called 91.9 Radio FM. Characterising the queer admixture of Hindi, English and Asomeeya, used by the radio jockeys while presenting the programmes, as ‘Hinglishmeeya’, he said that the brand is absolutely offensive and insulting and that Asomeeya is not so poor a language that one cannot speak it without using 60 to 70 per cent Hindi and English words even when the same are easily avoidable. He said that, with extremely faulty pronunciations and sentence structures, this ‘Hinglishmeeya’ is a big nail on the coffin of our language and culture while the styles and tones of the jockeys are cavalier, audacious and disrespectful to the principal and official language of the State. Pointing out that the so-called globalisation is, in fact, only cheap westernisation and the so-called liberalisation a total surrender of everything indigenous, Dutta warned all concerned against the all-out aggression of what he called “the pythons of anti-culture” and asked what better standard of Asomeeya one could expect from Reliance, already infamous for utterly misleading messages in offensively faulty recorded voices in Asomeeya in its mobile phone network besides numerous kinds of cheating tactics against its customers, and from NE TV which is daily corrupting and polluting the Asomeeya language with irritatingly wrong pronunciations and spelling mistakes and contagiously defective sentence structures. He apprehended that, if not resisted, the “banging Hinglishmeeya” will very soon be the “in-thing” and the standard language for the youths and adolescents in the nooks and corners of Assam.Prof Dutta referred to the ceaseless prodding “xunak xunak, life banaok” and asked what kind of Asomeeya is that and whether life would be meaningful and fruitful only if one listens to “such nonsense”, and urged the authorities of Prasar Bharati in general and Akashvani in particular to look into all these and to bridle the sponsoring commercial parties and what he called “their jockeys of radio race course”. He also urged the State government to take up the matter with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, and the State’s opposition parties, specially the “self-styled jatiyatabadee ones, ever wallowing in the mud of inter-party and intra-party bickerings”, to make their stands clear on this “challenging situation”. He earnestly appealed to the wider, composite society of Assam comprising artists, literatteurs, musicians, socio-cultural and political workers and particularly lyricists, composers and singers of Akashvani, to raise their voice of protest against this cultural onslaught so as to stem the rot.

Wait is finally over: city gets Cinemax
GUWAHATI, May 10 – The wait is finally over. Though the Cinemax at Dona Planet here got ready for cinema screening with cosy facilities, the State government only recently gave the green signal for public screening against tickets. This is the 12th multiplex facility in the country and the first in the North-east.As such, Cinemax will open up its plush and high tech interiors to movie goers with the much-awaited offbeat movie Good Boy Bad Boy on the day of its release tomorrow.Speaking at a press meet at Cinemax Dona Planet, Cinemax India Ltd marketing and programming vice president Devang Sampat said: “We at Cinemax have provided cinema lovers in Mumbai with the best movie-viewing experience, be it due to our screen size, picture, sound quality, or the innovative offers for our customers.True to its byline of “Enjoy Relax: Cinemax”, Cinemax Multiplex so far has hosted number of high flying premieres Jackie Chan’s The Myth, Shaadi No. 1, Sallam Namaste, Hanuman, Kyon Ki, The Chronicles of Narnia, Rang De Basanti, Baabul etc at the Bollywood capital, Mumbai. These multiplex experts are sure to conduct similar successful and glamorous events in Assam as well, Devang said.With Cinemax Dona Planet in Guwahati, we are aiming to make a grand entry into Assam, which is a very important market for us. We are here to provide the movie enthusiasts of Assam a state of the art entertainment complex as entertainment and comfort are the hallmarks of Cinemax and will be for years to come”, Devang said.The 462 seating-capacity multiplex at Cinemax Dona Planet is a symphony of style with a front foyer and intelligent lighting, along with top-of-the-line amenities. The two-screen multiplex will also offer patrons an out-of this-world experience. Besides great technology, Cinemax Dona Planet will also host regional movies to suit the preferences of all its patrons. Starting this week are the two screens (Screen 1 capacity-211 patrons and Screen 2 capacity-251 patrons). Each screen has 19 recliner seats were patrons can sink into their cozy sofas that recline up to 150 degrees and enjoy a personalised cafe service while enjoying their favourite movie, Devang added.

Bihu dance in Indian mela at Swansea
GUWAHATI, May 7 – The Indian Society of South West Wales organised an Indian mela at Swansea, UK in the prestigious Brangwyn Hall on April 29. The mela, the first of its kind in Wales, included continuous onstage cultural programmes along with demonstrations of Indian cuisine and costumes, Bollywood dances and various stalls showing Indian culture. It was a grand success, attended by a large number of people from all walks of life, including many dignitaries. The finale of the whole colourful programme was a group Bihu dance, dancing to the tune of ‘Porbotor Dhekia’. The performers, clad in Assamese trditional costumes, were people of Indian origin settled in this country, who had never been to Assam. They were given a standing ovation. This was stated in an e-mail received here.

Documentary on witches to be screened at international film festival
GUWAHATI, May 20 – Their loneliness is compounded by the stigma that society has mercilessly hurled at their face — the near death experience that these tortured and socially ostracized women branded as witches by their kinsmen have been through would now reach an international audience thanks to the efforts of a young film-maker Simi Deka. Her documentary on the plight of women excluded by society as witches has been invited to the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival slated to begin from July 19.Titled We Want to Live, this 50-minute documentary highlights the miserable condition of the witches of the interior areas of Goalpara district. The documentary based on first person interview of 11 such victims, reveals the ugly face of society where women are frequently singled out as objects of settling scores. “ All the women that I interviewed for my documentary were victims of either personal grudge or greed,” informed Simi, adding that most of the women were victimized after a dispute over property. According to Simi, the opportunity of relating the woes of these women at an international platform has come at the right time. “ If the world takes notice of these poor women, we can hope to see some change in their situation,” said Simi.The making of the documentary was also a learning process for the film- maker, who traversed across miles where there were no roads, visited villages that lacked even the basic amenities of life and on several occasions took the risk of earning the wrath of the villagers by communicating with the outcast women.This film maker has double reasons to feel on cloud nine. Her documentary on a theme still considered taboo by the society has been selected for several prestigious film festivals. Roses May Not Be Red, that is the name of her documentary on the homosexuals, will be screened at the Nigah International Queer Festival to be held at New Delhi from May 25 to June 3. Altogether 22 films would be screened at this festival, and Simi’s film is one of the three Indian entries at this festival that is a platform for films revolving on the life of the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) community. Simi’s Roses May Not Be Red will be screened on May 26. “ Through this documentary, I have tried to understand the problem of homosexuals and redefine their position in society,” said Simi. The documentary would also be screened at Saathi Rainbow Film Award, Kolkata on June 30.

Hindi book on Assamese film industry released
GUWAHATI, May 20 – Dada Saheb Phalke Awardee Dr Bhupen Hazarika today released the first Hindi book on Assamese film industry titled Asamiya Filmo Ka Safarnama at his Nizarapara residence. Guwahati-based journalist Azhar Alam has written the book. Releasing the book, Dr Hazarika said that the book will give Assamese film a new identity in other parts of the country.Meanwhile, Alam said that Assamese movies have always been an area of interest for him and he would try to come up with more such books in the future.

Festival of Films from Assam held in Kolkata
GUWAHATI, May 20 — The three-day ‘Festival of Films from Assam with Special Focus on Bodo Cinema’, held at Nandan, Kolkata concluded on May 6 last, according to a press release received here.The festival, inaugurated by Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on May 4, was organised by the Assam State Film (Finance & Development) Corporation Ltd (ASFFDC), in collaboration with Union Information and Broadcasting Ministry, Bodoland Territorial Council and Nandan authority, Kolkata. The inaugural function began with the ASFFDC chairperson Bobbeeta Sharma delivering the welcome address. Chief Minister Gogoi lit the inaugural lamp along with the honoured guests Sharmila Tagore, eminent film personality and chairperson, Central Board of Film Certification, Gautam Bora, Cultural Affairs Minister, Assam, Khampa Borgoyari, Deputy Chief, Bodoland Territorial Council, and Prateem Chatterjee, Minister, West Bengal.Gautam Bora and Khampa Borgoyari released the official souvenir of the festival, edited by journalist-writer Chandan Sarma, and unveiled the memento of the ASFFDC respectively.Senior state Government officials present on the occasion were MK Barooah, Commissioner-Secretary, Department of Culture, Swapnanil Barua, Director of Cultural Affairs, Amlan Barua, Trade Adviser and Director of Movements, Govt of Assam, Kolkata, etc.Neelanjan Chatterjee, CEO, Nandan, also spoke on the occasion and the programme concluded with ASFFDC Managing Director Nazreen Ahmed, proposing the vote of thanks.Bihu and Bardoichikhla dance performed by two cultural troupes from Assam enthralled the audience at Sisir Mancha, the venue of the inaugural function. Noted actress Jaya Seal Ghosh also presented a solo Bihu dance item.Another enchanting aspect of the inaugural function was felicitation to the honoured guests and the delegation of film personalities from Assam which included Bishnu Kharghoria, Munin Barua, Preeti Saikia, Mridula Barua, Tapobrata Barua, Manjula Barua, Gautam Bora, Dhaniram Tisso, Pinky Brahma Choudhury, Tapan Das, Bidyut Chakrabortty, Purabi Sarma, Munmi Chakrobortty, Gopal Jalan, Jaya Seal Ghosh. All the artistes were felicitated by Sharmila Tagore. An exhibition of photographs of the history of Assamese cinema, installed in the inner courtyard of Nandan-II, was inaugurated by noted actor Bishnu Kharghoria.The opening film of the festival was nationally-acclaimed Bodo documentary Duphang-ni Solo directed by Pinky Brahma Choudhury. The second film screened in that evening was national award-winning Assamese feature film Konikar Ramdhenu directed by Jahnu Barua.The other films screened on May 5 and 6 were Sarothi (Assamese), directed by Dr Bhabendra Nath Saikia), Hagramayo Jinahary (Bodo), directed by Jwngdao Bodosa), Dinabandhu (Assamese), directed by Munin Barua), Wosobipo (Karbi), directed by Gautam Bora), ‘Sayaram Gojoula’ (Bodo short feature in VCD format), directed by Phylaw-Kamleswar) and Nishiddha Nodi (Assamese), directed by Bidyut Chakraborty.

Luitor Pora Thamesoloi to be released today
GUWAHATI, May 19 – The 8th annual issue of bilingual colour magazine Luitor Pora Thamesoloi will be released tomorrow at 2:30 pm in the Pandit Tirthanath Sarma Savagriha, Chandmari, here in a simple function, a press release said.Dr Mamoni Raisom Goswami will formally release the issue, while GU VC Dr Amarjyoti Choudhury will grace the occasion as the guest of honour.The publisher and editor of the magazine Dr Karuna Sagar Das, who hails from Bradford, UK, said that the magazine is the result of a pioneering effort to make a strong tie between the NRI Assamese living all over the world and the Assamese people living in the greater Assamese society in Assam.The function will be presided over by renowned singer and noted musician Dilip Sarmah.

NE’s first online art gallery launched
NEW DELHI, May 23 – In a unique endeavour, a young Assamese youth, Prasanta Nath has launched a website artexdirect.com, the north-east region’s first online art gallery. The Artexdirect offers artist and customer an online platform for sale or purchase of artwork. The site is designed to display different artworks, along with a brief history of the artist with photographs. Moreover, it will also display the news headlines of the week in its latest news section.The main aim is to provide an equal platform to the young artist from the North-east, as well as the rest of the country, said Nath.Most of the youth join in different art colleges with high ambition. But after they pass out, neither do they get a good platform nor any breaks. Financial crunch forces many to quit the profession to survive. Some are even forced to survive by working as wall painter or signboard writer, said the owner of the portal.The online gallery could be the answer to such artists, who are looking for a platform to display their work, as well as a platform for art lovers and customers on the lookout for artwork. “In the near future we aim to add different kind of decorative bamboo and cane product,” said Nath.The web site was formally inaugurated last week by AGP MP, Dr Arun Kumar Sarma at a simple function, which was also attended by Sarbananda Sonowal.

‘Traditional customs identity of a nation’
HOWRAGHAT, June 3 – The two-day-long programme of Bisag Domasi celebration concluded peacefully on May 30. The programme was organized keeping in view of existence of traditional cultures and heritage and co-existence of the indigenous people of the area. It was held at Rajapathar Kachamari.It may be mentioned that the Rajapathar Kachamari is a region of various tribal communities. From a very long time the people of the region are dwelling unitedly maintaining their respective traditional cultures and customs.Hence, the Bisag Domasi programme was celebrated keeping competition with traditional events of the Tiwa, Karbi, Boro, Adivasi and Dimasa communities.On the closing day, a prize distribution ceremony function was also organised where Bidaysing Engleng, Parliamentary Secretary, Assam, Sum Ronghang, local MAC and EM, i/c PHE and Art & Culture department, KAAC, D Uphing Maslai, EM, and KAAC along with other distinguished persons of the region attended the programme.Expressing satisfaction on the unity of the various tribal communities of the region D Uphing Maslai, said that the unity of the indigenous people will bring and lead Karbi Anglong to the path of development.He further said that identity of a nation is its culture, traditional customs and literature. Hence, every tribe should strive to salvage and develop logically its customs, culture and literature. Meanwhile, he urged all to maintain peace inthe district.While addressing the gathering, Bidyasing Engleng urged the indigenous people to work and refurbish its own tradition customs and culture. Engleng assured that possible and appropriate schemes will be made for the growth of culture and customs of every community.Addressing the gathering people, the EM, in-charge of the PHE Art & Culture Affairs department KAAC, Sum Ronghang assured to play an important role to take strong initiative to develop and improve art and culture of the various tribes and communities of the hill district.Ronghang further said that government is designing many schemes to develop and improve the cultural kaleidoscope of the different tribes and communities. But people will have to come forward and they must inculcate work culture to improve their traditional customs, culture and literature because these form a window of future of Karbi Anglong of district he added.Meanwhile, he appealed all to co-operate with the government for the greater interest of development of culture, customs and heritage.

Assamese culture has benefited from Nepali culture’
SIVASAGAR, June 6 – Addressing the open session of the three-day third triennial conference of Asom Nepali Sahitya Sabha at Hari Prasad Gurkha Rai Ksheta, Desangmukh on June 3 last, president of Asam Sahitya Sabha Kanaksen Deka said that Assamese culture is greatly benefited by Nepali culture, especially their work culture. Lambasting a section of youths for adopting gun culture, the litterateur said , “Assam was, is and will forever remain independent and one must be very narrow to think of liberating it again. “From Vedic times, Assam has been a part of India, he added.Dr Basanta Kumar Doley, president, Mising Sahitya Sabha said that searching for one’s roots is good, but being frenzied about it will endanger our age old cultural cohesion, the stark reality in Assam today.Lil Bahadur Chetra, noted writer, inaugurated the open session which was addressed among others by Nripen Deori, president, Deori Sahitya Sabha, Dr Pradip Bhuyan, general secretary, Assam Sahitya Sabha, Sarat Hazarika, organising secretary, AASU, Bhaskar Dahal, Kishore Upacharya and Hema Joshi. Dr Pradip Bhuyan spoke on the origins, and development of Assam Nepal relations.Nearly 300 delegates from various districts of the State took part in the conference. The mile long cultural procession was flagged off by Dr Narayan Upadhyay.Dr Lakhi Prasad Porajuli, president, Nepali Sahitya Sabha unfurled the flag on June 2 while KB Chetri offered floral tribute to the dead litteratures. AC Sarmah DFO, Sivasagar inaugurated sapling plantation. Ganga Mohan Mili, renowned poet, conducted the poets session which was presided over by Dambar Dahal. The souvenir Luit edited by Prem Nath Sarmah was released by Nepali writer Hema Joshi. Atmanubhav a poetry collection written by Sima Bonia and Hira Bonia was also released in the conference.

Joymoti, Aideu to be screened at Munich Fest
GUWAHATI, June 13 – It will be a historic event for the 72-year-old Assamese film industry when two Assamese films would be screened in an interational film festival together. One is inarguably a heritage film, Rupkonwar Jyotiprasad Agarwalla’s Joymoti, and the other is Arup Manna’s Aideu - Behind the Screen , filmed on Aideu Handique, the girl who played the role in the historic first Assamese film Joymoti decades ago braving extremely unfavourable conditions for a young lady to feature in a film in the year 1935.The organisers of the Munich Film Festival, to be held from June 22 to 30 next, have decided to screen Joymoti directed by Jyotiprasad Agarwalla along with Aideu directed by Arup Manna under the ctegory of ‘New Films From Asia’.While selection of Aideu has already been communicated to Arup Manna, the information about Joymoti came through an e-mail to Altaf Mazid last night. The festival’s programme coordinator Marlies Messinger stated in the e-mail, ”Since the contents of Aideu deals with the happenings in and around Joymoti which German audiences would not be familiar with, we geberated the idea of presenting the restored version of Joymoti so the audience has the opportunity to fully understand the references made in Aideu.”The screening in Munich festival will be the third occasion of film Joymoti that was restored by acclaimed short filmmaker Altaf Mazid from the found footage of the original version made Jyotiprasad Agarwalla in 1935. It was premiered internationally in the festival of ‘Bollywood and Beyond’ of Stuttgart, Germany during July 2006. The second screening was held in Asiaticafilmmediale (Encounters with Asian cinema) in November same year.‘Joymoti’ was a historical figure, a princess of the Ahom in the 17th century and who died of the torture meted out to her by a puppet king. She had refused to tell him the whereabouts of her husband, who had fled the kingdom because the king saw him as a competitor to the throne and wanted him killed. The complete version of the film no longer exists. Fragments of an old print were found in a garage by Rupkonwar’s brother Hridayananda Agarwalla and was incorporated into a longer documentary. The reconstruction uses that surviving fragmented footage from that documentary by Altaf Mazid.Aideu - Behind the Screen is the story of Aideu Handique, the first Assamese woman to act in the first Assamese films in 1935. In the 1930s, a girl from a respectable family was not allowed to do. She was ostracised, never married and died unsung in 2002 at the age of 82. But before her death, she made one last appearance in a Aideu, as herself. Director Arup Manna wanted to tell her story, “not because it has a lot of drama, but because he wanted to pay obeisance”. It was over five years in the making because, without any song and dance numbers, no producer wanted to touch it.

Turning art into a lively performance
GUWAHATI, June 10 – The proscenium would now play host to the genre called painting. Tinsukia-based artist Rabin Bar who has been selected for Zee TVs ‘Sabash India’ show for his unique ability to draw with both hands and leg simultaneously, has laid his claim to presenting the art of drawing as a performing art for the first time in the country. Bar who has named his particular brand of art as Miraculous drawing show, has been encouraged by none other than the President of India to go ahead with his experimentations. Bar along with his assistants has been working hard to take art to the masses by adding light, sound and music to the stage presentations of art.Now he has joined hands with Children’s Literary Trust to give peace a chance in the State. According to Trust secretary Hrishikesh Goswami, the miraculous drawing show of Bar has been scheduled on June 12 at 6 pm at Latasil playground with the objective of diverting the mind of the young generation from the violent activities to the creative domains. “Art has the power to change the society for the better and we are confident that the people of the State, and particularly the young generation, would be motivated after witnessing the show of Bar,” said Goswami.The chief attractions of the event would be instantaneous drawings to the accompaniment of music, recitation and dance. The essence of Hiren Bhattacharya’s poetry, Pulak Banerjee’s melody and Marami Medhi’s dance would be depicted by Bar on stage in his canvasses. “ By presenting art in a different way I feel that more people would be able to relate to it,” said Bar while talking to The Assam Tribune.Bar, who has performed in Kolkata and Delhi, would be performing for the first time in the capital city.The other attractions of the show would be the performances by the artist by blind folding himself, paintings done by blowing dry colours and portraits done in just five minutes. It may be mentioned here that Bar would be working non-stop for three hours and he would be catering to public demands. He would be completing 30 drawings in 10 minutes. The other attractions would be conversion of alphabets, numbers and scribbling into beautiful art works. “ It is just a humble effort to bring peace to the trouble-torn State,” said Bar. He is also the chief instructor of North East Art Academy, which has been encouraging new ideas in the field of art.

Work culture key to a prosperous Assam’
SIPAJHAR, June 15 – “We need to strive hard for the better future of Assam by following the motto of work culture discipline and punctuality like the people of the UK,” said leading non-resident Assamese (NRA), Dr Karuna Sagar Das who lives in London. He is a physician and editor of Luit to Thames. He was addressing an interaction programme organised at Sipajhar College under the auspices of Sipajhar branch of Asam Sahitya Sabha recently.Expressing serious concern over the crisis of culture, under development and corruption in both individual and social life, Dr Das stressed on the need for social commitment to build foundation of the economy.Outlining the main objective of the biligual journal Luit to Thames, he hoped it will build a bridge between the people of Assam and NRA’s living abroad. Interacting with the audience he candidly replied to questions on various aspect. He said one should have self-conviction to make his life a successful one. He also narrated the successful life story of eminent scientist Dr Matiur Rahman in this regard. Bijoy Kumar Bhuyan, member editorial Board, Dr Lakshahira Das, chief editor and Dilip Sarmah, executive editor Luit to Thames shared their views and experiences with the audience. Bijoy Kr Bhuyan urged Sipajhar Sahitya Sabha to reprint Sahitya Kanika, a valuable book of eminent poet late Dhanai Bora and also to be member of his ‘Thank You Club’.Dr Lakshahira Das enthralled the audience with her melodious songs.Biman Borkakati, Nava Dutta and Bhrigu Dutta also attended the programme.Earlier, moderating the programme Dr Jogen Ch Kalita spoke on the life and contributions of Dr Karuna Sagar Das and recounted his own experience in London. He described Dr Das as a man of extra-ordinary talent. Raj Kumari Luna performed a dance item.

