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Sattriya rendering towards perfection

Recently, the audience at the Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra’s Sri Sri Madhabdev International Auditorium were treated to an evening of Sattriya Oja pali - 'Sampurna Apaal Poda Gowa', which was enacted for the first time by an all-female troupe, led by the versatile Sattriya exponent Kashmiri Hazarika Kakati, in the august presence of eminent scholars, gurus and danseuses, including renowned danseuse and Padma Vibhushan awardee Dr. Sonal Mansingh. Presented by Krishnam, the evening also saw the presentation of the Mahapurush Sri Sri Sankardeva-Sri Sri Madhavdeva Award 2017.

            On the occasion, Dr Mansingh, highly impressed with the unique rendering of the piece, woven with the right mixture of Raga, Sloka, Geet, Pod, Diha, Baadya Kheyali, Upadesh and Abhinaya, urged practitioners and exponents of Sattriya to uphold its sanctity and tradition. It should never lose its core value in a haze of commercial considerations. In her speech, she exhorted everyone to promote and propagate this great cultural heritage at the world stage. She also stressed on the importance of the Guru-disciple relationship, which is always looked upon as the source of true education.

            Directed by Muhikanta Bora Borgayan Oja, this exquisitely choreographed piece, accomplished with various Bhangimas and Mudras by a talented group of ladies, lead from the front by Kashmiri Hazarika Kakati, who essayed the role of the Oja, created a profound effect on the audience. While the Oja is the chief singer, the protagonist of the piece, the Palis take up the refrain and repeat what the Oja has rendered. Kakati displayed sublime technique and workmanship in a memorable performance as the Oja, giving it a distinct character, bolstered by the individual abilities of the supporting artistes.

            The cultural evening was inaugurated with the lighting of the traditional lamp by the Satridhikar of the Uttar Kamalabari Satra, Janardan Devagoswami, who said that it was truly an auspicious occasion to witness this, and it’s high time that such a performance is propagated elsewhere in the country.

            Nrityacharya Jatin Goswami, too, was eloquent in his praise of Kashmiri Hazarika Kakati and the team of performers. It’s for the first time that a complete performance of Sattriya Oja pali or what is viewed as Apaal Poda Gowa, has been enacted on stage. “It’s very difficult to execute Sampurna Poda Gowa, but Kashmiri Hazarika Kakati and her associates have accomplised the impossible and for that, they deserve every praise and appreciation," said Goswami. He also lauded Dr Sonal Mansingh, viewed as one of the high priestesses of the arts, for playing a great role in getting Sattriya the status of a classical dance form in the country.

            The cultural function also included an award presentation by the socio-cultural organisation Krishnam. Gopiram Oja Barbayan, Uttar Kamalabari Sattra’s renowned Guru, and Sangeet Natak Akademi awardee, was honoured with the Mahapurush Sri Sri Sankardeva and Sri Sri Madhavdeb award for his outstanding contribution to the field of Sattriya culture. He was presented with a phulam gamocha, a citation, memento and rupees ten thousand in cash. In his speech, Barbayan stressed on the need for performing artistes and dance exponents to adhere to the correct form and grammar of Sattriya dance. Well-known writer and Sattriya researcher Karuna Bora briefly spoke about the characteristics and elements of Sattriya Oja pali.

            ‘Sampurna Poda Gowa’ was a fabulous treat and a rare experience for the audiences, who had gathered in huge numbers to watch the versatile Kashmiri Hazarika Kakati, who has brought laurels to Assam with a series of performances in cultural functions, held in various parts of the country and abroad, including the Rongali Bihu Festival held in Quwait in 2015 where she performed with guru Ramkrishna Talukdar, followed by a solo Sattriya recital - ‘Nritya Bharati - 2015’ in California, in the city of Los Angeles, USA, where she performed with renowned classical dance exponent Sobha Dhananjay in the item ‘Vande Mataram’. Kashmiri was conferred with the Satyabhama Yuva Dance Artiste Award while participating in the Bharatiya Yuva Shastriya Samaroh, held in Visakhapatnam in 2015.

            The atmosphere at the Sri Sri Madhabdev International Auditorium was exceptional throughout, with a good deal of lustre being added by celebrity guests from various walks of life, including Bhadrakrishna Devagoswami, former president of the Asom Sattra Mahasabha and the Satradhikar of Jokai Sattra, Padmashree Ghanakanta Borbayan, Padmashree Suryakanta Hazarika, Preetom Saikia, IAS, Commissioner and Secretary, Cultural Department, Govt. Of Assam, eminent actress Arati Barua, Bishnu Rabha Awardee Sailen Saikia, Nrityaguru Govinda Saikia, Sonaram Sarma, Burhabhokot of old Kamalabari Sattra, Titabor, Swapnanil Barua, retired Commissioner and Secretary, Nitumoni Saikia, Editor-in-chief, Pratidin Time, Pranaame Bhagawati, Regional Officer, ICCR, Sangeet Natak Akademi awardee Anita Sarma, noted danseuse Mallika Kandali, Dr Meernanda Barthakur, Ruparani Das Bora, Rumi Talukdar, noted dramatist-musician Kushal Krishna Devagoswami, Jadab Borah, Astt Prof, Dibrugarh University, Kashmiri Hazarika Kakati’s gurus Bhaben Bora Barbayan, Ramkrishna Talukdar, Dimeshwar Bhuyan among many others. The programme was wonderfully anchored by popular cine-star Kopil Bora, with Rani Dutta Baruah providing the costumes, and Kishore Kalita doing the make-up.


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More setback for ULFA: Ankur Shyam joins pro-talk faction

13 Aug 2008 - 6:01pm | editor
ULFA has received yet another setback while it was preparing to strike on the Independence Day in the form of blast. Dreaded terrorist with B company of its 28th battalion Ankur Shyam has joined the breakaway group which are residing in Sadiya designated camp after announcing unilateral ceasefire with the government.