Assamese short story style has changed with time’
DERGAON, June 21 – The style of Assamese short stories have changed with time. Along with the change of time, different aspects of a story must also change. The taste of the reader is the most important. At present, several young story writers have made their mark in the field with their talents. This was stated by noted litterateur and story writer Prafulla Ch Bora after releasing a story collection Aratir Anubhav written by Panchurika Hazarika and Joyjyoti Hazarika in a meeting held at Dergaon. Sahitya Sabha Bhavan with Dr Kaliprasad Goswami in the chair on Monday.Reacting to the writing, the litterateur opined that Panchurika Hazarika has shown her talent in her writing in the latest style. He also praised the publisher Satya Prasad Bezbaruah, the owner of ‘Kokil’, a publication corner as well as a book stall who published the book Aratir Anubhav.In the meeting another book, Balicharat Jajari, an collection of articles written by Manik Ch Doley was released by Pradyut Mahanta, ex-president of Dergaon Sahitya Sabha. In his speech, he opined that the writings of Manik Doley have a commitment to society. The raw materials of his writings are the several picture of our society. ‘Manik Doley, Panchurika Hazarika and Suren Dutta spoke a few words.In his presidential address, Dr Kaliprasad Goswami opined that releasing a book is comparable to the birth of a child in a family. Hence we should take care of the book after its publication as we take care of the child. The success of the writer depends upon the reader.He also urged writers of both the books to continue writing. The programme was anchored by Sanjoy Kr Hazarika, the secretary of Dergaon Sahitya Sabha and the programme ended with the vote of thanks offered by Joyjyoti Hazarika.

State lags behind in promoting Sankaradeva
GUWAHATI, June 26 – The people of Orissa have now been able to establish the fact that the 12th century saint-poet Jayadeva indeed belonged to their state. They held a national seminar at Bhubaneswar recently and resolved to popularize the poet’s literary masterpiece Geetagovinda worldwide. Similar efforts are also there in West Bengal to project Chaitanya Deva. But here in Assam, there is no such effort now at projecting the life and work of saint-poet Srimanta Sankaradeva, despite his multifarious contributions to the State’s society, regretted some of the Assam participants of the Bhubaneswar seminar. Sankara initiated neo-Vaishnavism in the State and together with his apostle Madhavadeva, he brought about a revolution in the fields of art and literature. They developed Assamese further as a medium for carrying the messages of neo-Vaishnavism to the commoners. And their roles as social reformers are simply matchless.In the present campaign of the Orissa people to establish Jayadeva as an Oriya saint and poet, the leadership is virtually provided by Orissa Chief Secretary Ajit Kumar Tripathy. He is conducting research on the life and works of Jayadeva and Lord Buddha.Jayadeva wrote Geetagovinda in Sanskrit and he made an effort in his work to make Vaishnavism more romantic than Shaivism and socially more safe and acceptable than the Tantrick Buddhism, said Tripathy in a paper on the poet.Geetagovinda was written as a dance drama. It is a work of purely musical excellence based on different ragas, talas and chhandas. It induced a number of works of dramatized prose, dealing with the theme of love between Radha and Krishna. It took the help of the Devadasi system so far as its performing part is concerned and the Gotipuos (dancing boys in the attire of girls) used to perform its dances at the temples, Tripathy said.The Geetagovinda dances are practised in some of the Assam sattras too. According to historical records, there were three Assamese versions of the Jayadeva work. Assamese poet Rananarayana Kaviraja Chakravarti created a metrical version of the masterpiece on sanchipata. Pandit Hem Chandra Goswami collected a part of it in 1912 for the Assam Government. It was deposited with the Kamarupa Anusandhana Samiti library. Renowned Sankara scholar Late Dr Maheswar Neog collected another part of the manuscript from the K K Handique Library of Gauhati University and some individuals. A part of the manuscript is still traceless. Dr Neog together with noted art critic Dr Kapila Vatsayana, edited the available portions of the manuscript and the Assam Publication Board published it in 1986.But in Assam, there is a gloomy scene, contrary to the above initiative of the Orissa people so far as projecting Sankaradeva and his disciples’ contribution is concerned. After the Sangeet Natak Akademi (SNA) recognition to sattriya dance as a major dance form about seven years back, there is no significant move to promote it and the other contributions of Sankaradeva and his disciples. Sattriya dance is a part of the Ankiya Bhaona created by Srimanta Sankaradeva as a new theatrical form about 500 years back. According to renowned Sankara scholar Dr Keshavananda Dev Goswami, a meeting of the Assam members of the Sangeet Natak Akademi (SNA), about two years back, requested the Akademi to set up a centre at Guwahati. But that request is yet to be complied with by the SNA. Dr Dev Goswami attributes this to the failure of the State Government to mount pressure on the SNA.He said that due to the absence of an authority to set uniform codes for the artistes of sattriya dance, there is complete anarchy in the realm of its performance.The Srimanta Foundation for Culture and Society held a workshop for sattriya teachers about two years back with an attempt at bringing uniformity in the performance of the dance form. The North East Foundation also held a similar workshop about one year back. The sattriya teachers are also organizing such workshops in a modest manner. But all these efforts are not much effective so far as bringing about uniformity in the performance of the dance is concerned, said Dr Dev Goswami.Lack of proper exposure outside the state is the main cause for this unique cultural treasure’s lagging behind the other dance forms of the country. Perhaps, fund constraints have hindered the State Department of Culture’s initiatives to project this unique wealth outside the State, Dr Dev Goswami observed.

NSD students stage play on wheels
GUWAHATI, June 27 – A love smitten couple has a verbal altercation in a crowded city bus, the passengers show their solidarity for the boy as he is being rejected by the girl who gets a better proposal—but don’t be mistaken, for they were only acting out a well-scripted play. For the first time, the capital city on Wednesday was witness to a play enacted in the city buses plying through different routes.Young NSD students Himangshu Das and Pranami Borah staged Ei Chaharar Romeo Juliet in around 15 city buses and took the passengers by surprise. The 15 minute play scripted by Himangshu himself was an effort to break the wall between actors and audiences.According to Himangshu, as drama was a powerful medium, plays diverting from the recognized genre would to a great extent help in delivering the positive messages to the society. “ Staging a play in city buses full with people has been a terrific experience for us,” said Himangshu.Though the play revolved around the age-old theme of love and separation, it was different from the conventional stories as it also reflected the prevailing situation and the crisis of time. “ The play has been inspired by reality. The problems of the youth and the impact of the present times on the psyche of the young generation have to be discussed in some way or the other and for me it is drama,” said Himangshu.For the passengers of the city buses, the experience was something unique but for some others, it was uncomfortable also to have a couple fighting over in a crowded bus. “ In some of the city buses, the passengers never knew till the end that it was just a play, and some women even told us to get out of the bus,” chuckled Himangshu.This young man informed that the play was successful in driving the message it had intended for the people. The frustration of the unemployed youth, the rampant corruption and the loneliness of individuals who are honest were all showcased in the play through dialogues between two lovers.The play would be staged on June 28 also in different city buses.
Sun Infosys to organise photo exhibitionBy A City Correspondent GUWAHATI, June 28 – What volumes of words fail to convey, a single picture is successful in saying the entire story. One of the rising trends in the world of journalism is the increasing emphasis on photography that reflect not only the transitions coming over in the society, but which also provide credibility and accuracy to the events happening across the globe. In a first ever endeavour to provide a fillip to photo journalism and encourage the press photographers, Sun Infosys, a government registered society of India is going to organise a photo exhibition cum contest in the city.According to the organisers, the effort is aimed at bringing together pictures from all the North East States to showcase the development and changes that have come over in the multi cultural society of the region through the medium of photography.The exhibition scheduled on September 6 would be open to photographers, journalists, photo agencies and students interested in photography. “ The exhibition is an effort to promote highest standard in photo journalism and to encourage North Eastern understanding through the medium of photography,” claimed the organizers.The organisers have invited even the newspapers and magazines of the North East to submit their entries, their best news related pictures.

Film distributorship pushed to the edge
GUWAHATI, June 28 – As if the ever-deteriorating cine condition and lukewarm response to movies, no matter which genre it belongs to, was not enough to jolt the film industry in the State, local film distributors are now caught busy indulging in efforts to outmaneuver one another in the business. Some are seeing it as a ploy designed to shift the business hub of film distributionship from Guwahati to Kolkota thereby eliminating the existence of the local distributors in the State, while others are seeing it as the beginning of the end for the local industry. With the number of film distributors in the State already coming down considerably to just around 10 from 100 in the last few years, a fresh tug-of-war has come to the fore, with simultaneous release of two of Bollywood’s biggest budget movies- Aap Ka Suroor and Apne - slated for release on Friday. This time, a local youth from the backward tea community tribes, who is trying his luck in the film industry for the first time, faces the heat of the vested interest circle. Sources from the industry have informed that the local youth haling from the tea tribe community of Assam and a fresh entrant in the film distribution line has been downplayed by the authorities of a city-based movie hall, who after giving prior commitment, has refused to screen Himesh Reshammiya- starrer Aap Ka Surror, without showing any valid reason to the local youth. Ajoy Majhi, who has bought the movie against a payment of Rs. 2.75 lakh from Mumbai, has admitted that he has been left in the lurch by the cinema hall owner under the influence of some vested interest people, and is running from pillar to post to find takers for the movie.Meanwhile, a senior distributor of the region, taking strong exception to the incident said, “This could well be a part of a vested interest lobby that is trying hard to eliminate existence of film distributors in the region.”Surprisingly, Aap Ka Suroor, after the recent burka controversy has drawn huge craze among the cinebuffs across the country. It may be mentioned that following the ULFA’s threat in 2003, the number of distributors has also come down drastically over the years posing a threat to the local industry, which includes the movie halls as well. “I see no reason why a cinema hall will refuse to exhibit Aap Ka Suroor, which is seen as one of the most eagerly awaited movies with rock star Himesh Reshammiya making his debut as an actor,” Majhi told this correspondent while adding that he has already handed over the poster, photosets and the trailer of the movie to the hall authorities. “Some of the vested interest circles in the industry do not want new people to enter the business. It is these people who discourage the new generation to enter the industry,” alleged Ajoy Majhi.Now the movie, which was slated for release in two city-based halls, will instead run in just Meghdoot Cinema hall. The cinema hall that has refused to screen Aap Ka Suroor, will instead screen multi-starrer Apne.“Finding no other way, I have now written to the Cine Max authorities to allow a slot next week so that I can get some portion of my investment back,” Majhi said.

Threat to Assamese language lies within’
GUWAHATI, June 29 – Some of the changes sweeping over the society have been dealing heavy blows to its foundation and one aspect that has got a good battering is that essential part called language. Apart from the external factors that have been threatening the Assamese language, the greatest danger to the language has come internally from its own users. This observation was made by none other than the Sahitya Akademi award winning writer Atulananda Goswami on Friday at the Guest of the Month programme at Guwahati Press Club.Goswami, whose area of interest encompasses literature, indology and culture minced no words while expressing his concern regarding the status of the Assamese language. Goswami said that one’s mother tongue was sacrosanct, but at present most of the people regarded it as a sign of status symbol when being unable to correctly use their mother tongue. “ The language is being threatened but no one is ready to owe moral responsibility for the degradation of the language,” said Goswami, adding that mothers had the greatest responsibility to protect the sanctity of the language.Paying glowing tribute to the Assamese language and literature, Goswami said that the people must feel proud of their language, which was very rich.Basically a fiction writer, Goswami who has immortalized the character of Namgharia, said that it was time to wake up to the truth that the Assamese language needed to be protected against the dangers it was facing before it was too late.On the other hand, referring to the print media, Goswami said that this media should equip itself to face the challenges coming from the electronic bombardment. “ It is time to revive the reading habit amongst the people especially the younger generation,” he voiced.This writer, who has been preserving the image of a small and beautiful river in his heart, further said that it was important for the writers to do the necessary research work for creating successful fiction. “ To bring perfection to fiction, it is the duty of the writers to take up extensive and intensive studies,” Goswami said.Giving tips to the upcoming writers, Goswami said that mastery over the language was a must to leave a mark. Praising the young generation of fiction writers, Goswami said that through their powerful writing the young writers have enriched the language.

Longest Assamese dictionary in the making
JORHAT, July 8 – A new Assamese dictionary – the ‘longest in the language produced so far’ – will be available to users and learners if the grand project sees the light of the day. A team of lexicographers has been working with a feverish pitch at the Jorhat-based office of the Asom Jatiya Prakash, a publication house, with the avowed purpose to compile the most comprehensive, unilingual and encyclopaedic dictionary in the Assamese language. The lexicon, with a mammoth stock of more than one lakh entries, is aimed at fulfilling the needs of users in the 21st century. The first edition of the dictionary is slated to come out on January 1, 2010. It may run into two volumes to cut down on the size. The brainchild of a galaxy of noted intellectuals, the concept of the Asomiya Jatiya Abhidhan was first developed at a workshop held here under the aegis of the Asom Jatiya Siksha Samanway Parishad on July 7, 2002. Those who presented the guidelines as to how the proposed work should be like included Dr Dilip Kumar Dutta, Dr Kabindra Nath Phukan, Dr Madan Mohan Sharma, Dr Bhimkanta Barua, Dr Benu Gogoi and Dr Devabrata Sharma, who is now working as the chief editor of the Asomiya Jatiya Abhidhan.“We shall borrow generously from all sources to prepare the lexicon which will not leave out any major sub-languages spoken and written in the State,” Dr Sharma said. He pointed out that the words spoken in certain areas like Kamrup, Goalpara, Darrang and Nagaon and by specific groups like tea tribes and those residing in the char areas, which do not find mention in the conventional Assamese dictionaries, would be entered in the Asomiya Jatiya Abhidhan. In addition to this, words originating from Arabic, Persian and Urdu languages as well as those derived from different religions and forms of art and culture will make up the dictionary. “We shall leave no stone unturned to chronicle the progress of the Assamese language during the last 1,000 years,” Dr Sharma, who is the Head of the Department of English of Jorhat College, stressed. He claimed that the Asomiya Jatiya Abhidhan would list all words prevalent during the times of Madhav Kandali, Ram Saraswati and Sankaradeva and those with their etymology traced to the ethnic languages spoken in the north-eastern region and outside. Words forming part of slang and other common lingo, too, will be adequately defined in the dictionary. To suit the needs of the techno-savvy user, names of all modern gadgets of communication, the terms of Information Technology and various streams of science and technology will be incorporated into the Asomiya Jatiya Abhidhan, the English teacher pointed out. In fact, noted scientist Dr Dinesh Chandra Goswami is contributing 12,000 entries relating to the latest terminology in science and technology to the dictionary, he added. In a word, nothing that has passed into common usage in the Assamese language will be left out, Dr Sharma quipped. Assamese once served as the major link language for all peoples in the North-east. The Asomiya Jatiya Abhidhan will hopefully lay the foundation of a greater and generous Assamese society and reinforce the position of Assamese as the principal language, which is now sadly spoken by only one-third of the population in the State itself, Dr Sharma maintained. The chief editor of the Asomiya Jatiya Abhidhan said that a sum of Rs 12 lakh will be spent till the preparation of the manuscript.
Boston global film festival award for documentaryFrom Our Correspondent MORIGAON, July 1 – The Guwahati-based film maker Aneisha Sharma’s docu-feature Freedom at the Edge based on the life of Machal Lalung, received the Cladie Special Best Documentary Award in the Boston International film festival.National award-winning actor Indra Boniya played the protagonist’s role.Machal Lalung, a resident of Nellie in Morigaon district, was arrested when he was 24 for a simple offence, but he was forced to spend the best years of his life in prison without trial.At the request of National Human Rights Commission, he got his freedom when he was 77 years of age.

Rajat Kamal to Kadamtole Krishna Nache
GUWAHATI, Aug 7 — Kadamtole Krishna Nache, produced by Ranajit Chakravorty and directed by Suman Haripriya recieved the Rajat Kamal award for best feature film in Assamese in the 53rd National Film Awards-2005 whcih were declared today. Marred by several controversies and finally banned from declaration by the Delhi High Court, the awards were declared after a two-year-long hiatus.The award is given to the film for its attempt at preserving the dying Satriya culture and tradtions of the state of Assam. Sonam, a film made in Monpa dialect of Arunachal Pradesh and directed by Ahsan Muzid, was also adjudged for the Rajat Kamal being the best feature film in that language for the picturesque and effective portrayal of the contemporary tribal life in that State. The Prerana Barboruah Sarma-directed English film Spirit of the Graceful Lineage was also awarded under the antropological film category while, a Special Mention was made for director Bidyut Kotoky for his film Asomiya Bhraimoman Theatre for its fascinating picture of a cultural sub-world of Assam’s mobile theatre movement, capturing true moments of emotion and joy.Eminent filmmaker Jahnu Baruah also was mentioned in the awards as Anupam Kher got the Special Jury Award and the Rajat Kamal in Jahnu’s Hindi film Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Mara for an outstanding performance in the film that brings alive the plight of an Alzheimer’s patient who is alienated from the real world.The Swarna Kamal for the best feature film in the National Awards 2005 went to Bengali film Kaalpurush, directed by Budhadeb Dasgupta. The Indira Gandhi Award for the best first film of a director went to Pradeep Sarkar for Parineeta. Rang De Basanti, directed by Rakesh Omprakash Mehra, got the best film award as the film providing wholesome entertainment. The Nargis Dutt award for best feature film on national integration went to Daivanamathil (Malayalam), directed by Jayaraj.Iqbal, featuring Nasiruddin Shah recieved the best film award for film on social issues like welfare of the handicapped. Blue Umbrella (Hindi) was adjudged the best children’s film. Rahul Dholakia got the Swarna Kamal as the best director in Parzania (English).Amitabh Bachchan bagged the best actor award for the second time for his role in Black, for his dramatic rendition of a reformed alcholic who struggles to give a physically handicapped child a new life, while, the best actress award went to Sarika in Parzania. Naseeruddin Shah was the best supporting actor for his potrayal in Iqbal, while the best supporting actress award went to Urvashi in the Malayalam film Achhuvinte Amma.

Film Division production centre in NE
NEW DELHI, Aug 7 – Struggling for survival, Government-owned Film Division has chalked out a strategy to stay afloat, proposing to set up film production centres in North-East and Jammu and Kashmir. Addressing a press conference to announce a film festival, Swatantra Filmotsav from August 11-14, organised to mark the 60th year of Independence, chief producer of Films Division, Kuldeep Sinha strongly defended the relevance of his organisation, listing out several new projects.The proposal to set up the film production centres in the North-East and Jammu and Kashmir follows renewed interest of the Film Division in these two trouble-torn regions. The Film Division, which has over 8100 titles in its archive, some dating back to pre-independence era has been regularly showing documentaries in the militancy-hit North-East.“We have organised film festivals in Nagaland, Tripura and Mizoram,” said Sinha.Interestingly, though the North-East is a focus area for the Film Division, the ensuing film festival does not have a single documentary or feature film from the region. Over 50 feature films and documentaries showcasing the independence struggle are scheduled to be shown during the three-day festival at Siri Fort Auditorium. The list includes all-time classics like Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi to black and white documentaries such as Frontier Gandhi, Bagha Jatin, Jhansi Ki Rani directed by Dr Sohrab Modi, among others.Meanwhile, Sinha said their future plans include producing video text books, and setting up institute of film studies. These proposals are in the process since last one year.Conceding that the Film Division has fallen into bad times, he said reluctance of theatre owners to show Film Division documentaries, coupled with declining number of single screen theatres have taken a toll. “Off-late our films are not reaching the masses due to the slackness of the theatre owners,” the Chief Producer said.Referring to the measures taken to preserve the documentaries, he said so far 6000 of the 8000-odd documentaries have been digitalised. The next step is restoration of the celluloid materials followed by re-doing of the sound tracks. Some of the old sound tracks like speeches dating back to the freedom struggle era have been damaged

Agnisnan to be screened in London
NEW DELHI, Aug 5 – The National Award-winning Assamese film Agnisnan, which portrays the independence of women, will be screened in London this month to commemorate director Bhabendranath Saikia’s death anniversary. The film, which won Saikia two National Awards for best film and best screenplay, will be shown at the Nehru Centre, the cultural wing of the Indian High Commission, on August 14 in collaboration with the Assamese community of London.“A man with an ingenious career that dominated the creative spheres of Assam for years, Saikia was a maestro of the cinematic form and the written word. The screening of this film is a tribute to him,” Rini Kakati of the Assam Association of UK said in a statement.Saikia, who obtained his PhD in nuclear physics from London University, developed an interest in filmmaking while teaching at Gauhati University.Seven of his movies — Sandhya Rag, Anirban, Agnisnan, Kolahal, Sarothi, Abarton and Itihas — bagged the Rajat Kamal award for best regional films.He also tried his hand at Hindi movies with Kaal Sandhya, which dwelt on militancy and had Ashish Vidyarthi in the lead role.Agnisnan, starring Moloya Goswami and Biju Phukan, is considered Saikia’s most touching film in which he depicted the life of commoners, their hopes and despair, dreams and nightmares, values and morals and the struggle for survival, both physically and intellectually. Saikia died in 2003. – PTI

Assam’s Sanam in final round of Teen India IQ contest
AMGURI, Aug 25 – Sanam Singhvi from Golaghat town of Assam has been selected for the final round of Miss and Teen India IQ and Personality 2007 Competition which is going to be held on coming August 26 in New Delhi. Sanam, being the only competitor from Assam, has been selected along with other fourteen competitors amongst about 4500 competitors from all over the country. This national level competition arranged by the international Club ALEE, has been sponsored by the widely circulated women's magazine Grihashobha of the AAJTAK Group. These fifteen competitors have been undergoing a 10-day long training from August 16 last before the final round of the competition, which is going to be held at Ashoka Hotel. Miss Asia Pacific Teena Chatowal and ex-Miss India Joyshree Tehlani, are said to have attended the training as the resource persons.To carry glory to Assam securing the highest position by Sanam in the competition, Sanam and her parents are expecting sincere co-operation from the people of Assam. Therefore, Sanam's family is calling upon the people of Assam to send SMS in favour of Sanam to VAT 02 2424.Sanam Singhvi is at present undergoing an 18-month commercial pilot training at EPROWA Institute, Raiberelly in Uttar Pradesh.

Complete Srimadbhagawat in prose form released
GUWAHATI, Aug 19 – At a time when western culture and literature is becoming the yardstick of modernity and literacy, Indian traditional literary works, hailed for their inherent wisdom and enduring values all over the world, are awaiting a major transformation to become more comprehensible to the common people. In such an attempt to reach the general masses, distinguished writer Surendra Kumar Das has translated the famous Dwadas Skandha Srimadbhagwat, containing the grandeur of Lord Krishna and considered as an invaluable treatise on the society, politics and culture of India, into prose. This is for the first time that the Assamese tranlsation from verses to prose form of Srimadbhagawat, complete with its 12 chapters (Skandhas) has been done.In earlier attempts, parts of the classic had been translated into prose form.Srimadbhagawat, originally in Sanskrit language, was first translated into Assamese verses by Srimanta Sankardev, the doyen of Assamese literature and the icon of neo-Vaishnav cult, followed by other scholars like Gopal Charan Dwij, Jayaram Das, Kalapchandra, Shribishnu Bharati, Ratnakar Misra, Chandradev, Ananta Kandali and several others. This time, the first prose translation of complete 12 chapters of the famous classic has been published by noted publishing house of the state Banalata. The book was released by former president of Asam Sahitya Sabha, Dr Lakhinandan Bora at Guwahati Press Club today.“After six years of hard work and thorough study of different versions of Bhagwat Puran by the author and translator SK Das, this long cherished dream of the Srimadbhagawat readers of the State could come true,” said the owner of Banalata, Guwahati, Ananta Hazarika. “The book will help the inquisitive readers, devotees and the students also to have a better understanding of the Bhagwat Puran,” he hoped. Very soon, the book will be available in all the parts of the State according to its demand, assured Hazarika. “The translation work, from verse to prose, was started from March 15, 2001 and though the source of translation was the Bhagawat edited by Dr Keshawananda Goswami, yet, the help of the Bhagawat published by the Sankardev Sangha was also taken for reference,” said Sri Das. He also expressed his gratitude to all who helped him in this project. Asom Sahitya Sabha president, Kanaksen Deka presided over the meeting held on the occasion of the book release. Eminent Vaihsnav scholar Bhaba Prasad Chaliha and Dr Dipanka Saikia, public relations officer of Auniati Satra also spoke on the occasion.

Indian Idol star Amit bridges tribal, non-tribal divide
SHILLONG, Sept 3 – Whether ‘Indian Idol 3’ contestant Amit Paul wins or not is irrelevant now for he has certainly succeeded in bringing the tribal and non-tribal communities in a small but significant way, in this hills State. Thousands today marched, chanted and danced when the Shillong lad landed here for a day’s performance at Mawlai Madan Heh and JN Sports Complex. The State Capital was totally thrown out of gear in a passionate outburst in support of the city boy.This is perhaps the second time in the State’s history that such a huge crowd from all communities gathered for a city hero. The first time it was for Captain Clifford Nongrum - the Kargil War martyr. At that time thousands gathered at the city streets during Captain Nongrum’s funeral procession.Today, thousands of people in a similar emotional outburst came down to the streets and thronged the venue where Amit performed. The schools had thin attendance, the office were open but with little or no attendance. In one of the city suburb, Mawlai, an unprecedented number of Amit’s fan gathered and waited for hours for their idol at the field and at building tops. Once he reached the venue there was frenzy with teenagers and adults alike wallowing in mud, dancing and singing songs. The venue was packed with a 30 thousand capacity crowd.Amit for the crowd donned a traditional Khasi outfit and danced with a troupe and performed songs, including Khasi numbers. Later he proceeded for JN Sports Complex. The venue witnessed not less than 50 thousand crowd. Some of Amit’s teenage fans were heard saying: “U Amit u bhabriew bha (Amit is so handsome)”. So much so that the teenage girls broke the barricade and made a mockery of the security arrangements. Two children were lost and found in the confusion. Seeing today’s response from both tribals and non-tribals coming together, Amit had certainly justified his being named the State brand ambassador for: “communal peace, harmony and excellence”.

Assamese language richer today despite odds’
BARPETA, Sept 2 – That the news of blacklisting of Asam Sahitya Sabha has nothing to do with the rural folk was evident from successfull completion of a unique poetic meet by Sarukshetri Sahitya Sabha at village Baniyakuchi in Barpeta district recently. The programme itself became poetic with the venue amidst the grove on Sarukshetri High School premises and fair and spontaneous participation of scores of poets and singers in the age group between six and seventy.The proceedings began with the hoisting of flag by Hargobinda Nath, president of Sarukshetri Sahitya Sabha. In his speech, Nath expressed satisfaction at the progress of the Assamese language by overcoming the odds and conspiracies of the 19th century. He hoped that it will become richer with the passing of time.Smriti Tarpan– homage to the departed souls was led by Padma Nath Deka, president, Panchgram Pragati Sangh. Pinu Barman, chairperson of the event management committee delivered the welcome address. In her speech she lamented the backwardness of the area but expressed her optimism of contributing a little towards the Assamese language and literature through this programme. “If we can spout the intention of literary creation in at least one person it would be our success”, she said.“Poet’s meet’ chaired by noted poet Dhruba Kumar Talukdar was a well-attended one. Kiran Talukdar, Juri Barman, Pinu Barman, Chandraprabha Talukdar, Prasanta Kumar Boro, Lohit Barman, Gautam Das, Pranjal Kumar Das, Parameswar Goswami, Ramen Barman, Hirak Deka, Padma Medhi, Harmohan Barman, Tarunjyoti Goswami, and Somnath Talukdar read out self-composed poems.Six-year-old Tarangini Barman, Tapan Deka and Mrinal Pathak recited from other volumes.Dhruba Kumar Talukdar in his address lauded the organiser for such a programme in deep rural area which he expected would work to good creativity. He asked the youth to give up their negativity and inferiority complex and practise literature which would enrich our language. This would not be possible by shouting slogans on the streets. He also asked leaders to assimilate their works with their words in relation to language and culture.The proceeding came to an end with vote of thanks by Kiran Talukdar secretary of both Sarukhetri Sahitya Sabha and the event management Committee. Local people by and large have praised the efforts of the organisers which provided them amusement at minimum cost.

Assamese film to be released via satellite to evade piracy
GUWAHATI, Aug 31 – The Assamese film industry and modern technologies seldom had a tryst. After having stayed aloof from each other for too long, finally, the regional film industry has decided to bridge the gap and get the most out of the technological boons.As a result of this, for the first time in the history of the local film industry, a local movie will be released through satellite simultaneously in as many as 12 cinema halls across the State. The movie tilted Joonda Iman Goonda is being released on September 6.Joonda Iman Goonda being produced under the banner of Gargi Entertainment Company Private Limited and directed by Chandra Mudoi will be the first Assamese film to be released in this fashion.Talking to media persons here today, Mudoi said, “ This is a very novel concept for the regional film industry and I am sure it would prove to be a boon for all the producers.”“Apart from being cost-effective, the new system would help in combating the menace of piracy that has affected the industry most,” said Mudoi, who is one of the most celebrated directors of the industry. United Film Organisers (UFO), which is responsible handling the entire system, has already streamlined the entire procedure.“ Our company works in a three-tier format. First, we will convert the conventional film into the digital format and then after getting the consent from the producer, we will give screening license of the movie to the respective movie halls,” informed Swapon Bora, area manager, UFO.It may be mentioned here that more than 800 cinema halls across the country are subscribing to this facilities. While dwelling on the benefits of the system, Bora said that this system will ensure better quality picture and the producers would be free from all the hassles associated with the distribution of the movie prints.“Though currently only 12 movie halls in Assam are having the receiving system required for receiving the movie in the digital format, but the number is going to increase in the near future,” Bora informed.“Around seven more cinema halls in the State will have this facility soon,” he said. Pranjal Kumar Bharali, one of the producers of the movie meanwhile said that his new venture would definitely woo the cinebuffs in the State.

Bid to bail out jinxed Assamese film industy
GUWAHATI, Aug 30 – There can’t be any better news than this for the languishing Assamese film industry. Fun Cinemas, which has pioneered in ushering in the world-class cinema across the country, is now ready with a platform to revive the regional cine circuit.The single screen mini cinema hall, which was inaugurated on Thursday evening at the Hub mall in the city, has planned to screen premier and daily shows of Assamese movies in times to come.“We have done certain level of homework about the regional industry. Based on all these findings, we would initiate moves to bail the regional film industry out of the jinx it is under,” said Vishal Kapur, Chief Operating Officer, Fun Cinemas.The movie hall, which is equipped with state-of-the-art technology with Dolby sound system, has planned to screen the premier show of much-waited Assamese movie Joonda Iman Goonda on September 6.“We will recreate an urge to watch Assamese movies,” said Kapur while adding that the business development team is working to find out the real need of the cinegoers in the region. Talking to media persons here, Vishal further said that Fun Cinemas would leave no stone unturned to revive the regional film industry and more and more local movies would be screened.However, the 255-seater theatre, which is the 51st project under E-city Ventures in the country, would begin its run with the screening of Ram Gopal Verma Ki Aag (remake of Sholay) from tomorrow.The rate of the tickets for silver, gold and business class has been fixed at Rs 100, Rs 150 and Rs 180 respectively. “The movie buffs would be able to book their tickets through telephone. Besides, special facilities like ‘service on seats’ has also been added,” Vishal added. The E-city Ventures group is also planning to come up with new movie halls and multiplexes in the NE region.

Shillong boy Amit gets star-studded support
GUWAHATI, Aug 29 – Rarely would you see such a star-studded congregation of the Assamese film and music industry standing for a common cause voluntarily.But the enchanting voice of Amit Paul, who has stormed into the final phase of the reality show ‘Indian Idol 3’ being screened in Sony TV, has made it possible.Though the influential students’ bodies in the NE region are yet to voice out to garner votes in favour of Paul, like it was with Debojit Saha, the latest singing sensation from Shillong has drawn attention of almost everyone in the region.“I think he is a better find than Debojit. I have heard him singing live and he has a great voice quality. He just rocks,” said noted singer JP Das during a press conference organised by Shillong Arts & Lovers’ Forum here today.Renowned filmmaker Munin Baruah said, “Amit Paul has the talent to scale the ultimate heights in the Indian music industry and we, the people of the NE, must show our love and support to this lad through SMS voting.”Baruah appealed to all the music lovers in the region to vote for Amit Paul.Amit has already sung for Assamese films, which includes Tomar Babe, Mon Morichika Bukue Bichare, during his short career as a singer.Actor Kapil Bora, for whom Amit Paul has lent his voice, said: “Amit’s voice has the unique quality of adaptability. He is a real talent and let us make Amit Paul the first Indian Idol from Assam.” Actress Zerifa Wahid further proposed to organise a road show to appeal for votes for Amit.“I would request the forum to organise a road show involving stars from Assamese film and music industry to appeal votes from the general public,” Zerifa said.A host of other film personalities including Bhupen Uzir, Bani Das, Pranjal Saikia, Mridula Baruah, Tapan Das and Chetana Das were also present on the occasion.Further, Naba Bhattacharya, chairman, publicity committee, Shillong Arts & Music Lovers’ Forum said, “Amit is one of us and we must rise up to the occasion so that he emerges triumphant in his Indian Idol mission.”

Mini cinema hall concept yet to take off
GUWAHATI, Sept 4 – The concept of mini cinema halls in State is yet to take off despite its potential to promote Assamese cinema. The Minister of Cultural Affairs on Tuesday revealed that only one mini cinema hall had come up and there was just another application received by the Government so far in this connection.Though the term mini cinema hall is almost approaching the stage of a cliché, Gautam Bora, the Cultural Minister said that more incentives would have to be provided by the Government to attract the prospective entrepreneurs to realize the concept of mini cinema halls in the State.Bora said that the State Government was keen to take Assamese films that had traversed across seven decades since the days of Joymoti to a new high by keeping intact its distinctive identity. Towards this end, the Government has initiated several steps including amendment of its film policy, quick refund of entertainment tax, abolition of show tax etc as incentives to the filmmakers and cinema hall owners to promote of film watching, revealed the Minister while briefing news persons about the State Film Award Festival 2007 which will kick off on September 7.Bora said that the film festival was an effort on the part of the Government to motivate the filmmakers and revive the Assamese film industry that was passing through a crisis period.“ To boost film making in the State, we have included a total of 28 awards this year under three different categories,” informed Bora.In the feature film category, a total of 24 awards will be in stake, whereas in the short film and documentary category there would be two awards each. It may be mentioned here that films made within 2004 to 2006 have been selected for the competition and the award giving function would be held on September 15 at 6 pm at Pragjyoti ITA Centre for Performing Arts, Machkhowa.The inaugural function of the festival would be held at Anuradha cinema hall at 10 am and would be attended by none other than the Chameli Memsab hero George Baker.Films by such noted names like Dr Bhabendra Nath Saikia, Siva Prasad Thakur, Jahnu Barua, Santana Bordoloi and others would be screened during the weeklong festival at Anuradha and Apsara cinema halls.Bora claimed that with renewed efforts coming from the Government, the Assamese film industry would see a positive change in the coming days. “ For providing incentives to cinema hall owners, the show tax has been abolished, for compensating loss of the cinema hall owners, the service tax has been increased upto Rs 17 from Rs 2 per ticket for improving condition of the halls,” said Bora.On the sideline of the festival, the Government will be felicitating the veteran artistes and technicians associated with the film world on September 8 at 6.30 pm at Rabindra Bhawan.

Zubeen to act in Chakra
NEW DELHI, Sept 5 – After rocking his fans with his peppy foot-tapping numbers and his sufi renditions, singer Zubeen Garg has now cut his debut pop album, Zindagi. Having done an award winning film in Assamese, Zubeen is also preparing to step into the tinsel town with a Hindi film, Chakra. A popular singer, Zubeen is an actor too. His Assamese film Dinabandhu got the National Award in 2005. “I love acting but I’m choosy about scripts. However, this year I will do a character in my Hindi venture Chakra. I’m also acting in another Assamese film. This will be my fourth one,” he says. Zubeen, who has a kind of record of singing more than 7000 songs in various languages like Tamil, Telugu, Punjabi, Oriya, Marathi, Nepali, etc. is also planning to bring out a Bengali album, Tumi. “I am doing a Bengali album for HMV. It is ready and will be hitting the stands this puja,” he says. Zubeen who hails from Jorhat, a small town, says his foray into mainstream Bollywood was relatively smoother as he already had experience of working in Assam. “It is a long journey, but my sailing into Mumbai was smoother as compared to other strugglers as I already had a big platform in Northeast and Assam. I stayed here whenever I wanted and went back to Assam whenever I got bored. I should say people of Assam has always helped me,” says Zubeen.While his story might be smoother but what about the other singers who are creating waves in the reality musical TV shows like Sony’s Indian Idol, Zee’s Saregamapa and Star’s Voice of India? Zubeen feels it is more hype than material. “Music shows will just give them a quick promotion but the struggle is always there. It really takes time to get a good grip in the industry. Hype can create a star but not an artist,” he says. Zubeen, who has his hands full with a lot of other projects, is also directing videos for one of his albums. “I have conceived and directed three videos of one of my forthcoming albums, Pakeeza. It took three long years to make it but now it is complete and I’m waiting for a proper time to launch it. It has a very strong North East touch and will definitely sound far different than the rest of the albums in the country,” he says. An ardent admirer of music director S D Burman, Zubeen has also designed a special album as a tribute to the legendary composer. “I’m doing another special lounge album on the songs sung by the great S D Burman,” he says. Although, Zubeen has sung a number of songs starting from Mere watan in Fiza to the title song in Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, he feels he is restless and the biggest dreamer. “I’m one of the biggest dreamers. I keep dreaming 24 hours. So I am just chasing them always,” he says. – PTI

National Games:

33rd National Games was held in Assam with 10,945 Participants taking part from a total of 35 states and Union Territories and SSCB in 32 events for 3043 Medals in the following 23 venues from February 9th to Feb 18th,2007.
Indira Gandhi Athletics Stadium, Sarusajai, Dr. Zakir Hussain Aquatics Complex, Chatra Sing Teron Archery Range & Pavilion, Rajib Gandhi Indoor Stadium, Karmabir Nabin Ch. Bordoloi Indoor Stadium, Rupnath Brahma Velodrome, Tepesia, Charon Beel, Morigaon, Veterinary Ground, Assam Agricultural University, Khanapara, Indoor Stadium, Sonapur Sports Complex, Gauhati University Ground, Nehru Stadium, Maulana Md. Tayabullah Hockey Stadium, Rudra Singha Sports Complex, Dispur, Kanaklata Indoor Hall, Guwahati, Joybhadra Hagjer Kabaddi & Kho-Kho complex, N.F. Railway Indoor Stadium, Deepor Beel, Jalukbari, R. G. Barooah Sports Complex, N.F. Railway Indoor Stadium, Kahilipara Shooting Range, Tarun Ram Phukan Indoor Stadium, Chachal Tennis Complex and Ganesh Mandir Indoor Stadium, Khanapara
Assam had its best ever showing in National Games by emerging third with the highest number of total of 148 medals ( 38 Gold, 53 silver and 57 bronze). Services and Manipur were the first and second position holders with hauls of 142 (59 Gold, 46 silver and 37 bronze and 123 medals (51 Gold, 32 silver and 40 bronze) respectively.

With spectators turning out in huge numbers even amidst boycott calls from terrorist organizations and inclement weather, the successful conduct of this biggest national event by the Govt and the people of Assam has shown to all what Assam and Assamese are capable of.

The mascot of the event was ‘Rongmon’, the amazing Rhino. The logo of the event was Rang Ghar, which is an epic in Sivasagar.
Specially, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh in his speech, remarked that the other states of India should follow Assam. This revelation is morally very encouraging for the people of Assam.
City ITF meet a success storyBy our Sports Reporter GUWAHATI, Nov 30 — The successful holding of the ITF meet in Guwahati, which concluded at the Chachal-based All Assam Tennis Association (AATA) complex today, has brightened the city’s chances of getting a higher level tournament in future. It was for the first time that an international tennis tournament was held in the city. It was a grade V tournament.Altogether 15 foreign players from the countries like Israel, Poland, Australia, Kazakistan, Azarbaizan, apart from hosts India, took part in the championship.Earlier too, the State tennis body had organised an international tournament in Jorhat. But the city ITF meet was a junior level tournament held in the age group of under-18 years. The AATA secretary Raktim Saikia, talking to this correspondent expressed satisfaction at the successful completion of the tournament. He said the complex is technically as good as any other in the whole world. Therefore, by organizing this tournament successfully, the AATA may claim for higher grade tournament. However, the ITF has already allotted the AATA another grade- V meet that will be held from November 23, 2008. Till date, Delhi has a grade-I and Kolkata has a grade-III tournament. Other cities like Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad etc have been allotted only grade-V tournaments like Guwahati.The boys’ singles champion Adil Hakeem of Australia, who is originally from India, also expressed his satisfaction over the arrangements and the infrastructure. The Israeli coach Michael Ayalov, who was given free accommodation by the organisers, was also quite satisfied with the facilities.

Services finish atop ‘best-ever Games’ GUWAHATI, Feb 18 – Asom proved the doubting Thomases wrong as they hosted the 33rd National Games in a manner that would make any State proud. The north-eastern State bid for the Games in a period of severe financial crunch and frequent floods and not many would have bet on a largely incident-free mega event. There was speculation whether the Games would be held at all with the banned separatist outfit ULFA carrying out attacks on non-Assamese people throughout the State. But the Games passed off better than most of the observers, including the Indian Olympic Association, had expected beforehand. There were thousands of keen sports-lovers at each venue with many having to be sent back with the stadia already filled to the brim.On the medal tally, Services came back with a bang to outstrip runaway leaders Manipur who almost stalled at the finish line. The defence contingent thus claimed the coveted Raja Balendra Singh Trophy for the first time. Manipur ruled the combat sports but their haul slowed down thereafter. The servicemen finished with 59 gold medals, 46 silver and 37 bronze to get ahead of Manipur (51-32-40).There was reason for much cheer as the hosts proved to be a force to be reckoned with in national sport with a tally of 148 medals, including 38 gold, for third place. It was a major jump from the 11 medals (one gold) achieved at Hyderabad in 2002. The Games were the biggest so far with around 11,000 participants from 33 contingents (29 States, three Union territories and Services). There were a record 32 disciplines, including four debutants – lawn bowls, rugby sevens, wushu and karate. In a heartening feature, as many as 30 teams, including debutants Nagaland and the tiny Andaman and Nicobar islands, managed to win medals. The Games saw 46 meet records rewritten with another equalled as competitors showed true sporting spirit in striving to give their best performance to bring glory to their teams. No wonder IOA President Suresh Kalmadi described the Guwahati National Games as the “best ever”. However, the bus accident involving 20 people, including 12 Services rowers, was an unfortunate incident to take place during the Games. Fortunately, all the competitors were out of danger. The weather, which was considered to be a concern in the lead-up, also cooperated to a large extent and only affected events on one day.Among the athletes, Karnataka swimmer Rehan Poncha was the most successful with a haul of nine gold medals and three silvers and a bronze each. Delhi’s Richa Mishra was the most successful woman competitor with eight golds. On the athletics front, Kerala’s S Arunjith claimed three gold medals, including the 100m-200m double, while his statemate Preeja Sreedharan did the middle distance hat trick of 1,500m, 5,000m and 10,000m. Apart from Asom, Uttar Pradesh was one of the States to make the biggest improvement since the last Games, with a tally of 25 golds compared to eight last time. Madhya Pradesh (12 from three) and Delhi (27 from six) were the other big movers. On the other hand, Andhra Pradesh fell from the high of 93 gold medals at Hyderabad in 2002 to 21 this time
Curtains come down on National GamesBy our Sports Reporter GUWAHATI, Feb 18 – The curtains today came down on the 33rd National Games after 10 action-filled days. The mega sporting extravaganza concluded with a gala function at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium at Sarusajai this evening which was witnessed by a capacity crowd. Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh watched the finale as the chief guest. State Governor Lt Gen (Retd) Ajai Singh, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president Suresh Kalmadi were also amongst the guests who were present at the ceremony.Addressing the huge gathering, the Prime Minister said that the scale and magnitude of this largest-ever National Games was impressive and it speaks for itself. Expressing his satisfaction over the successful completion of the Games he said that the time had come for all our sportspersons across the country to roll up their sleeves, tighten their belts and get prepared for the 2010 Commonwealth Games.He said the country is committed to taking the top place in the Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and with the efforts and dedication of the sportspersons, in the Olympics.He also revealed that the country needed to develop a broad-based sports culture in which the children are encouraged by their parents and guardians to take up games and sports seriously. He further said that the sports infrastructure also had to be developed all over the country and sporting facilities had to be made available to the youngsters in the rural areas. He also appealed to the corporate sector to look beyond a few popular games like cricket and support new disciplines where domestic talent is blossoming.Expressing his satisfaction over the organising part of the Games, the Prime Minister complimented the State Government and the Chief Minister for creating such an impressive infrastructure. The Prime Minister also handed over the prizes to the best team Services, best woman athlete Richa Mishra of Delhi and best male athlete Rehan Poncha of Karnataka in the function.The guests were greeted by the cultural troupes with excellent performance of jhumur, bagrumba, bihu, etc.After the military band played the National Anthem, the official song of Asom –O mur aapunar desh– was sang by a group of noted singers. A cultural procession of the north-eastern States was also hald where japi dance of Asom, butterfly of Meghalaya, dhols of Manipur, bamboo dance of Mizoram, Naga spears of Nagaland, yak dance of Sikkim, Hozagiri dance of Tripura and paper mask of Arunachal were performed by artistes in their colourful attires.After completion of the cultural procession, the combined march-past began, which was led by the band of Assam Regimental Centre, Shillong. Although all the 33 participating contingents with over 10,000 members have participated in the march-mast, it was a well disciplined yet fun-filled affair and was regarded as one of the most exciting events of the closing ceremony. Athletes showed off their traditional cultural dances in front of the huge gathering. Finally, it was the Assam Police band which came out playing the tune of Kapau phoole nohoai to give the final touch to the march-past.Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said that the dream of hosting the 33rd National Games was realised. He said that despite having problems of financial constraints, floods, insurgency, etc., the State had been able to host the mega event very successfully.IOA president Suresh Kalmadi, in his address at the function, said that it had been a fantastic Games. The newly created infrastructure also will help in producing sportspersons of international repute from this region, he added. Complimenting the State football team for its glorious title winning performance last evening in the final, Kalmadi said that it was a befitting finale to the Games which will be an event to remember. In the closing function after extingushing the Olympic flame, the IOA flag was lowered and handed over to the representatives of the Jharkhand Olympic Association which will host the next edition of the Games in 2009. The closing function included an attractive cultural extravaganza featuring Bollywood star Urmila Matondkar, singer Usha Uthup, Zee Sa-re-ga-ma-pa ‘Voice of India’ Debojit Saha, besides State film personalities Zerifa Wahid, Barasharani Bishaya, Kapil Bora and Joy Kashyap. Around 2284 children from 18 city schools also participated in the function.

Fans chorus support for ZubeenThe star of Assamese music, who rose to fame in Bollywood circles with his chartbuster ‘Ya Ali…’ and recently bagged the ‘Kenstar Stardust Award’ in the New Musical Sensation (best playback singer, male) category, overtaking the bigwgs of Mumbai music industry Award has been nominated for the Filmfare Award, against the big names of music industry like Himesh Reshammiya, Sonu Nigam, Shaan, etc. “His songs are loved by one and all in the State and his recent performance Hindi songs has established this lad of Assam in the Bollywood too,” said an enthusiast from the Zubeen fan club. Singer Debojit Saha of Zee Sa-Re-Ra-Ma-Pa fame has also joined the group of fans and asked the people of State to come forward and cast their votes for their star. The awards will be declared on February 25.Meanwhile, the All Assam Students’ Union and the North East Students’ Organization have conveyed their good wishes to Zubeen. A press release from both the student bodies stated that the success of Zubeen has made Assam and the Northeast proud and his every next success will add feathers to the crown.

GU manuscripts declared national treasure
GUWAHATI, Feb 25 – The National Mission for Manuscripts, Department of Culture, Government of India, has proclaimed two valuable and rare manuscripts, Chitra Bhagabata and Ratnamala Vyakaran, written on sanchipat and preserved at the KK Handiqui Library of Gauhati University as ‘Vijnananidhi: Manuscript Treasure of India’. Manuscripts declared as Vijnananidhi are selected for their outstanding value to the whole of humanity and for their contribution to Indian life or to the development of Indian thought or the preservation of its culture. The Mission seeks to pay homage to the landmarks in Indian intellectual history by identifying manuscripts with unique heritage value and designating these as ‘Vijnananidhi.’ “Sometimes its value may simply be in the history it represents, i.e., in recording an indigenous tradition and cosmology. In short, they are repositories of the knowledge of that period without which life would have been substantially different for the present generation,” a GU official engaged in the project said. The Mission has also designated the KK Handiqui Library as a Manuscript Resource Centre (MRC) to locate and document the manuscripts lying scattered in different repositories of the State. Accordingly, the MRC has so far documented 24,000 manuscripts and those have been entered in the database created in the library. These records are now available for online access through the Internet. Bhupen Goswamee, librarian in-charge and coordinator, KK Handiqui Library Manuscript Mission Centre, GU, received the citations awarded by the Union Ministry of Tourism and Culture from minister Ambika Soni in Delhi last week. The KKHL MRC, which is trying to include the records of all manuscripts preserved in different repositories, has also appealed to the custodians of the undocumented manuscript to contact Bhupen Goswamee (94351-16920) or Tarun Chandra Saikia, archivist (94351-10942). The Government of India, through the Department of Culture, Ministry of Tourism and Culture, had taken up the recovery and revitalization of the precious wealth of manuscripts in the country by establishing the National Mission for Manuscripts. The purpose behind its establishment was to locate, document, preserve and revitalize the treasure trove of manuscripts through several programmes like affiliations with major manuscript repositories taking up a systematic survey across the country for identifying known and unknown manuscripts in public and private repositories, giving preventive and curative conservation to vulnerable collections, documenting the knowledge contained in manuscripts through digitalization, conducting courses on manuscriptology and paleography fostering research and critical editing as well as organizing outreach programmes for wider access and dissemination.

Ahir Bhairav premiere in capital today
NEW DELHI, March 25 – A multi-starrer Assamese movie, first-ever to be shot in the United Kingdom, is going to be first-of-its-kind in many aspects. The film, Ahir Bhairav, will have its premiere show here tomorrow. The film, which is the first movie of the region to be shot entirely in the UK, is also the first feature film with a budget crossing Rs 1 crore. It also marks the entry of the affluent Non-Resident Assamese community living abroad into the show business. Pumping of resources could do wonders to the fledging film industry in this part of the country.Produced by practising general physician, Dr Ranen Sarma, who has been based in the UK for the last three decades, the film has been directed by Siba Prasad Thakur, and the script is by Pankaj Thakur.

Bibliography project to cover 100 years of Assamese literature
GUWAHATI, March 27 – The prestigious Ranganathan-Kaula Gold Medal Award for excellent services in the field of Library Sciences was conferred on eminent library scientist Prof Alaka Burhagohain for her committed work and contributions to library services in the region. Former Head of Department of Library and Information Sciences, Gauhati University, Prof Burhagohain is serving the same department as a guest faculty, PhD research guide and a resource person in the Academic Staff College. The award is named after Dr SR Ranganathan, father of Library Sciences and Prof PN Kaula, scholar and professional icon in this field. Talking to The Assam Tribune, Prof Burhagohain revealed her ongoing projects and future plans, particularly in the field of preserving the literature and publications related to NE India. “A computer readable data base on all publications on NE India in the field of culture and economy has already been made under a project of North Eastern Council by us,” she said. “The data base, irrespective of language, is a compilation from beginning to 1996 which will be updated from time to time.”Now, the most ambitious project taken up under her supervision will be the Assamese section of the project on National Bibliography of Indian Literature from 1954 to 2000 by the Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi. “Earlier, this project was compiled from 1900 to 1954 by BK Baruah. The ongoing project will complete one century of bibliography of Assamese literature which will help to find out the chronology and other necessary information about Assamese poetry, fiction, etc,” she maintained. Recently, she submitted the draft of the Assam Public Libraries and Information Services Bill, 2006 to the Directorate of Library Services.

Assamese films can get global platform: Polish envoy
GUWAHATI, March 27 – The Assamese film industry may be passing through one of the worst phases ever, but it is certainly not the end of the road for the regional industry and the people involved in it.Dr. Krzysztof Majka, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Poland, who is here to attend the Guwahati Polish Film Festival which is being organised under the aegis of Gauhati Cine Club (GCC) today ignited fresh hopes for the languishing regional industry saying the Assamese film industry can reap benefits of the ‘co-production’ concept after tying up with film producers of Poland who are very open to this kind of joint venture.He went to state that the concept of co-production would not only help both the industries but would also fetch a wide range of flexibility to both forms of cinema. “Moreover, it would also help in giving Assamese cinema an international platform and a wider range of audience across the globe,” he said.When asked what kind of help can the Polish embassy in India provide in this regard, he said, “Today world cinema has become congested and one even does not need to avail the help of any embassy to move forward with such kind of initiatives.” He further divulged that Poland is encouraging Indian cinema or for that matter foreign cinema like never before and added that the enchanting landscapes of Poland can really turn out as an attracting and virgin location for the film industries around the world. Majka also urged the private institutions in the Northeast to initiate steps to conduct bilateral cultural exchange programmes with Poland to make the region’s unique folk culture and tradition more popular and vice versa.There are lots of private cultural institutions in Poland, which are looking forward for such cultural exchange programmes and workshops and Northeast India can take advantage of it.“If anything like this can be arranged with the involvement of experts from both the countries, then it would help the growth of music and culture in both the countries,” he said.Majka hailing the trade ties between the two countries further said,” We have been sharing full-fledged bilateral relations with India since 1956 and since then it has shown a positive growth which is evident by a direct trade amounting to $ 650 million.”

Jyotirupa Media awards presented
GUWAHATI, March 18 – A host of cultural figures including actors, directors, musicians, technicians, singers, and other artistes were felicitated and conferred with awards at the glittering Jyotirupa Media Awards-2007 function held at Rabindra Bhawan this evening. Eminent actor Dinesh Das was conferred the Assam Tribune Lifetime Contribution Award. He was presented the award by TG Baruah, chairman, Assam Tribune group of newspapers. He was given a bouquet, a gamosa and the award along with a shawl.Receiving the award, Das thanked Jyotirupa and recalled several eminent artistes who had shaped his artistic sensibilities. Besides mentioning Chandra Phukan of Nagaon and Abdul Majid as his mentors, he referred to his fruitful association with the Nagaon Natya Mandir where he had his first serious introduction to drama. Jyotirupa also gave a special felicitation to noted drama personality Dulal Roy. The felicitation accorded by PG Baruah, president of Jyotirupa and editor of The Assam Tribune.In his acceptance speech, Roy said that he was touched by the gesture. He said it was his good fortune that he was chosen for the honour.Roy recalled the late Sambhu Mitra, a cultural icon, adding that it was an occasion that was made more memorable by the presence of the late Mitra’s daughter Shawoli. The noted cultural group of Silchar, Rupam, was also felicitated by Jyotirupa. Accepting the honour, Devanjan Mukherjee of Rupam thanked Jyotirupa and said that such an honour would help spread cultural awareness among a large section of the people. In the awards category, a jury with Abdul Majid as chairman selected the different award winners. The best child artiste award was won by Divine Jyoti Kalita for his role in Sneh Bandhan.A touching moment of the function was when the wife of the late Ishan Baruah gave away the best TV actor award to Kuldeep Sarma for his role in Nirmal Ananda. Baruah said that it was thoughtful of Jyotirupa to honour cultural artistes during their lifetime. A visibly moved Baruah referred to her husband’s close association with Jyotirupa and described it as an enriching experience. Another highlight of the function was a scintillating dance performance by two young artistes who rendered the Dasavatara dance.

People throng Asam Sahitya Sabha venue
From SARAT CH SINGHA KSHETRA (Chapar), March 18 – The 69th Chapar session of the Asam Sahitya Sabha today witnessed an encouraging gathering as thousands of people from different parts of the district thronged the venue. Defying the boycott call given by seven Koch-Rajbangshi organisations, thousands of people today joined the large cultural procession which was flagged off by noted film actress Moloya Goswami. The procession, started from the Chapar Ratnapith College, covered about six km roads of this locality.In the cultural procession, the president of the Sabha, Kanaksen Deka along with the presidents of different ethnic Sahitya Sabhas were brought to the main stage in a specially decorated rath. The rath of the president was led by two elephants and 69 women in traditional Assamese dress and holding a kalah (earthen pot) each. It was followed by different cultural troupes reflecting the culture of west Assam. The culture of the people of char areas were specially projected in the procession.The first open meeting of the session was held with the president Kanaksen Deka in the chair. Inaugurating the open meeting, eminent writer Dr Dev Bharadwaj president of the international litterary body expressed hope that such type of gathering in the name of litterature is very encouraging and it will spread positive message for the evil forces who instigating terrorism in the State. He admitted that “I had attended the international writers festival but had not seen such type of huge gathering like Asam Sahitya Sabha.Addressing the meeting as guest of honour, former Asam Sahitya Sabha president Dr Laxminandan Bora said that the people from all walks of life of the State have expressed their solidarity with the Asom Sahitya Sabha as the leading intellectuals of the State held the main oars of the Sabha. Secondly, Dr Bora said the Sahitya Sabha is the only organisation in Asom which has been trying to bring the Sahitya Sabhas of all communities of the State closer.Dr Bora further stated that the Asom Sahitya Sabha for the first time took a positive step in bringing the art and culture of the Char people into the State’s main stream. He called upon the Sabha to take steps to translate the valuable books of all languages in the State into Assamese. He added that the exchange of litteratures will held in building up confidence among the communities.The open meeting was attended by prominent writer Abha Ayenger, president of Rabha Sahitya Sabha Baren Sapar, president of Mising Sahitya Sabha, Dr Basanta Kumar Doley, president of Tai Sahitya Sabha Monoranjan Phukan, president of Bishnupria Manipuri Sahitya Sabha, president of Char Chapari Sahitya Parishad Hafiz Ahmed, among others.Delegates’ meet : The Sabha has resolved to continue its work for the development of litterature, culture and languages of all communities of the State keeping contact with the main stream of the country. The Sabha in its delegates meeting held with Sabha president Kanak Sen Deka in the chair last night passed another resolution demanding to stop all kinds of violences in order to establish a peaceful situation for the development of all sections of the people of this region.The delegates meet also witnessed an unruly situation over the issues of Koch-Rajbangshi community and the Sahitya Sabha’s corrupt practices. The Bongaigaon Zilla Sahitya Sabha members walked out protesting the Sahitya Sabha’s failure to solve the Koch-Rajbangshi issues. Stating that the Koch-Rajbangshi is a major community in west Assam, the Bongaigaon Sahitya Sabha opined that the Sahitya Sabha should not ignore such a community. The Dergaon Sahitya Sabha also walked out as the Sahitya Sabha failed to allot its session at Dergaon.Next session : The delegates meeting also decided to hold the next biennial conference of the Sabha at Dhemaji in 2009. The fourth annual session of the Sabha will be held at Dakshinpat in Nagaon district next year.

Film on State dolphins to be screened in US
GUWAHATI, Sept 9 – Children of the River: The Xihus of Assam, a half-an-hour documentary by filmmaker Maulee Senapati, will be screened at the World Resources Institute, Washington, US tomorrow. Produced and scripted by noted journalist and writer Sanjoy Hazarika, this film is on the conservation of the fresh water dolphins of the Brahmaputra. The filmmaker, who is an alumni of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII ), Pune, has done the camera himself while the music is by noted composer Sher Choudhury and voice over by Rajiv Mehrotra.Senapati has made other films, which have found entries into the Mexico International Film Festival and the Tehran Film Festival. Another film of his on the bamboo culture of Assam had won the Best Cinematography Award by the UGC - Consortium of Educational Councils, India.

Zerifa dons producer mantle
GUWAHATI, Sept 17 — After garnering hordes of adulation from various quarters for her intense acting skills, popular Assamese actor Zerifa Wahid has now entered into the field of production.The actress, on Wednesday, formally announced the inception of ‘Zerifa Wahid Production’ during a press meet in the city.The production house, at the outset, will produce stage plays and VCDs both in Assamese and English. The stage shows would be organised across the State.“I always wanted to contribute to the industry in one way or the other and my novel endeavour in the field of production is a step towards it,” Zerifa said while interacting with mediapersons.She further informed that the production house would make around five stage plays a year.“If everything goes as per plan, I would also like to produce movies in future,” she added.The production house has already roped in reputed directors like Ghiasuddin Ahmed, Bidyut Chakroborty and Rajib Bhattacharya.However, the actress clarified that the responsibility to choose actors for the stage plays would rest completely on the director concerned as per their suitability.“I would not interfere in the selection of actors,” she made it clear.The gorgeous actress, who has so far acted in only four stage plays, said, “Though I have not featured much in the stage plays, I want to associate myself with it completely now”.

People’s affection will inspire me to live on: Sheelabhadra
GUWAHATI, Sept 19 – “I am lucky that people continue to shower their affection on me, and this will inspire me to live for many more years,” eminent litterateur Sheelabhadra said this from his hospital bed on Tuesday. The occasion was his 85th birthday, which was celebrated by Prantashree and Times Publication at the hospital in a simple manner.The occasion, befittingly, was marked by the release of the maestro’s latest work, Atitar Khandita Chitra (Vol II), published by Times Publication. Noted author and former Asam Sahitya Sabha president Dr Lakshmi Nandan Bora formally released the volume. In his address, Dr Bora said Sheelabhadra was among the few veteran writers whose writings could attract the young generation. He said that the top ten Assamese short stories from the time of Lakshminath Bezboruah to Arupa Patangia would invariably include Sheealabhadra’s Bhinna Samadal. Satish Chandra Choudhury, vice-president of Asam Sahitya Sabha, the chief guest, recalled his close association with Sheelabhadra and described many an interesting anecdote from the author’s past. He said Sheelabhadra’s creations would bestow immortality on him. Kanak Ch Sarma, Dr Amrit Kr Baruah, Meena Kumari Roy Medhi, Bhadra Bora, Bhabani Prasad Adhikary, Dr NN Dutta, Kandarpa Kumar Sarma and Dimbeswar Pathak also spoke.Rebati Mohan Dutta Choudhury, better known as Sheelabhadra, has been undergoing treatment at the DownTown Hospital since September 13. He had a pacemaker implanted on Monday, and he is now stated to be stable and improving.He has so far penned seven novels, each a milestone in Assamese literature. In addition he is the author of 409 short stories. He is the recipient of Bharatiya Bhasha Parishad Award, Asom Prakashan Parishad Award, Assam Valley Literary Award, and Sahitya Akademi Award.

State mobile theatres on innovation spree
GUWAHATI, Sept 25 – An actor of nearly six-foot physique becoming a three-and-a-half-feet dwarf. Another flying atop the stage exercising martial arts. An actress playing roles to depict three generations of a single individual. It has been innovations to the core for the state mobile theatre groups this year. They have adopted different technical as well as methodical styles to attract audiences, all over the state.This is not a new trend for them, as in previous years too, they had staged plays like Titanic. This year, however, the mobile theatre groups have experimented with some very serious topics as well as showbiz. This is especially interesting, for during the last couple of years, mobile theatre groups have gone crazy to have the so-called glamour artistes (a term coined for referring to actors from the Assamese cinema world) under their belt.It was, in fact, Assamese films’ numero uno hero Jatin Bora who first opened the floodgates three years back. His cinematic image created a record of sort, both in terms of unprecedented popularity as well as commercial benefits to both the producer of the mobile theatre group and the actor himself. Since then, it has been an enviable case of Assamese cinema artistes flooding the mobile theatre stage.Interestingly enough, these so-called glamour artistes seem to have lost the sheen originally attached to them over a period of time. And that is why they have adopted fresh ideas to exploit the popularity of these artistes this year. These cinema artistes have, to a large extent, forced the original theatre actors away from the limelight they actually deserved.To counter this, Mridul Chutia, a young but old hand in the mobile theatre circle for several years, has accommodated a character in the drama Bhagnavasesh in the Bordoichila Theatre, wherein he plays the role of a dwarf and an eight-feet-tall man at different moments. In fact, becoming a dwarf on the stage has turned out to be the new mantra for the actors, as Jatin Bora has also played the role of a dwarf in his play Achin Dora Abuj Koina in Kohinoor Theatre. While Jatin’s role is mainly supported by a costly make-over with imported costumes, Mridul has played the character by actually changing his body structure. It was, in fact, Mridul who conceived the idea of playing the role of a dwarf while he was with the Hengul Theatre group last season, but abandoned it for the lack of rehearsal time.The play Bhagnavasesh is also mentionable here, because it has dealt with the futility, and the consequent unalterable changes caused to the Assamese social fabric, of the famous Assam Agitation.Prastuti Parashar, the leading lady of Assamese cinema, who is currently with the Bordoichila Theatre, has played the role depicting three generations (a girl, a married women, and an old lady) of a character, with aplomb. She has played a pivotal role in attracting audiences with her immensely-gifted and versatile acting prowess. In Ashirbad Theatre, actor Joy Kashyap is shown flying atop the audience and fighting while in the air itself. In Shankardev Theatre, another mobile group, Debajit Sarma has become ‘Kingkong the gorilla’. Other film actors like Ravi Sharma in Hengul and Gayatri Mahanta in Abahon have donned different techno-savvy roles to attract people to the pandals.

Another State youth strikes the right chords in Bollywood
GUWAHATI, Sept 23 – Music lovers from the State nowadays have quite a lot to cheer. Inherent passion for music here is now rocking Bollywood, overcoming a stagnant period that came after Dr Bhupen Hazarika’s soulful musical launches in Bollywood. The new generation of music stars from the State are gradually being recognised as the voices of India. Zubeen, Debojit Saha, Banajyotsna... the melody club is recently joined by Alaap a.k.a. Dudul Saikia, as a promising music director. Dudul’s music in the latest release of State’s music sensation Zubeen Garg, Zindagi, is receiving critical applause in Bollywood. He has done the composing, music arrangement and audio concepts for Zindagi. To celebrate this success, Dudul, now a Mumbai based music director and a composer, flew back to Guwahati. “The audio album Zindagi, is a very close association of my own feelings expressed in a musical manner. It contains songs and ballads of various emotions punctuated by good musicians through their skill and expressively articulated by singers like Zubeen, Chitra and Safaquat Amanat Ali,” said Dudul Saikia. Apart from his works in Zindagi, Alaap has a number of achievements in his kitty. He has composed and provided background music for many television soaps with the Star Plus and Zee TV among others. He has worked for a Bollywood movie and composed jingles for many advertisements. Apart from these, Alaap has also created and composed music for more than twenty audio albums in Assamese and other regional languages.“It has been fifteen years from now, when I went to Mumbai in the pursuit of my dream and from then, I have been constantly working in this field to carve a niche for myself,” Saikia said. Lately, he is arranging and programming music for the music directors like Annu Malik and Adesh Srivastava. His list of recent releases include songs composed for Vaisali Samant’s album titled ‘V’ and yet to be released songs for albums of Sunita Rao, Roop Joharie, Shafaquat Ali and MS Abeer.

Kalam’s Mission India released in Assamese
GUWAHATI, Sept 23 – The man who has inspired countless young men and women in the country to dream big without an inkling of fear will now share his thoughts with the Assamese youth in their own language, thanks to the effort of Suresh Sarma and Jyoti Prakashan. Former president of India, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam’s Mission India translated into Assamese by Suresh Sarma, chief translator of Gauhati High Court was dedicated to the readers on Sunday.The book, considered an important guide for the present as well as future generation envisages catapulting India into the legion of the economic superpowers by 2020. That no mission is impossible is highlighted through those untold sagas of success and analysing the merits and weaknesses of the country. The book discusses at length the problems faced by the country and the ways of changing the destiny of the country.Sarma expressed that the book would motivate the Assamese youth to face the challenges and go ahead in life. It may be mentioned here that Sarma has already translated five books of the former president into Assamese. Sarma who himself harbours a dream of seeing the young people take the world by stride is confident that the thoughts of Kalam would be embraced by the youth of Assam. He has also taken up the job of translating two other books of Kalam, Children Ask Kalam and Indomitable Spirit.

Construction of Dr Bhupen Hazarika Kalakshetra in progress
HALEM, Sept 28 — At the initiative of Biswanath subdivision administration, the construction work of an appreciable project, Dr Bhupen Hazarika Kalakshetra and power park is under progress which started in January last according to a report received here.The budget for the project was fixed for Rs 76,02,000 and out of which, the work started with Rs 10 lakh received from untied fund. A bridge with lilypools have almost been completed, it is learnt. Two waiting sheds complex are also likely to be completed. The four walls have also been completed at a cost of Rs 2,40,000 received from DRDA. The other important part of the project is its power generation park. It is estimated Rs 11 lakh is spent to generate power.It is thought that the extra energy may be utilised for OT room of Chariali civil hospital, it is so planned. There will also be water falls in the park. There will be nine masks of a man and through which water will be rolling and children can pass through it. Moreover, endurance cell, urinal, restaurant, cultural hall, green house, etc will be there as learnt. Jatin Bara, CO, Biswanath circle and secretary of the project disclosed that communication has been done with district administration, planning department of government of Assam and Powergrid for bund. On the other hand, Nurjamal Sarkar, Minister, Fishery etc has assured all possible help to the project. The main gate to the Kalakshetra complex has also almost been completed with funds received from Biswanath Utsav celebration committee, MLA’s and MP’s development funds amounting to Rs 4,46,000, 3 lakhs and 3 lakh respectively as learnt here. Artist Samarjyoti Bora and artist Hari Singh prepared the main gate.The project committee was formed with then SDO(C), Jayanta Narlikar who took initiative in the project and now public expect such initiative from the present SDO(C), Bischal Basanta Solanki.Seedlings damaged: In the first flood, the paddy seedlings were damaged and however, the cultivators have managed somehow and sown seeds again and they plantation was completed by most of the cultivators in Halem mouza under Halem revenue circle. But the plantation in most parts of the mouza were destroyed again by the second flood and this time the cultivators are at a loss what to do. Some farmers from Doronigiachuk, Sonariparia villages said that about 80% of their plantation have been destroyed. Benjamin Ekka, ex-principal, Halem GP said that insects have attacked most of the plantations after flood.

Instructor’s absence at Satriya training camp draws flak
KAMALABARI, Sept 28 – The State Directorate of Cultural Affairs took up a training programme starting from June last to May next in Satriya dance, Borgeet and Mising, Bodo and Rabha dances at different cultural centres of the State.Accordingly, the director Swapnanil Barua requested all officers-in-charge of the centres concerned to depute their instructors and instructresses to the training venues in accordance with the assignments entrusted to them vide letter No. CAE 10/07/93 dated May 19, 2007.Among the regular and casual instructors, Golap Barua Bayan, an instructor of Satriya dance at the Majuli Cultural Centre, Kamalabari was assigned by the director to impart training at Dibrugarh from June 10 to July 31, at Doomdooma from August 11 to September 30, at Sonari from October 11 to November 30, at Simaluguri from December 11 January 31, 2008, at Diphu from February 8 to March 31 and at Haflong from April 10 to May 30. But astonishingly enough, the said instructor has remained absent at the above-mentioned training venues, thus throwing into disarray the schedule of the trainees.It is learnt from reliable sources that the absentee prayed to the director for his leave of absence on the plea that he would have to play an important role in a ‘bhaona’ to be staged at Barpeta on September 22 on occasion of the birth anniversary of Srimanta Sankardeva. Notably, Sankardeva award recipient Satradhikar Narayan Chandra Goswami is the playwright of the bhaona. He has also written to the director of grant leave to Golap Barua Bayan till the ‘bhaona’ is over. Accordingly, the director granted him leave of absence from the training venues.This absence of the said instructor at the training venues and influencing of the authorities concerned with the help of a letter written by the Sankardeva award recipient in the former’s favour has drawn flak from the trainees of Dibrugarh and Doomdooma and a section of devoted cultural workers and their admirers. A leading Satriya artist opined that this kind of exemption granted to the instructor who is a salaried government employee has stood in the way of propagating Satriya cultural education.

Region’s news needs better focus at national level’
SIPAJHAR, Sept 28 – Journalists should be active to enable better focus of the news of Assam and North-East India in a systematic manner at national level, said prominent journalist of Indian Express Samudra Gupta Kashyap. He was addressing the first session of the journalists’ meet organised under the auspices of Darrang district committee of Sambadik Karma Parishad, Assam at Mangaldai Natya Mandir on recently.The session was also attended by journalist Rajib Lochan Borthakur and MLA, Sipajhar LAC Binanda Kumar Saikia as distinguished guest. The session was chaired by Jamal Uddin Ahmed, working president of district committee and inaugurated by superintendent of police, Darrang Imdadul Hussain Bora.The second session-cum-open meet was held under the presidentship of Tula Ram Deka. Inaugurating the session, the deputy commissioner Darrang Sailendra Kumar Nath discussed the role of journalists in the present situation.Radhika Mohan Bhagawati senior journalists and editor, Ajir Dainik Batori stressing on the correct use of language in reporting also called up on the journalists to follow the principle of self-control and criticism. He also highlighted his 50 years experience in journalism.General secretary, Sambadik Karma parishad, Assam, Prakash Mahanta stressed on the unity of journalists of the state. Naba Thakuria, state vice-president of the parishad and journalist Ranen Goswami also spoke on the occasions. Hiten Mahanta, state working president, and MLA, Mangaldai LAC Hiren Kumar Das attended as guests of honour.The souvenir edited by Dhruba Prasad Saharia was released by president, Darrang Zila Sahitya Sabha, Phulendra Nath Saharia.

Actress-turned-singer releases debut Assamese music album
GUWAHATI, Sept 26 – Having registered her exploits in diverse arena of television industry both in Assam and Mumbai, which is marked by some of the most memorable characters in the era of small screen sops and commercials, Parinita Barthakur is back to what she does the best.The charming diva from Assam today added another feather to her cap by officially releasing her debut Assamese music album ‘Parineeta’ at the Guwahati Press Club premises.“Though I have acted in many television serials and ads, besides lending voice in many Hindi albums, I always wanted to come up with a solo album. Today is a special day for me,” said Parineeta during the release of her album on Wednesday.Parineeta, who was born at Duliajan, apart from lending her voice for some of the popular remix numbers, including Ek Pyar Ka Nagma Hain, Kishi Nazar Ko Tera Intezar Aaj Bhi Hain, has also done commercials for multinational companies, including Maruti and Liberty.Talking about her new album, she said, “ Parineeta is a romantic album and I am sure youngsters would be able to identify themselves with the numbers. It has slow as well as peppy numbers which I feel would be warmly accepted by the music buffs”.The singer apart from lending her voice has also shared screen with numero uno hero of Assamese film industry Jatin Bora. Utpal Sarma has scored the music for the album.The album was officially released by national award winning director Munin Baruah.

An ace up Kathak dancers’ sleeve
GUWAHATI, Sept 30 – To help the aspiring Kathak dancers of the State, who could not pursue their dreams due to financial crisis or dearth of good Kathak teachers, will now be able to catch the right steps of the dance, through the two volumes of Natawari Kathak Nrityamala, the audio cassettes produced by noted dancer from the State, Aligunjan Kalita Mudiar. The first-of-its-kind attempt in the State to present Kathak in its purest form, the Nrityamala was released by noted artiste Anand Mohan Bhagawati. The presentation can be helpful to the Kathak learners as well as the professional artistes in the State. As per the demand of the Kathak dance form, Sri Ganesh stuti, Siv vandana, Surjya vandana, thumri, bhajan, gajal, tarana, sufi and the classical songs has been recorded in the cassette with pure dancing rhythms. The recordings has been done by the renowned Indian classical singers including the Sangeet Natak Award winner Ravi Nagar (vocal), Pt Vinod Kumar Mishra (Sarangi), Navin Mishra (Sitar), Saheb Alam (flute), along with the artistes from the State like Bhaskar Ojah (tabla, pakhowaj), Dwipendra Sarma (Violine, Harmonium) etc.

Sabha to intensify official language demand
GUWAHATI, Oct 3 – Asam Sahitya Sabha will fight it out to get the official language implemented in the real sense. The apex literary body, peeved at the lackadaisical attitude of the Government in implementing the Assam official Language Act, 1960 has announced its decision to launch an extensive and intensive movement from October 14, coinciding with the birthday of Lakshminath Bezboruah to jolt the authorities to action.Addressing mediapersons on Wednesday, president Kanaksen Deka said that the Sabha has decided to intensify its demand for the implementation of the official language respecting the sentiment of the common people who were getting over the treatment meted out to the official language.Though the Assam Official Language Act was approved in 1960, there has been little progress in its actual implementation. In most of the Government offices, English is the language preferred much to the inconvenience of the common people who have no knowledge of English. The Act was published in the Assam Gazette on March 14, 1963 and in 1964, the Government constituted a sub committee for implementation of the official language. In December 1969, the Government issued a directive to all departmental heads to use Assamese as the official language. The rules for the Act were formulated in 1970, and in 1979, the Directorate of Official Language was set up.However in all these decades, the official language has been getting a poor deal, despite the claim of successive Governments that the issue of implementation of the official language was not neglected.The Sabha not interested to buy the Government’s assertions any more, declared that it has chalked out a month long programme to highlight the failure of the Government in implementing the official language as well as pinpoint the culprits who have blatantly ignored the Act. The Sabha will take out processions, its members will assemble at the offices of the deputy commissioners to get first hand knowledge of the fate of the official language and involve the litterateurs, students, teachers and all concerned citizens in its forthcoming programme.“On October 15, the Sabha will press for identifying all the departments that have not been following the Act,” disclosed Deka.The Sabha during its month long movement will see to it that all the business establishments display their names in Assamese. It has directed all its district units to actively participate in the programme or face disciplinary action.

Translation thrived even during the oral stage of literature
GUWAHATI, Oct 8 – India has a history of translation that goes back to the days when written literature was not born. Translation used to thrive even in the oral stage of literature, which was marked by myths, legends and folk tales. Noted folklorist and former president of Asom Sahitya Sabha, Dr Birendra Nath Dutta observed this while presenting the Amulya Chakravorty Literary Translation Award to Pradip Saikia at a function at the Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra on Sunday afternoon.Saikia was chosen for the award for his translation of eminent Indologist AL Basham’s The Wonder that was India. Publication Board, Assam has published the translation. Saikia, who is a former principal of Nagaon College, has a number of books, including translations, to his credit. Terming translation as an important genre of literature, Dr Dutta said that translation was a connecting force between different languages, cultures, nations and peoples. “Translation, in fact, is older than written literature, as it used to be a powerful form of oral literature. The wealth of myths, legends and folk tales that we possess testifies to the enduring appeal of translation even in its oral form,” he said. In his acceptance speech, Saikia said that translation symbolized the absorption, assimilation and integration of human knowledge. “The never-ending quest for knowledge through the centuries has been finding an expression through translations,” he said. Saikia said that the spread of the age-old Indian philosophy and its ideals owed a lot to translations. “Translation is largely responsible for India’s identity in the world outside,” he said, adding that translation would continue to be an indispensable part of literature and civilization.Saikia also thanked Lakshminath Tamuly, former Secretary of Publication Board, Assam, for egging him on to take up the translation of Basham’s classic. Noted litterateur Jogendra Narayan Bhuyan, who was the distinguished guest on the occasion, recollected his close association with the late Amulya Kumar Chakravorty. “Chakravorty’s place in Assamese literature is secure due to his translation of classics like Odyssey, Iliad and Aeneid,” he said.Bhuyan said that apart from its purely literary value, translation would continue to stand the test of time because of its role as a great connecting and unifying force. “Translation entails a great deal of hard work, understanding and insight on the part of the translator. At times, a work of translation can look even more novel than the original,” he said. Tabiyul Hussain, president, Brihattar Panjabari Sahitya Sabha, presided over the function. Urmila Chakravorty, wife of the late Chakravorty, also spoke on behalf of the Amulya Chakravorty Memorial Trust. The award was instituted by the Trust in 2003 in association with the Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra Society.

German body to preserve traditional songs of Assam
GUWAHATI, Oct 11 – In a rare gesture, a leading German- based institute has come forward to preserve the traditional songs of Upper Assam, which are on the brink of extinction. Volkswagen Stistung Foundation of Germany will record and digital archiving of the Tai, Singpho and Tangsha songs of Upper Assam which are rarely available among the people in the area. The project titled ‘Traditional Songs and Poetry of Upper Assam-Multifaceted Linguistic and Ethnographic of the Tangsha, Tai and Singpho Community, will be completed in three years. The songs will also be recorded by using the same instruments, which used to be sung in days of yore.The project has been initiated by Dr Stephen Morey and he will be assisted by Professor Baas Terwiel, musicologist Dr Juergen Schoepf and Palash Kumar Nath, who is a research scholar of Gauhati University.Dr Morey, who has been conducting research in the North East on endangered languages for a period of 11 years, has taken the initiative to preserve the songs as these are on the verge of extinction due to modernity. The lyrics of the songs will be translated into English so that people across the world can take the flavour of the rich traditional songs of the North East.“We will start the project by next month and our main areas are the border areas of Arunachal Pradesh and Margherita belt in Assam,” Palash Kumar Nath told this correspondent today. He further said that the traditional songs of Upper Assam are facing extinction for which the institute has come forward. Citing reasons, Nath observed that the young generation is not willing to sing and therefore these songs are gradually facing extinction. “Another important fact is that the modern music has made a huge impact on these songs. These were sung in different atmosphere and environment,” he said. Noted musicologist of Germany, Dr Schoepf has been closely associated with similar projects in different parts of the world. He is very keen to participate in the project.

New FM channel ‘Gup Shup’ launched
GUWAHATI, Oct 9 – With an aim to cash in on the FM craze that is currently sweeping the music buffs across the country, a new radio station — ‘Gup Shup’, the first 24-hour FM channel of the North East region, was launched by Purvy Broadcasts Pvt Ltd on Monday. The new FM channel could be tuned at 94.3 MHz. Purvy Broadcasts Pvt Ltd chief executive officer Jitendra Chutia, during a media interaction programme, that the channel is aimed to meet the changing needs of urban youth in an exclusively entertaining and interpersonal style. It is a 24-hour channel and the timings for various progamme to be aired have been kept bearing in mind the target audience for the respective programme. The reach of the FM transmitter will be more than 60 km. radius.“We have decided to keep out focus primarily on Assamese music for which we have already signed up with as many as 80 music directors in the State. At least 60 per cent of our programme would be in local language. Besides, we will also ensure that each and every song aired by us gives credit to the respective composer and singer,” Chutia said.“We will also air folk music like Bargeet and Lokogeet in the morning hours,” he divulged.“We have also struck a deal with ‘Radio Mirchi’, one of the biggest players in the FM field, who will help our company in national sales. One of our USP would be our sound quality, on which we have laid special impetus,” informed SM Aminuallah of the radio station. Moreover, the radio station has also entered into a deal with leading music makers–T Series–by virtue of which it would get the first-hand right to play new music produced by the company.

Bezbaruah birth anniversary celebrated
GUWAHATI, Oct 14 – The Asam Sahitya Sabha celebrated the birth anniversary of the pioneer of Assamese literature and its former president, Rasaraj Lakshminath Bezbaruah today along with the elaborate plan to launch a month-long movement to promote the use and implementation of the State language Assamese. The apex literary body celebrated the birth anniversary of Lakshminath Bezbaruah under the aegis of Kamrup district Sahitya Sabha, in a daylong programme at the Bhagawati Prasad Baruah Bhawan here today. The Sabha flag was hoisted today morning by the district Sahitya Sabha president Biren Sarma. After paying floral tribute to the portrait of Bezbaruah, the former vice-president of the Sabha Jatin Goswami cited the literary body’s decision regarding the dispute on the birthplace of Rasaraj. It was followed by a procession, which was flagged off by noted artiste Nikunjalata Mahanta. According to the scheduled programme, the Sabha will hand over a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner, Kamrup and launch a movement to promote the use of the State-language on October 15.Our Correspondent adds from Morigaon: The Asom Sahitya Sabha has launched a month-long State language implementation programme and Sahityarathi Lakshminath Bezbaruah Janma Jayanti simultaneously at Ahatguri in Morigaon district, the birthplace of Bezbaruah. Kanak Sen Deka, president, Asom Sahitya Sabha, while inaugurating the programme, lamented that even after having a language implementation directorate, the constitutionally-recognized State language Assamese continues to remain neglected at official and unofficial levels in the State. Deka appealed to all sections of people of Assam to use Assamese in official and non-official works. The Sabha will organize State language implementation programmes in every district of the State during the forthcoming month.

Birinchi Baruah birth centenary
GUWAHATI, Oct 13 – Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi will inaugurate the year-long birth centenary celebration of late Birinchi Kumar Barua, scholar, litterateur and academician of repute at a special function scheduled for 5-30 pm tomorrow at the Pandit Tirtha Nath Sarma Sabhaghar here. According to a press release of the Assam Academy for Cultural Relations, the organisers of the celebration here this evening, Dr Nagen Saikia, a former president of the Asam Sahitya Sabha and scholar of distinction, will deliver a lecture highlighting the contributions made by late Barua.Late Barua, the founder president of the Academy, had penned a number of books on culture and literature of the State’s people and he authored two novels – Jeevanar Batat and Seuji Patar Kahini, which are still treated as the milestones in the realm of Assamese literature.
Glory of Assamese culture highlighted GUWAHATI, Oct 18 – Assamese culture, which owed its origin to the third millennium before the advent of the Christian era, through the creative urge of the unnamed and unlettered men and women, was eventually nourished by the extraordinary and monumental works of art, music, drama and poetry of Srimanta Sankardev and Shrimanta Madhabdev and their illustrious successors during the 15th and the 16th centuries and finally brought to its present vibrant form thanks to the joint contribution of different ethnic groups.” This view was expressed by Dr Khanindra Chandra Choudhury, Head of the Department of Mathematics, Gauhati University, while delivering the 7th annual lecture sponsored by Achyut-Nibedita Trust in collaboration with the Brihattar Panjabari Sahitya Sabha.The meeting, held on the occasion recently at the Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra, was presided over by Tabiul Hassain, renowned writer.Delivering his speech on ‘My Beautiful Land and Our Magnificent Culture’, Dr Choudhury narrated the natural grandeur of Assam which through the ages have been exercising a sobering effect on the cultural landscape of the land. Dr Choudhury, in course of his speech, referred to the praise showered on Assam by the distinguished foreign travellers and scholars who were spell bound by the beauty and majesty of Assam’s scenic grandeur and her rich culture.DN Chokravarthy and Ram Niranjan Goenka also addressed the function.Earlier, Mahendra Bora, secretary, BPSS, welcomed the guests while Dr Achyut Chandra Medhi explained the objective of the trust.Madhurima Barua, Bhanu Medhi and Shrutidhara Sarma presented Borgeet, Rabindra Sangeet and modern songs. Ranjit Sutradhar offered vote of thanks, stated a press release

Sabha flays Govt over implementation
GUWAHATI, Oct 30 – Holding the State Government responsible for the tardy implementation of the State Official Language Implementation Act, the Asom Sahitya Sabha and several organizations, including representative bodies of government employees, today asserted that it was the State Government itself that had been violating the crucial Act. The Sabha also urged the State Government to make public the steps taken by it to implement the Act. While the month-long special awareness drive on official language implementation by the Sabha concludes on November 14, the Sabha has resolved to embark on similar campaigns with active participation of other organizations from November 14. The decision to continue with the awareness drive was taken after a meeting with different organizations including Sadou Asom Karmachari Parishad, Sadou Asom Kendriya-Ardha-Kendriya Karmachari Parishad, Guwahati Lawyers’ Association, Sadou Asom Bibhagiya Murabbi Amola Santha, etc., on Monday. All the bodies called for sustaining a joint campaign for creating mass awareness and to pressurize the State Government into initiating immediate action for implementation of the Act. “All the participating organizations were unanimous in holding the Government responsible for the slack progress of the State Official Language Implementation Act in Assam. They also underscored the need to have a sustained awareness campaign to pressurize the Government into action,” Sabha general secretary Dr Pradip Bhuyan said in a statement. Dr Bhuyan said that a concerted campaign was essential for mounding public opinion on the important issue. “On Monday’s meeting, Sabha president Kanak Sen Deka made a clarion call for putting up a united stand on the issue, and also asked the State Government to make public the steps taken by it on this vital issue,” Dr Bhuyan said. The Sabha called upon the people of the State to be part of the campaign for implementation of the Act. “We will take the movement to every household, educational institutions, government and non-government offices, and other organizations,” he said.

Zubeen gifted singer: Ismail Darbar
GUWAHATI, Oct 26 – Rating Ya Ali sensation Zubeen Garg and winner of Zee TV’s Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Challenge 2005 winner Debojit Saha as two of the better singers in the Indian music industry, noted music composer Ismail Darbar today said both the singers from Assam, have the mantle to make big in the world of music. While describing Zubeen as a god-gifted singer, the noted music director went on to say that it is his dream to see Debojit amongst the top singers and he will do everything possible to materialise his dream, whenever the opportunity comes.Talking about Zubeen, the undisputable king of Assamese music industry, Ismail said,“ Zubeen comes across as a fakir, who seldom looks at things with a professional perspective. He sings when he wants to sing and that is what makes him an unique singer.”“His style of singing especially his Sufi rendition stands him apart from other Bollywood singers,” he said. It may be mentioned here that Zubeen sang two classical numbers in Ismail Darbar’s maiden private music album titled Rashiya Saajan, which hit the market couple of months back. “When I asked him to sing these songs for my album, which also included the title number, he candidly said that he has never sang such classical number before but later when he finally lent his voice, it turned out to be flawless. The title song was a difficult one but he sang it with ease,” revealed Ismail who was addressing a media gathering here. Ismail was here to inaugurate the 8th International Expo, which is being organised at the Assam Engineering Institute Field. Asked as to why, Debojit Saha, in spite of turning into a rage in the Indian music industry after winning the reality show title in the year 2005, is yet to bag any major break in the film industry, he said, “ I was one of those few people who had faith in his singing talent and it was only after I insisted personally that he was allowed to make it amongst the top 40 contestants in that show. My other colleagues never liked his tonal quality, which was evident during the show from time to time. I still have faith on his voice and I will soon prove his worth in the music industry”.“The reason I did not make him sing for my private album was not that I forgot my promises but as Debojit has entered into a two-year contract with Zee TV, he is not supposed to any music album until the maturity of the deal,” he explained.“Yes, I can make him sing for any of my films but in the last couple of years, I have not composed music for any movie,” he stated.“When the time comes, I will make him sing for me,” he added.Meanwhile, Ismail also expressed his desire to organise a live programme in symphony style at Guwahati in the near future. On his latest tryst with controversy revolving around Zee TV latest edition of the reality show, Ismail said, “ What happened was very unfortunate and I will never work with Zee TV again”.

North East swaying to Myanmar tunes
GUWAHATI, Nov 9 – Music knows no barrier – be it Arabian or South Asian music. Traditional and pop music of Myanmar are now widely popular in the North East. The songs of Myanmar, generally based on guitars and drums, resemble country songs, and the title song of the latest hit Hindi film Saawariya also shares some similarities with Myanmar songs.“Their (Myanmar) music is similar with us for which people have accepted it. Moreover, the music has cemented relations between the North East and Myanmar,” Thouba, a composer of Manipur said today. According to him, the demand for Myanmar songs is increasing gradually in the markets of the region.Three singers of Myanmar - Khin Maung Toe, Hay Marnewin and young pop singer Tun Tun — are very popular in the North East. Tun Tun, the singing sensation of Yangoon has already touched the hearts of music lovers in the North East by his melodious voice. Citing reasons for their popularity in the region, Thouba observed that their songs are based on nature for which people in the region have accepted them. “In the field of modern music, fusion is very common and that will help the composers of the North East in the near future,” he added.S Haokip, a leading scholar of Mizoram also echoed the view on the flow of Myanmar music into the region. He said that the popularity of audiocassettes and VCDs of Myanmar is increasing day by day in Mizoram. “The new trend has further strengthened our bilateral relations,” he observed.The cultural relation between North East India and Myanmar has been improving over the years following programmes carried out by the various social organizations of Manipur. These programmes are aimed at cementing ties between the North East and Myanmar. Moreover, after signing of the trade pact in 1994, the relation between the North East and Myanmar has received a shot in the arm.Buoyed by the response from music buffs of the North East, Thura, a pro-democracy leader of Myanmar in exile said that this is a positive sign for the people of the region and Burma. “…Saihpee shai ye tachin pwayhar (Burmese folk songs are very melodious for which people like these),” he observed. He also said that music could play a major role in strengthening the relation between the North East and Burma. “…tchin pway har myan marnain ngane (The new development will bring the people closer in the coming days,” he said.
Literary, cultural ideals need to be promoted in State’From Our Correspondent JAGIROAD, Nov 12 – ‘Sabda-Kalpa-Sahitya Gosthi’, a literary-cum-cultural body of Amsoi, 25 km from here in Morigaon district, on Sunday last held its fifth annual day on the occasion of which it organised a poetry session: ‘Saratat Kabitar Edin’, besides a literary meet.Held at the Kiran Medhi memorial hall, the poetry session was attended by 20 poets from the area. The session conducted by Nirala Devi.Earlier, in the morning, the body’s flag was hoisted by Mahendra Manta, a veteran social worker of the area while Surendra Nath Konwar the Deoraja of the erstwhile Sahari Kingaon lit the ceremonial lamp.The literary meet held in the evening was graced by Mileswar Pator, president, Morigaon Zila Sahitya Sabha and Dipak Jyoti Baruah, vice-president, Jagiroad Sakha Sahitya Sabha and senior lecturer, Department of English, Jagiroad College.Pator, in his speech, lauding the literary and cultural activities of the Gosthi, upheld that the State had the need of more of such genuinely and sincerely motivated organisations at the grassroot levels to help the growth of true literary and cultural ideals in the society.Dipak Jyoti Baruah, also spoke highly of the creative pursuits of the members of the body and felt that such public endeavours had become particularly necessary in view of the growing individualistic mode of living manifested by the present society.A book titled Barnamalar Nirbasan Gadya Sangrah was published on the occasion by the body which was formally released in the function by Mileswar Pator. The book is an anthology of selected writtings from Barnamala a quarterly Assamese magazine published by the body. It has been compiled and edited by Ajit Singha.Another publication brought out on the occasion was a souvenir which was formally released by Rabin Deka, president, Puberun Sahitya Sabha, Khetri in Kamrup.The meeting was conducted by Jayanta Manta, senior lecturer, Handique Girls’ College, Guwahati who is also the president of the Sabda Kalpa-Sahitya Gosthi.

Teenage NE girls making inroads
GUWAHATI, Nov 10 – It’s raining talent from the Northeast. After Debojit and Amit Paul who took the Indian music industry by storm, it’s now turn for two teenage sensations of the region to rock the country with their singing talent as Assam’s Anamika Choudhury and Tripura’s Smita is making fast inroads to stardom capturing the limelight in Zee TV’s ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Li’l Champs’ latest edition. The singing champs from North East continue to impress one and all by their sheer versatility at the reality talent hunt show, being screened on Zee TV.The duo has made it to the top 11 of the competition, after outclassing participants from India as well as other parts of the world. The kids had entered the fray a few weeks back, with the judges Sonu Nigam and Suresh Wadkar still in the process of separating the better from the good before the audience take over the decision maker’s role. Speaking to The Assam Tribune over phone from hometown Jorhat, Anamika’s mother Subrata Choudhury, while expressing happiness over her daughter’s feat said, “ We are proud of her and hope she continues with the good work.” She said, “The fact that Anamika has been selected by the judges among the top 11 contestant is itself a big achievements.”Little Anamika, now a class VII student, according to her family members, had started humming along tracks since the age of two years and since then her mother, herself a trained singer, was grooming her. “We were taken aback when we saw her singing tougher songs sung by veteran singers like Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle with so much ease. We realized her potential and are encouraging her.”Selection through telephone, SMS and Internet voting will start after the top ten are selected after another week of elimination. “ If she makes it to the final 10 then it would all depend on how people back home extend their support,” she said.She is also banking on the mass support participants from NE have been getting after making the final cut in such reality shows recently. This correspondent could not contact Tripura’s Smita, the other singing talent from the region to make it among the top 12 contestants in the show.

Committee Bhaona: a mega traditional event
MORIGAON, Nov 27 – Committee Bhaona, a historic mega traditional theatrical performances, held in every three years interval, synchronizing Sri Krishna Ras festival at Charaibahi cultural complex in Morigaon district, has completed 150 years of its existence. According to the organisers of Committee Bhaona, every three years-end, this mega cultural event was held at Charaibahi right from 1857 - the year of the Sepoy Mutiny or the first independence movement of the country.The elders of the Charaibahi area said that as the Queen Victoria of Great Britain came to India at the end of the Sepoy Mutiny and declared some welfare measures for Indians, many people throughout the country celebrated many functions with pomp and gaiety. In Morigaon district, the local people at charaibahi arranged a mega festival named Committee Bhaona as a mark of respect of the august presence of Her Majesty Queen Victoria in India. Thousands of people irrespective of caste, community or religions took part in this festival. Right from that year, the Committee Bhaona was organised at the interact at every three years during the time of Sri Krishna Ras festival at Charaibahi.The local people celebrated the festival performing Ankia Bhaona (one-act play) of Mahapurush Srimanta Sankardeva at a stretch from five to six days. The unique feature of Committee Bhaona is that altogether twentysix teams of different villages staged their plays at a item and at the same place in complete harmony. The Committee Bhaona always speaks the unity and integrity of the different sections of the people as the different ethnic groups including the tribal took part in this mega event at Charaibahi. This year Committee Bhaona is being celebrated from November 24 to 30.

NEZCC promoting region’s culture’
GUWAHATI, Nov 25– “The establishment of the North East Zonal Cultural Centre (NEZCC) has helped promote the rich culture, art and tradition of the region”, said Nagaland Governor K Sankaranarayan while addressing the meeting of the executive board and governing body of Centre at Shilpgram here on Wednesday, informed a press release. GM Gurung, Minister of Culture, Sikkim and Director NEZCC Vhekali Zhimomi also presided over meeting.Sankaranarayan said that the NEZCC has helped to bring the rich and exotic folk dances and songs of the Northeast to national limelight. “The fact that general body of the NEZCC comprises eminent artistes, cultural ministers and secretaries of the department of culture, who are striving to promote the cultural heritage of the region, will help the centre to conceive policies and organise more meaningful programmes towards that end”, he said.The Governor expressed happiness over the fact that the centre has been implementing the Central schemes and urged one and all to strive and plan to make culture a sustainable activity for the talented artistes, craftsmen and musicians of the region. “The conceptual ideas shared by us in this platform will help NEZCC to implement in a more innovative and effective manner”, he said.The Governor also thanked the Ministry of Culture, Govt of India as well as the member states for their contribution to the Corpus Fund and revealed that more funds have been utilised for the regular programmes of NEZCC and Shilpgram activities, thanks to an adequate budget allocated by the Centre for the second consecutive year.The Governor felt there was a need to improve the infrastructure of the centre and invest in assets that will generate income for the centre. “The centre needs to be modeled on the Master Plan which aims to make it into a fully-equipped cultural complex.”Sankaranarayan expressed satisfaction that the NEZCC has been able to convene its finance and programme committee meetings on time during the current year and congratulated the member states again for organising the approved programmes under the schemes successfully.Emphasising on the need to include culture and tradition-based courses in the school curriculum, the Governor called upon the member states, ministers, secretaries of Department of Culture to develop innovative schemes to uplift the region’s rich heritage.

New generation should be taught to respect mother tongue
GUWAHATI, Nov 25 – The Surendra Nath Bezboruah Centenary Trust Merit Scholarship 2007-08 was conferred to Jyotibikash Sarma of Bidyabhaban Nityananda High School, Barpeta on Friday for securing highest marks in Assamese, in the High School Leaving Certificate Examination, SEBA. The SN Bezboruah Centenary Trust conferred the scholarship for the sixth time to the meritorious student after the completion of the centenary year in 2002. The scholarship consists of a citation and a sum of Rs 10,000. Speaking on the occasion as a chief guest, veteran journalist Radhikamohan Bhagawati lauded the effort of the Bezboruah family to encourage the new generation to do well in their mother tongue Assamese. “A part of the population in the State have started neglecting the necessity of learning the Assamese language, which I believe, is a criminal negligence that may lead the whole society towards destruction,” he said. “The new generation should be taught to respect their mother tongue, as the mother tongue as a best medium of primary learning is a proven fact worldwide,” he added. In his presidential speech, Sapun Duwara, Academic Officer, SEBA, spoke about the different plans to be initiated by the SEBA in the next year to do away with the curricular differences between the English medium and the other mediums of education. “A new commitment to the Assamese language is the need of the hour and parents and teachers of the students can play a major role in this regard,” he added. Earlier, president of the trust, DN Bezboruah, described the objectives of the meeting.Expressing his gratitude to the trust, Jyotibikash Sarma, now a student of the Cotton College, said that this scholarship is a great morale booster for him. Other participants of the function also expressed their views on the occasion.

NE folk music has unique flavour
GUWAHATI, Dec 2 – The folk music of North East India has a unique flavour. Probably the enchanting beauty and green ambience have made the music in the region more melodious. This was the immediate reaction of Dr Jurgen Schopf, a renowned musicologist of Germany.Dr Schopf has come to the State to make digital archiving of the traditional songs of Tai, Singpho and Tangsha which are on the brink of extinction. He along with Dr Stephen Morey have been executing a special project in Upper Assam“ This is my first assignment in Asia after doing my research on African folk music and I am very happy to be a part of the great project,” an elated Schopf told this correspondent here today. Citing reasons for his keenness towards this project, he said that popularity of the folk music has been gaining over the years in the world. “Since North East India is rich in folk music I have come here to make an indepth study. This is the only place in the world where vivid folk songs are available,” Dr Schopf said.The musicologist who is also a sound engineer, has already done training on piano, Western classical guitar and folk instruments of South Africa to get familiar with the situation. The trainings have helped him a lot at the time of recording of songs.Dr Schopf is a great admirer of India classical music. According to him melody queen Lata Mangeshkar and Shehnai maestro Bismilla Khan presence have added a new flavour to the India classical music. “Lata Mangeshkar and Bismilla Khan have touched the hearts of many Germans,” he informed. Replying to a question about the modern day music, Dr Schopf observed that the taste of the people has changed across the world. “Now-a-days, fusion music is becoming more popular among the masses. The fusion music has cemented the relations among the masses that is a good sign,” he said.Providing more information about their ongoing project, he informed that the project is sponsored by Volkswagen Stistung Foundation of Germany that is aimed at digital archiving of traditional songs of Tai, Singpho and Tangsha which are now on the brink of extinction. These songs will be recorded by using the same instruments, which used to be sung in days of yore and it will be completed within three years.“We will meet the singers of the concerned community to record their songs. This is of course our humble effort to spread the folk music of this region to world audience,” he said

NE extremism has lost relevance
PANAJI, Dec 2 – The extremist movement in North East has lost its relevance and has destroyed the social fabric of Assam, feels Assamese director Sanjeeb Sabhapandit. Sabhapandit, whose film Jaatinga Ityadi is being screened at IFFI 2007, says the Assamese film is a comment on the current scenario of militancy in the State. It depicts how militancy has created a psychosis of deep fear among the people there while militants lure innocent young men and women into their fold.“Militancy has now become an easy and profitable business .... The moment money entered the extremist movement through extortions and kidnappings, the ideology began to erode and today the common man no longer sympathises with them,” Sabhapandit told PTI.“This film is an attempt to showcase the real face of militancy which has destroyed the social fabric of Assam. We wanted to show the world the real face of militancy in North East through the film,” Sabhapandit said.Speaking about the significance of the film title, Sanjeeb informs that Jatinga is a small place in Assam where birds are said to commit suicide. But this is not the case - birds do not actually commit suicide, they are lured to death.At night, people hold bamboo torches to attract these birds and when they fly close, they are clubbed to death. However, the general folklore says that the birds come here to commit suicide, he said.“In the guise of a revolution the boys are lured into a death trap,” Sabhapandit said.Drawing a similarity between the birds and the youth, he chose name for his movie.Sanjib’s first film Juye Poora Shoon (The Gold that has been Burnt), based on environmental preservation received the National Award for best film in 2004.“We are making a very strong statement as it is the youth, who have dreams of leading a good life, that are getting killed. This mindless mayhem has to stop. This is our message,” Rajkamal Bhuyan, the film’s producer said.“Ultimately in the name of liberalisation, they are killing the same people they claim to be fighting for. We are losing our brothers. Be it a security personnel, civilian or an extremist, ultimately it is our countrymen whose blood is being shed in this violence,” he said.The movie depicts extremisim all over the world, with Assam serving only as a backdrop, Sabhapandit said.“While the world is becoming a global village, the issue of terrorism today affects everyone. In this changed scenario, the ideologies of Mao Zedong, Fidel Castro no longer hold relevance as there is no common enemy state today,” he said.Buyan added that it was difficult to screen the film across theatres in Assam and other northeastern states as most of them were either in poor shape or were not receiving enough viewers due to fear of militant attacks.“Therefore, effort was being made to reach maximum viewers through VCDs/DVDs. A good response has been received from overseas markets, especially Australia and US for the film’s VCDs/DVDs,” the producer said adding the film was shot in a period of three weeks at a cost of Rs 40 lakh. – PTI

Call for new approach on NE cultural issues
GUWAHATI, Jan 10 – People of the North-eastern region today need a new approach to solve the cultural problems bogging down their spirits. For, the people of this region are now passing through an age of foolishness. The cultures and civilisations these people developed through the ages have been dying without there being any consciousness among these people.This was the thought that dominated the inaugural session of the international meet organised by the Friends of Assam and Seven Sisters (FASS) held at the Uzanbazar Vivekananda Kendra Institute of Culture here today.It needs mention here that the FASS is a non-profit making welfare organisation engaged in creating a development-friendly atmosphere in the NE region. It has its international headquarters in the USA and the Indian headquarters in the city. It has about 300 members abroad and they are mostly the NRIs of NE origin spread over the US, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Austria, Singapore and Thailand. Most of them are engaged in the technology and healthcare sectors. Addressing the session, FASS Chairman and Managing Director Rajen Barua, a US-based technocrat of Assam origin, set the tone saying that the fate of the NE people would be determined by their approach towards the poser whether they would choose the path of independent thinking and determine their culture and economy on their own with an approach that had an inclination towards their region.He said that since the arrival of the British colonialists, the process of assimilation that was initiated by the leaders like Sukafa and Sankardev started getting affected.Since then, a reliance on the West has been dominating the psyche of these people so far as development is considered. Delhi, Kolkata and other areas of the Aryan dominance have been dominating our cultural approaches. It should redesign its relation with the Central Government accordingly in a true democratic spirit. It may raise its own peacekeeping force and may also take the help of the world community and organise its own engineers staying abroad for finding out a solution to the problem of flood. It may go for its own scheme for developmental etc, he said.Barua also laid stress on keeping intact the special qualities of the Assamese language using the Roman script. Assamese is a language, which, unlike most of the Indian languages, does not have its origin rooted in Sanskrit, he said.Noted philologist Prof Golok Chandra Goswami, who was conferred the Bhasa Guru title in the function for his dedication and achievement in the field, said that if the people of Assam did not commit suicide collectively, Assamese language would continue to thrive.He expressed his happiness over the efforts made by the foreign-based engineers of Assam origin to preserve Assamese language and literature by applying software technology and described such efforts as welcome ones for the people of the State.US-based computer engineer Ankur Bora, who is also the Executive Vice-Chairman of the FASS, presented a story told in Assamese using software technology. He also said that some of the Assam schools were helped by the FASS and it was the wish of the FASS to go beyond financial assistance in helping such institutions.Speaking on the occasion, noted litterateur Dr Nagen Saikia said that the region needed a cultural movement to remove the mutual distrust and confusion that had been gripping the minds of its peoples.The FASS also announced support to the online dictionary project of city-based youth Anil Baruah. His online dictionary, along with the online dictionary Sabda.org developed by an Abu Dhabi based engineer of Assam origin, was displayed in the function. NRI Rupesh Saikia also displayed his flash cards developed to impart lessons in Assamese language , in the function.Lord Adam Hafejee Patel of Blockhurn, House of Lords, UK, and several NRIs of NE-origin addressed the afternoon session of the meet.

Chinese film fest at Lakhimpur from Dec 8
NORTH LAKHIMPUR, Dec 5 – Cine Vision, a North Lakhimpur-based cinema organisation has organised a two day-fete of internationally-acclaimed films from China in North Lakhimpur on December 8-9.Organised by Cine Vision in association with Cine ASA-Guwahati, Federation Film Society of India (FFSI) and Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, a package of internationally-renowned-and-critical films of the neighbouring country will be screened on those two evenings at the auditorium of Lakhimpur Commerce College. This has informed by the secretary and president of Cine Vision Manik Ahmed and Nanda Kumar Maheswari in a press release here.The films scheduled to be screened are Jasmine Woman directed by Hu Yong, From There to be Love by He Qun, A Bright Moon by Chen Jianlin and Lu Qi and Beautiful Homeland by Gao Feng, the release added

I love NE folk music : Pt Chaurasia
GUWAHATI, Dec 5 – It was a rare treat to the ears of the classical music lovers of Guwahati, listening to the flute maestro Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia performing live at the B Barooah College auditorium on Tuesday evening. In more than an hour’s programme, organised by the SpicMacay, the eminent flautist kept his audience mesmerised. But what was more rejoicing for the audience, apart from his enthralling performance, was his lively interaction with the students, teachers and the members of the audience. “Coming to the North East is a great delight for me, where, I feel like coming in the lap of Mother Nature,” said Chaurasia, who feels that every flautist of the country has to turn to the North East for bamboos to make his instrument. “In other countries, where bamboo is not available, they (flautists) use steel or some other materials to make flutes, but since we in India had a tradition of using bamboo flute, we need to procure quality bamboo from the North East,” he added. The programme at B Barooah College was part of the SpicMacay’s movement to popularise Indian classical music among the student community. Interacting with the students, Pandit Chaurasia made it a point to explain the importance of good music in their lives. “I love the folk music of the North East, where flute is a key instrument, and my album Riversongs is based on the folk tunes of the region,” said Chaurasia. Chaurasia, who started playing the flute from an early age, learned music from Annarpurna Devi, an eminent musician of the Surbahar, from the age of 12. Pt Chaurasia has collaborated with several western musicians, including John McLaughlin and Jan Gabarek, apart from composing music for many Bollywood movies. “I have seen lots of craze for Indian music among the youth abroad, including in Holland, where I teach in an university, in the Indian Music department,” he added. For the music students, he advised that it is equally important to listen music along with regular riaz. “No one can become a perfect musician or a performing artiste overnight as there is no shortcut to it. Only after you learn under an able teacher and practise sincerely, you can think about performing in front of the audience,” he said. In the programme, he performed pieces from his best albums including Morning to Midnight Ragas, Call of the Valley and Night Ragas.

Recognition to heroes behind the screen
GUWAHATI, Dec 7 — The unsung heroes who made the Assamese film industry thrive through their tireless contribution, Rash Behari Sinha, involved with film editing and Benu Ram Neog, cameraman have been selected for the Life Time Achievement Award 2007, instituted by Jeewan Ram Mungi Devi Goenka Public Charitable Trust from this year. Rash Behari Sinha who started his career as a laboratory assistant and later took to film editing, began his stint with Assamese films with Bhupen Hazarika’s award winning film Pratidhwani in 1965. The Assamese films edited by Sinha include box office hits like Latighati, Chikmik Bijulee, Manab Aru Danab, Maram, Boari, Ghar Sansar, Son Moina, Ajali Nabou, Koka Deuta Nati Aru Hathi etc. This man who contributed hiding behind the shadows left by the big and popular names of the film world, has also been associated with the making of around 46 documentary films on North East. He retired from work in 2003.“Movie making is a total process and the main objective behind the institution of the award is to recognize mainly the people working behind the screen,” said Shankar Lall Goenka, founder of the trust on Friday before media persons.Goenka said that a memorial lecture titled JRMD Memorial Lecture has also been instituted from this year. The subject would be related to the cultural history, problems, solutions of creative art forms of North East India, informed Goenka.The other winner Benu Ram Neog has been associated with the Assamese film industry for more than three decades. Starting his career as a lightman, he served as an assistant cameraman and later as cameraman. He has the rare distinction of being involved in the making of 80 full-length feature films and 50 documentaries. The films he was involved with include Bowari, Kolahol, Sarathi, Pita Putra, Haladhia Charaia Bao Dhan Khai, Baibhav etc to name a few.The winners were shortlisted by a panel comprising Dr Santwana Bordoloi, Munin Baruah, Manju Borah, Apurba Sarma and Kulada Kumar Bhattacharya.The award, which carries Rs 50,000 and a citation, will be presented to the hitherto unacknowledged men on December 9 at 5 pm at a function at Hotel Biswaratna.On the occasion, eminent filmmaker Kulada Kumar Bhattacharya will deliver the first JRMD Memorial lecture on the topic ‘Problems and Prospects of Assamese Cinema’.Some of the experts of the panel like Munin Baruah, Kulada Kumar Bhattacharya and Manju Borah, who were present at the media briefing, said that the award will boost the morale of the technicians of the regional film industry, the least recognized group.

5 NE documentaries selected for MIFF
GUWAHATI, Dec 9 – Five documentary films made by directors hailing from the North-East India have been selected for the Indian Competitive Section of the highly-prestigious Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF) to be held from February 3 to 9 next year. These films are – Children of the River: The Xihus of Assam, directed by filmmaker Maulee Senapati, Freedom at The Edge, directed by Aneisha Sharma, The World of Montu by Ashim Dutta, Distant Rumblings by Bani Prakash Das, all from Assam, and The Story of the Eastern Protectors by Ronel Haobam from Manipur.The 60-year-old MIFF, organised every two years by the Film Division, Government of India, is considered one of the most prominent festivals for short, documentary and animation films in Asia.Maulee’s Children of the River: The Xihus of Assam, has been produced and scripted by noted Assamese journalist and writer Sanjoy Hazarika under the banner of Mimesha Productions. Shot on locations along the Brahmaputra river, the film looks at how humans and dolphins have co-existed and how this relationship is breaking down in the face of economic pressure and poverty. For the first time in the region, it has captured on camera the secret process used by dolphin hunters to catch them. The film was recently screened in Guwahati and widely appreciated. It was also screened at the India International Centre, New Delhi on last month and received rave reviews.Freedom at the Edge, produced, scripted and directed by Aneisha Sharma, is the tragic human story of Machang Lalung, a young man from the Nelie area of central Assam, who had languished in the Tezpur Mental Hospital as an under trial prisoner for long 54 years without any trial since the year 1951.Ashim Dutta, who directs The World of Montu, hails from Dhemaji.The Indian Competitive Section will also feature New Delhi-based filmmaker Kobita Joshi’s internationally-acclaimed Tales from the Margins, a documentary about the unprecedented protest by the women activists of Manipur when they disrobed outside the paramilitary headquarters to protest the custodial killing of a young woman and the epic fast-to-death by Irom Sharmila since November 2000 demanding repeal of AFSPA.This year’s MIFF also has a North-East connection in the form of Utpal Borpujari, the National Award-winning New Delhi-based Assamese journalist being chosen to be a member of the Critics Jury.

Historical drama on Raijmel draws widespread applause
BARPETA, Dec 9 – ‘Panagaortupai Enisha’, a drama on ‘Raijmel’, was staged in Bengapara and Amrikhowa in Barpeta district recently on two consecutive days. The script of the play was written by Baharul Islam who also directed it; the artiste belong to a group of participants of a drama workshop conducted by Bikalpa Natya Gosthi Panchgram which was sponsored by National School of Drama during March-April last.Raijmel is a historic event, which took place in 1894. People of Sarukshetri in the then Barpeta Subdivision assembled under a big peepal tree in Paragaortup in Lachima village to register their protest against the decision of the British Government to hike land revenue and denial of surrender of excess land occupied by the landowners. This kind of assembly is locally known as Raijmel. Patriotic people of this locality vehemently opposed the misrule of the Britishers and defended the atrocities by their officials on the common man. They resolved to fight tooth and nail against the anti-people policies of ‘White Bongal’ under the valiant leaders like Puspa Kahar (Tamuli) and Priyanath Goswami etc. At times it took violent turn to the extent of death of a British official. In turn the Britishers also retaliated and intensified the harassment including dragging of ploughs by men.Dramatist-director Baharul Islam left no stone unturned to depict a true picture of this historic event which has been deprived of due recognition. But only a few Assamese not to speak of the rest of India are acquainted with these happenings. Baharul Islam visited the site, spoke to the local people including the descendants of those heroic soldiers who left for heaven after their untiring fight against the mighty British, felt the depth of the matter and finally laid down his pen on paper.Talking to this correspondent, Islam disclosed his intention to take this most important but little publicised episode to the elite Indian society. Keeping this intention in mind, he plans to perform its stage show in several locations including National Festival of Drama.It is worth mentioning here that an NSD sponsored dramatic workshop was conducted by Seagull an association with Bikalpa Natya Gosthi Panchgram at Baniyakuchi in Barpeta district during March-April last. Altogether 20 trainees from all over the district participated. Baharul himself along with his one of the trusted disciples Prabin Saikia imparted the training. Finally the question of a play to be staged at the end of the workshop was mooted. Pana Gaor Tupat Enisha is the creation out of the idea to stage a drama on the local theme where the workshop was held.This play was staged on an experimental basis for the first time on the 19th of April 2007 in a natural stage beneath a big peepal tree, which resembled that of Panagaortap. There was no provision for sound system in the first show. This experimental show was applauded by one and all.Inspired by the appreciation of the people, Baharul decided to perform more shows in the locality, which was implemented accordingly in Bengapara and Amrikhowa. Both the shows were witnessed by a large number of spectators who were enchanted to see their own event in their own language performed by their own siblings. There was overwhelming applause all-around.Suman, Mrinmay, Manoj Jinjyoti, Sukumar, Kokil, Rituraj, Pallab, Dhruba, Nayanjyoti, Kiron, Saranga, Sikharani, Pritishree, Sumi. Jyotirupa, Minati, Mun and Paran dedicated their heart and soul to personify the heroic act of the brave heroes of 19th century. Their harmonious, flawless and lively performance compelled the audience to remind the history of 113 years ago. Use of local dialect made the play more attractive and comprehensive for common man.Local people here are full of praise in favour of Bikalpa Natya Gosthi Panchgram as well as Seagull for their effort to popularise the untold stories, which is surely to inspire the new generation.

Zubeen melody hits Bangla music world
GUWAHATI, Dec 8 – The soulful voice of the new-age sensation of the Indian music industry, Zubeen Garg, is breaking geographical boundaries, with the latest obsession being witnessed in neighbouring Bangladesh. Zubeen’s poignant voice, of late, has penetrated a promising market in the Bangladesh music industry, more so because of his recent Bengali chartbusters, which have already caught the fancy of music buffs in West Bengal and other parts of the Bengali-dominated areas. The popular singer-cum-music director has now been roped in by a Dhaka-based group in Bangladesh, where Zubeen would perform live for the first time ever in his career. The show is scheduled to take place sometime in the month of January next year. Talking to The Assam Tribune, Zubeen’s manager T Mittal said that the show was due for quite some time but owing to some political problems in Bangladesh, nothing was finalized. “But now, everything is settled and Zubeen too is excited about his maiden performance in Bangladesh,” Mittal said, while adding, “ Zubeen’s popularity in the Bengali music industry has been instrumental in catapulting his popularity in the Bangladesh music circuit, which comparatively remains an unexplored market even for many senior singers of the Indian music industry.”The musical trip to Bangladesh, if sources close to the singer are to be believed, might also fetch the popular singer some new offers from the Bangladesh music industry.“He is a popular face in Bangladesh and apart from his Bengali numbers, his song ‘Ya Ali’ still rules the roost among the music buffs there,” he pointed out.Zubeen, it may be mentioned, has a kind of record of singing over 7,000 songs in various regional languages including Assamese, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Oriya, Marathi and Nepali, among others.Zubeen, who shot into fame with the ‘Ya Ali’ number, is presently donning the mantle of a judge in popular Bengali reality show Sa Re Ga Ma Pa being screened in Zee Bangla. Besides, apart from adhering to his hectic Bollywood schedule, is also rendering his voice to a host of Bengali albums and movies. His latest Bengali music album Tumi under the banner of HMV was a smash hit both in West Bengal and Bangladesh.The popular singer has also been roped in for a couple of Bengali music albums. It deserves mention that in the year 2005, Zubeen bagged the best music director award for his music in Bengali movie Sudhu Tumi. Though the popular singer could not be contacted for his comment, sources close to the singer informed that Zubeen, who is presently riding on the success of his latest solo music album Zindagi and has emerged as one of the most sought after voices in Bollywood, is currently having dates problem, for which he also had to opt out of the Sahara One’s reality show.

‘Scorpions’ set to rock Shillong
SHILLONG, Dec 11 – A chartered Airbus for Rs 23 lakh and 25 freight trips ferrying equipment here for a month and finally the stage looks set for the Scorpions world tour gig here tomorrrow. The equipment consists of a mind boggling 200 numbers of psychedelic moving lights powered by 1.50 lakh watts. It was ferried here from all over the country.The band is also bringing along 35 cases of ‘monstrous’ backline music instruments all along from Germany in their chartered Airbus. The backline music instruments weighs 50 tons, said the organizers of the show – Entertainment 18 (E-18).E-18 Operations manager, Rohinton Poonawala said ferrying in all the equipment of the internationally renowned rock band in landlocked Meghalaya was its ‘biggest challenge.’This “Humanity world tour” of the Scorpions would also witness multiple screens hoisted all over the venue at the Jawaharlal Nehru Sports’ Complex today. “Each screen would have 80,000 luminosity clarity”, Poonawala said.The venue would also have ‘delayed speakers’ to enable everyone at the venue to enjoy the concert with the same sound clarity during the mega rock gig. To compliment the high-tech rock concert, tickets were also sold online throughout the country.“The technical requirement for the show was a nightmare,” he said adding the German band insists on playing with its own equipment and instruments. The show is being organized with an investment of over Rs 1 crore.Although Shillong has witnessed international rock band - MLTR, Firehouse, and others lately the Scorpions’ show is poised to be the biggest with an estimated 30,000 fans likely to witness Wednesday’s concert. The show is being held with an investment of over 1 crore. Stage is set for the ‘Humanity Tour’ of the internationally acclaimed band, Scorpions with a mind boggling 200 moving lights.Organizers of the event have taken the challenge to ferry all the equipment of the band in landlocked Meghalaya. Addressing newsmen here, Poonawala said that the production team for a month took 25 freight trips to ferry 50 tons equipments from all over the country consisting lights, sounds and others. A ‘monstrous’ backline music instruments of 35 cases were also ferried from Germany to Shillong, he added.The venue of the show, the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium would be charged with 110 decibels of sound. Centre Point Entertainment Network MD, Larsing M said that the entry to the venue would have four rings of security check. Two gates comprising of six channels each would lead people inside the venue, Larsing said, adding, heavy frisking would ensure security.

Assam Film Festival at Jorhat from Dec 19
JORHAT, Dec 10 – Film buffs will have a veritable treat at the five-day Assam Film Festival to be held at Eleye Cinema here from December 19. Some of the must-see works of the greatest film-makers ever have been lined up for viewing at the festival which is being organised by Assam Film Society. The Jorhat-based film body was formed early this year.The film festival is the first of its kind to come up after a gap of 11 years in Jorhat, said general secretary of Assam Film Society Jayanta Madhab Dutta. “Apart from screening films under three packages billed as world classics, regional masterpieces and Assamese section, we will pay special tribute to two late masters of the medium-Swedish Ingmar Bergman and Italian Michelangelo Antonioni,” he pointed out.Bergman’s Wild Strawberries (1957) and Antonioni’s Sonata will be shown along with Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane and Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams.The movie carnival will be inaugurated by seasoned Assamese actress Mridula Baruah. A felicitation ceremony will also be held to honour Manisha Hazarika, the first woman music director of Assam and widow of late maestro Jayanta Hazarika, and Nilima Das who had acted in Manumati, the second film of Rupkonwar Jyoti Prasad Agarwala. Two local artistes - danseuse Pratibha Hazarika and culture activist Bhuban Chandra Baruah - will be feted also.The highlight of the film festival will be a seminar on Assamese film industry and its future which is being supported by the Mrinal Kanti Das Memorial Trust. Film critic Manoj Borpujari, film-maker Moulinath Senapati and educationist Sitanath Lahkar, who is also a theatre activist, have been roped in as the panellists for the seminar, the general secretary of Assam Film Society said.“A multi-lingual souvenir in English, Assamese, Hindi, Bengali and Mising will be released by Principal of Jorhat College Dr PP Goswami, a musician in his own right,” Dutta added.“Our efforts are aimed at reviving the decadent cinema culture in the State on the one hand and providing a scope for appreciation of quality cinema on the other,” he maintained. The seminar is expected to address the immediate problems plaguing the show business in Assam like closure of cinema halls and low viewership, Dutta stressed.


Collection of lyrics released
GUWAHATI, Dec 11 – It was an attempt to portray the real picture of the State reeling under violence, but at the same time it was an expression glorifying the humane qualities that have stood out in the midst of all the chaos. Gitikoh, a collection of songs written by Pranita Bordoloi Hazarika, which was released on Sunday in the capital city by former president of Asam Sahitya Sabha Dr Lakshmi Nandan Bora, confirms faith in humanity and rationality of the State going through a crisis at present.The book, a collection of 50 songs, revolves around a wide range of themes, revealing the spontaneous emotions of the lyricist.Apart from songs that run high with the feeling of patriotism, Pranita, who is an employee of the Indian Council of Agriculture Research, Barapani has penned her feelings evoked by the beauty of nature.“The prevailing situation of the State has given birth to a pain in my heart, and this pain has motivated me to write the songs,” said Pranita, who revealed that the lonely nights were the times when she took up the pen. “The happenings in the State keep recurring in my mind when I am alone,” said Pranita.The effort of the lyricist was praised by the distinguished citizens present on the occasion. The guests including Dhirendra Nath Chakravorty, Manisha Hazarika and Samar Hazarika expressed the hope that the musical contribution to the society will go a long way in bringing about the desired changes.“The State is changing over the decades and it is the responsibility of the people to keep the changes at the positive level,” said Pranita.The collection of songs is an ode to the changing seasons. The mesmerising effects of the seasons in all their riotous colours as well as in their serenity and sombreness have been depicted in a vivid style giving the readers a feel of the nature and colours of Assam.Several songs have been dedicated to the young people and some songs are in the form of an appeal to the youth to shun violence.Though Pranita has to maintain a hectic schedule, she has decided to contribute to the State through her creative writings. Next, she will be bringing out her collection of short stories and a novel.

Censor Board to set up centre in Assam
SHILLONG, Dec 16 – Close on the heels of Aaja Nachle controversy, Censor Board authorities have decided to set up more regional centres to address local differences and diversity in the country. Regional offices of Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) will soon come up in Guwahati, Cuttack and New Delhi. “Films are now widely watched and a lot of controversies tend to crop up due to regional differences in the country. The regional centres will take care to solve the differences before public screening,” CBFC chairperson Sharmila Tagore said. “Guwahati was selected over other places in the northeast for better road and air connectivity with other parts of India,” Tagore said at the end of the board meeting here, held for the first time in a town in the northeast. She also said Cinematography Act, 1952 be amended to meet the preferences of viewers. Censor Board’s decision to set up more regional centres comes barely two weeks after Madhuri Dixit starrer Aaja Nachle was banned by many states for objectionable lyrics in the title song, which producer and distributors later omitted. – PTI

Youngster’s art exhibition: an attempt at discovering the truth
GUWAHATI, Dec 16 – In the volatile times when human values have been taking a backseat, a practising lawyer of the Gauhati High Court will attempt to provide the healing touch through colours and lines.Rishiraj Sarma, the youngest son of well known singers Dilip Sarma and Sudakshina Sarma will exhibit his works on a wide spectrum of mediums at State Art Gallery from December 17 to 22.The exhibition dedicated to Sarma’s grandparents Renu Devi and Dinanath Sarma, Shantipriya Hazarika and Neelakanta Hazarika, will be inaugurated by renowned artist Neelpawan Baruah at 4 pm.The exhibition of art, as Sarma prefers to describe his show, will highlight the changing times from a subjective angle. “Art is a powerful medium and through art I have tried to look at the changing times and society,” said Sarma, an alumni of Cotton College and Delhi University.Sarma says his works on acrylic, lithograph, platograph, etc revolving around several themes is an attempt at discovering the truth that is being trampled upon. “What I feel is that the truth must prevail no matter the outcome,” asserted Sarma.Also a recognized cartoonist, Sarma has a different perspective when it comes to unfurling the colours of life. A man in love with the Brahmaputra, Sarma seeks beauty even in the concrete jungle in the happening city. “Within the contours of the city, there is a beauty and my works pay ode to this aspect of the city,” said Sarma. The exhibition will also have the published cartoon works of the artist.For the artist, human values are very important and he said that he has been endeavouring to explore the depth of the human values through colours. The exhibition will have works reflecting Sarma’s yearning for the resurrection of the human values in the hard times.“I have interpreted some of the human emotions from my own angle and hope the art lovers will appreciate that,” said Sarma.The exploration of human emotions through colours will have a sublime touch to it—it will reveal to the connoisseurs the search of the artist for innocence and truth.
Council for fashion designers mooted
GUWAHATI, Dec 17 – In an effort to push fashion industry in Assam beyond the grease-paint routine and to check the outflow of money from the State by corporatisation of the industry, a group of national and international renowned fashion designers of Assam is all set to float Fashion Designers’ Council of Assam (FDCA).The council, which would be the first of its kind in the entire Northeast region, would be formed during the 3rd Assam Fashion Week being organised by CEC, a premier educational group, beginning from December 22 at the ITA Machkhowa cultural complex. Apart from nurturing the domestic fashion industry, ensuring an efficient supply chain is a priority of this year’s fashion week.The third edition of the Assam Fashion Week, will also host a special exhibition of elite group of designers from the State in one platform for the first time ever.Reputed designers of the likes of Dipankar Kashyap, Prasanta Ghosh and Nandini Boruva among others have confirmed their participation in the event.The show will feature fabrics, trimmings, embellishments, threads and related products to meet the sourcing needs of apparel manufacturers, exporters, buying houses, wholesalers and designers. Dutta further informed that the seven-day programme would host various other special features including a male hunt show, free modeling camp, seminar on beauty and fashion, creative garments display, free modeling camp, and fashion quiz contest among others.

NE talents dominated reality shows in ’07
GUWAHATI, Dec 21 – The North East, in the year 2007, virtually became the latest talent scouting ground for reality shows aired on all the premier television channels, as singing talents from the region had a field day round the year. The region’s singing talents led the brigade from the front and stamped their authority domination in all the major reality-based singing talent hunt shows on television that were screened during the period. From Amit Paul in Sony TV’s ‘Indian Idol III’ to Joy Chakraborty in Zee TV’s “Sa Re Ga Ma Pa World Challenge’ to little Anamika in the ongoing Zee TV’s kids’ competition Sa Re Ga Ma pa, NE’s warriors kept the regions flag flying high on national television. “With the arrival of the music-based reality shows on television and their latest trend of choosing the best through SMS and telephone voting, NE emerged as a virgin ground for these shows and it is paying dividends to the efforts of the youngsters from the region,” admits Manash Rabin, popular singer cum music director of the Assamese music industry. “The North Eastern State’s great bonding as a region had already come to the fore for the channels during the ‘historical’ run of the region’s first reality TV hero Debojit Saha when he went on to win Zee TV’s ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Voice of India’ last year and since then the face of Assam along with the region has changed in the national circuit,” he said.“It is strange that the region has been flooding its new found idols with SMS votes every time despite the region’s limited mobile phone density and economic constraints compared to other prosperous States of the country. The young and upcoming singer must live up to the expectations of the people back home. It is not just about getting name and fame, rather it is about maintaining it,” Rabin asserted.“The commercial potential of the region proved to be a boon for the music talents of the region and momentum should be maintained,” he pointed out. The year 2007, it may be mentioned, saw the successor to Debojit’s cult status in the region in the form of Amit Paul from Shillong. The charming and dashing Amit enjoyed a dream run in Sony TV’s “Indian Idol III’, though he missed the crown by a whisker.And if Amit placed Shillong firmly on the map of Bollywood music, Assam’s Joy Chakraborty and Tripura’s Nirupama Dey did the region proud in the latest season of ‘Saregamapa’ by emerging as two of the promising singers in the circuit. Zee TV’s ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Li’l Champs’ also has a strong contender from the region in the form of Assam’s Anamika. The 12-year-old has already mesmerized the judges with her matured singing and is projected as a possible winner. “As the television channel strive to come up with newer strategies to attract viewers and search for new markets, NE, with its yet untapped market potential, will emerge as a major factor, which according to experts, should encourage the budding singer more than anything else,”added Rabin.

Assam Sports, Cultural Festival Awards ’07
GUWAHATI, Dec 23 – The annual awards of the 12th Assam Sports & Cultural Festival, 2007 were announced recently. The awards would be presented at a solemn function at Kumar Bhaskar Natrya Mandir here on December 26 to commemorate the 93rd birth anniversary of Lauhapurush Premoda Kanta Sarma, a revowned freedom fighter and a pioneer of modern and competitive sports and culture of North-eastern India.The award winners are: Lifetime achievement award) Dhirendra Nath Chakravarty (journalism), Senehi Begum (education), Dr Harsha Bhattacharya (medical service), Eli Ahmed (Literature), Archana Mahanta (Culture), Balendra Mohan Chakravarty (Sports), Khanindra Ch Das (Social service) and Suchibrata Rai Choudhury (Social Service).The annual award winners are : (Best journalist) Utpal Baruah (Dainik Janambhumi), (Best Cine Journalist) Simanta Bhagawati (The Assam Tribune), Best Sports Journalist: Partha Chakravarty (The Sentinel), Best institute : SOS Children’s Village, Borjhar, Best sports administrator – Pradip Hazarika, Best sports organizer – Dr Dhruba Hozai, Best Drama organizer – Ramesh Talukdar Best Culture organizer – Jatin Das, Best player – Gautam Kalita (Mr World), Best Assamese film –Aidew (director Amulya Manna), Best actor Mahananda Sarma (film Nilakantha) Best actress– Angurlata (Jonda Iman Gonda) and Best playback singer (Sangeeta Kakoti).In other categories, the best mobile theatregroup award went to Ashirbad Theatre (producer Robin Neog), best drama – Abuj Dara Asin Kaing (dramatist Abhijit Bhattacharja), Best actor – Mridul Bhuyan AwahanTheatre and Best actress : Prastuti Parasar Bardoisila theatre.The special awards of jury were bagged by Bandana Sarma for Assamese folk VCD Jonortora, Nirmal Chandra Dutta, Jadab Chandra Das, Ramesh Chandra Das, Nirmal Nuinsa and Bipul Barman.

Moi Kiya Likhu selected for Hyderabad fest
GUWAHATI, Dec 25 – Documentary film Moi Kiyo Likhu (Why do I Write) based on the writings of noted litterateur and veteran journalist Homen Borgohain has been selected for the International Film Festival to be held at Hyderabad from January 3. Borgohain has also acted in the film. Pradyut Kumar Deka, who is credited to have a host of television serials and video films, has directed the film.Prantik Deka has produced the film under the banner of Rupkar Cine Enterprise.

A review of Assam Fashion Week ’07
GUWAHATI, Dec 25 – Tue 3rd Assam Fashion Week, 2007 was held from December 19 to 22 at Pragjyoti ITA complex, Machkhowa here under the aegis of CEC.The event was organised ‘with a view to rectifying the deterioration that has engulfed the fashion scenario in the past couple of months, and to present before the Assamese people fashion in its true light and flavour.’Brain-child of CEC head Dipankar Dutta, the event was supported by many design gurus of Assam.The week was inaugurated by Mamoni Raisam Goswami on December 19 at 4 pm. Then, fashion designers including Nandini Baruva Barsha Phukan, Bhaskar Dutta Goswami, Dipankar Kashyap, Prashantt Ghosh, Sandeep Cherian (all from Assam), Amitabh Trikpathi (Kolkata), Joy Singh (Manipur), Arenmongla (Nagaland) and Soma Karmakar (Meghalaya) displayed their creations. On day two a special fashion sketch contest was held for the aspiring designers of the region. A seminar on ‘fashion entrepreneurship’ was also held. A special presentation on ‘Beauty and Fashion’ was followed by a ramp show in the evening.The modelling camp concluded on the third day and the selected models took part in the grand finale of the fashion week next day. A fashion quiz was also held that day followed by a special makeover session by beauty specialists. In the evening the final round of Adonis Male Hunt contest was held which was followed by a garments display show by budding fashion designers.The grand finale on December 22 was inauguratted by actor Pranjal Saikia Invited garment buyers attended the designers display rounds and placed orders. The designers displayed in sequence from 5.30 pm onwards. About 35 designers from the northeast showcased their creations in the event. This was followed by a grand ramp show by designers of NE. Over 100 models walked the ramp wearing various traditional and modern collection of the participating designers.

Administration directives to city discotheques
GUWAHATI, Dec 25 – For all those party-goers who are gearing up to rock the party scenario under the influence of foot tapping music during this year’s late night New Year celebration, it’s time to think twice before you put on your dancing shoes.In a new initiative, the Kamrup (Metro) district administration has issued notices to at least 36 discotheques, hotels and lounge bars asking them to obtain license from the Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL), an agency under the Ministry of Human Resources before hosting any musical performance in their premises.Surprisingly, till date only five parties among the 36, who had been served notice, have responded to the call of the district administration. In such a scenario, the administration is left with only two options. Either, it would launch a crack down to book the erring parties during the New Year functions or file a legal suit for infringement of law of the land.The notice signed by a sub divisional magistrate (SDM) of the Kamrup (Metro) district administration has asked the organizers of these events, mainly the discotheques, the hotels and the lounge bars, to comply with guidelines under the Copyright Act 1957. The notice stressed that no musical functions should be organised without obtaining necessary NO Objection Certificate from the PPL office in Guwahati.

Sports, cultural award-giving function today
GUWAHATI, Dec 25 – The concluding function of the 12th Assam Sports & Cultural Festival, 2007 is being held tomorrow from 5 pm at Kumar Bhaskar Natya Mandir here to commemorate the 93rd birth anniversary of Lauhapurush Premoda Kanta Sarma. The already announced awards of the Festival will be presented in the function where personalities belonging to the sports and cultural fields besides high civil and police officials would be present and present awards to the awardees.

Aurko performs live in city
GUWAHATI, Dec 28 – It was pleasure for the music-loving Guwahatians to catch the Bangalore-based band Aurko, known for their high energy shows, performing live in the city today.The 290 live concerts-old Indi-pop band, on its maiden visit to the North-east will also perform on December 29 at the ongoing Guwahati Home Fair on the Veterinary College ground at 6.30 pm and for a private TV channel in the city as a part of the New Year’s bash. The band launched their first Hindi album Nadiyaa and two music videos in 2006. This October, they launched their 2nd album ABAH, in Bengali, which made them popular in the Eastern India. With a dash of Bhangra, Bengal folk, Asomiya and Konkani, Aurko is famous among its fans.

Documentaries for film fest
GUWAHATI, Dec 28 – Echoes of Sunshine (Surjyasmar Anuranan), a documentary directed by Prerana Barbarooah Sharma, has been selected in the competition section of the Hyderabad International Film Festival. National award winning documentary, Spirit of the Graceful Lineage, directed by Prerana Barbarooah Sharma has also been officially invited for screening at the same festival. This was stated in a press release.Significantly, Prerana Barbarooah Sharma is the only director from Assam with two of her films being featured in the Hyderabad International Film Festival this year. Spirit of the Graceful Lineage has also been invited to Kerala’s VIBGYOR International Film Festival, which starts on February 13, 2008.The producers of the two documentaries are Paran Barbarooah and Bibi Devi Barbarooah.

Jyoti Chitraban students exhibit short films produced in State
GUWAHATI, Dec 27 – The Jyoti Chitraban Film and TV Institute (JCFTI) Students’ Union screened 30 short films produced in the State, in a short films exhibition organised in the institute premises today. The films covering a wide range of subject matters screened in the exhibition also included films, which were sent for the international short film festivals. “The trend of short films, less expensive and very expressive, is already creating waves in the national and international circuits. The popularity of such films is also soaring gradually in the State,” said Jhulan Krishna Mahanta, general secretary of the JCFTISU. “This exhibition is our maiden venture in this field but from next time we are planning it big,” he added. “We are screening here the films like Mezaz (Tempo) by W Dorendra, Image and The Other Side by Amardeep Gogoi, Gaze by Suraj Dewarah and The Reflection by Moni Bhattacharya, which are sent for international short film festivals/exhibitions,” he added. Today, there are more than 1,000 film festivals worldwide, which screen short films. Moreover, through the Internet, it has become easier to submit the films online. If the film is selected for some festival, the organisers bear the cost of travelling generally. Along with the short film, nowadays, the-one-minute mobile clippings film festivals are also gaining popularity. The other films screened in the Jyoti Chitraban today were Portrait, Aimway, Thirst of an Immortal Soul, Diaries, Battery, Alap Maram Bahut Bedana, Jiban Abaran Pratiphalan, The Leader, Tiku, Tirag, Objects in the mirror, Duporia, Renaissance, Do the Dew, Corer Story, Man at Work, A Collage of Sacred Lives, Last Expectation, Red Land Black Ashes, Mores, Beautiful Battle, Shaishav, Encounter and the diploma film Apeksha by the students of the JCFTI. Short film Kulir Kutil Dasha by noted Assamese filmmaker Altaf Mazid was also screened on the occasion. Jyoti Chitraban is the only recognised film training institute in the State providing courses in film and video editing, motion picture photography, audio and sound engineering and applied acting courses. A number of films screened on the occasion belong to Adda, a popular name in the field of short films in State. Adda recently organised short film festivals in Shahid Bhawan, Nagaon and Dibrugarh District Library apart from Guwahati, said Amarjyoti Deka of the organisation. “Short film is an international, academic term used to mean a contemporary non-commercial motion picture that is substantially shorter than the average commercial feature film,” said Deka. “Short films often focus on difficult topics, which longer, more commercial films usually avoid. Their filmmakers benefit from larger freedoms and can take higher risks with their films, but they must rely on festival and art house exhibitions to achieve public display,” he added.

Translation of world-class literature into Assamese urged
GUWAHATI, Dec 27 – The powerful philosophy in the classic Western plays, if accurately staged in the local language, is altogether a different experience for the audience and they must get the flavour of those classic plays of the renowned writers from different countries of the world. This was expressed by veteran theatre personality and Sangeet Natak Akademi award winner from the State Dulal Roy. While briefing media persons about his forthcoming venture Narakar Gopan Kakhyat, Assamese translation of Jean Paul Sartre’s play In Camera to be staged at Ravindra Bhawan, Guwahati from January 2 to 4, 2008, he advocated the translation of world-class literature into Assamese. Narakar Gopan Kakhyat, directed by Dulal Roy, has been ably translated into Assamese by Pankaj Thakur. The play is being organised by Writers’ Guild, a non-profit making organization committed to promote culture and literature of Assam. For more than two decades, Writers’ Guild has been undertaking significant endeavours to showcase eminent artistic and literary genres of Assam, particularly in the area if literature and drama.“Both the original plays and the translated plays are important in their own way. But I strongly believe that the translated plays provide the play-lovers a chance to understand the mindset and literature of different parts of the world, thereby bridging the gap between two different groups of people,” he said. “In my opinion, if classic plays are not staged and if people are not offered the taste of the good writers of the West, we will remain where we are. Without cultural exchange no society can progress,” he added. The play of the philosopher playwright John Paul Sartre explains the question of degeneration of human values in the wake of World War II, which has its relevance in every age when man is ravaged by the search for identity and finds himself in conflict with the established values and tries to find ways to justify his own attempts at self discovery. “We have taken this complex play of Sartre as a challenge and all the people associated with it have put their cent per cent to make it successful,” said Pankaj Thakur. “The play promises to usher in a new leaf in Assamese drama with a new flavour from the Western thought,” he added. The cast includes celebrated artistes of Assamese cinema – Kapil Bora, Zerifa Wahid, Barnali Pujari and Amitav Rajkhowa. Nayan Prasad, a noted name in this field, has provided the music score.

Shovna, Sonal to dance at Kameshwari Festival ’08
GUWAHATI, Dec 30 – The Kamakhya Debutter Board, in association with mobile service provider major Bharti Airtel, is presenting the second Kameshwari Dance and Music Festival 2008 at Kamakhya temple premises on January 14 and 15 next.Internationally acclaimed dancer Padmashree Shovna Narayan will perform on the first day, while Padma Vibhushan Sonal Mansingh, who enthralled the audience last year, will be regaling the dance lovers and devotees on January 15 – the very day on which the auspicious Assamese Magh Bihu falls. Pandit Ranjan and Pandit Sajan Mishra, the vocalists who were awarded Padma Bhushan this year for their contribution to Indian classical music, will also perform on the 15th.Speaking to mediapersons at hotel Pragoti Manor here this afternoon, Bharti Airtel’s chief operating officer, NESA Sudipta Chowdhury said: “We are proud to be associated with the Kameshwari Festival 2008. Invoking the blessings of Ma Kamakhya at the dawn of the New Year,” Chowdhury said “as part of our corporate social responsibility we at Airtel are happy to contribute for the promotion of tourism, culture and the Kamakhya temple.”Speaking on behalf of the Kamakhya Debotter Board, Dhiraj Sarma admitted that “we are fortunate to have such renowned artistes coming to our temple to pay homage to Ma Kamakhya through dance and music.” NN Sarma and Bhabani Charan Sarma of the Board also attended the press meet and expressed their happiness over the turn of events towards holding of the Kameshwari festival.Later Festival chief convenor PP Singh said: “It’s our privilege to host the Kameshwari Festival ’08 and we are happy that Airtel has come forward to support culture, dance and music.”

Bid to help Sabha attain global recognition
GUWAHATI, Dec 30 – The nearly-two-century-old history of the Asam Sahitya Sabha is being relived, as the apex literary organisation of the State is set to get a mouthpiece of Assamese literature to the world.With the efforts of an enthusiast publisher, writer and film and documentary maker of State, the Sabha history along with the other inputs of Assamese literature will soon step into the web world. Surjya Hazarika, the man behind the documentary on the history of the Asam Sahitya Sabha, from 1836 to 2000, titled Chira Senehei Mor Bhasha Janani, is keen on launching the Internet edition of the documentary by next April. The documentary was screened on Thursday evening at Sangeetacharya Lakshmiram Baruah Sadan in Guwahati. Previously, the documentary was screened in the Dibrugarh session of the Sabha in the year 2000. “In the web edition, we will also incorporate information on the Sabha after 2000, which the documentary does not include. I started working on documentary from the early part of 1999, after a detailed study of more than one and a half year,” said Surjya Hazarika, while talking to The Assam Tribune. The documentary includes information about the genesis of the Sabha, factors, organisations and individual endeavours leading to its birth and all the sessions of the Sahitya Sabha, held in the different parts of the State and the region as well. Some of the rare photographs and sound clippings give information about the Sahitya Sabha presidents, secretaries of the past and their contemporary personalities associated with the literature of the State. The screening programme at the Lakshmiram Barua Sadan was inaugurated by the current president of Asam Sahitya Sabha, Kanaksen Deka, who lauded the efforts of Hazarika in preserving the rare historical moments of Assamese literature in the form of a documentary. Hazarika, who wants to furnish information about Assamese literature to a worldwide readership, already gathered the updated information about the Sahitya Sabha and other important aspects of Assamese literature. “With the experience of visiting the Frankfurt Book Fair recently, we could gather a fair idea about the taste of the world readers and our work will be updated accordingly,” he said.“Assamese literature is yet to get its due in the world forum. It will be a new thing for the world readers that the cultural icon of the State, Srimanta Sankerdev staged a drama Chihnayatra in 1468, the year when Shakespeare was born. Some other comparative studies like this will be incorporated in our Internet version,” Hazarika added. The books and periodicals contributing to the development of the Assamese literature will also get place in the net edition, to be launched in English.

Despite technological boom, sale of New Year cards remains high
GUWAHATI, Dec 29 – In an age of low-cost options such as e-mail, SMS and MMS, the mode of regular communication may have taken a drastic change but when it comes to special occasion such as the New Year, the traditional way of greeting one’s near and dear ones still rules the roost.Anyone having even a tinge of doubt can just make a visit to the Meghdoot Bhawan (Postal Head Office), which is witnessing a mad rush of people, young and old alike, trying to send their best wishes through greetings cards to their dear ones based in different parts of the globe. In fact, the postal department has initiated special moves just for facilitating postage of greetings cards.“We do it every year. This year too, we are receiving huge response from the people across the State,” informed an official of the Postal Department while talking to this Correspondent. When asked, the official opined, “I have not seen any loss in fascination of people towards greeting cards as a means of conveying greetings. If the unprecedented number of people sending New Year greetings card through post is any indicator, it is still the most preferred mode.”“In case of other special occasions, the preference of people, especially the young ones, might have changed but New Year remains the exception,” the official said.Meanwhile, outlets of leading card makers including Archies, Expressions and Hallmark are also making huge business across the city.Biswajeet Baruah, who has put a special stall for various types and range of New Year greeting card at city’s Pan Bazar area, said, “The market for greeting cards has been flat over the last few years and leading card making companies have been trying to revive the craze by cropping up ‘special days’ such as ‘Rose Day’ and ‘Mother Day’, which were never heard before.“I feel that the companies have resorted to such initiatives because of the dropping market of greeting cards but New Year has not been affected by the advent of these new technological boons. Sale of cards on the New Year eve have always shown rising trend,” Baruah said.“Moreover, new trendy shapes and design of the greetings card have also kept the buyers interested, especially the younger lot,” said Rahul Jain, another greeting cards retailer.Jeena Borkotoki, a second year student of Cotton College said, “There is no doubt that the law cost options of communicating has caught the craze of people around the world but there is something that draws me towards greetings cards, especially on special occasions such as New Year.“I do send SMS too, but if it is about conveying my heartfelt feeling to someone special be it a friend or my relatives, it has to be through a greeting card. For the rest, SMS and e-mails do the trick,” she said. Moreover, various non-government organisations have also involved disabled children to make New Year cards.

Sabha ridicules Govt gesture on language
GUWAHATI, Dec 29 – The Asam Sahitya Sabha has expressed its discontentment over the State Government’s ‘negative gesture’ on the development of Assamese language in the State. The literary body has warned of a mass movement for full implementation of the State language in government and non-government offices and different organizations. Addressing a press meet today, the Sabha president, Kanaksen Deka said that the State government is neglecting the State language Assamese, and despite repeated requests from the Sabha, it has taken no positive steps for widespread implementation of the Assamese language in the different government and non-government organizations. The literary body also alleged that the recent notification of the government to use Bengali in nameplates and signboards of different institutions in Guwahati indicates a well-planned conspiracy against the State language. It urged the government to withdraw the directive. “It is a proven fact that a child can learn better in his/her mother tongue rather than any other language, so the State government should take steps to facilitate primary-level education in mother tongue,” Deka asserted. “Though the State Language Act was passed in 1960, it was never implemented fully in the State,” he added.In support of its demands, the Sabha along with other conscious citizens including veteran journalist Shiva Prasad Baruah, will lead a march from Ganeshguri to the Dispur Secretariat on January 7 from 11am. It also warned the State government to launch a non-co-operation stir if no proper step is taken for the widespread implementation of Assamese language.

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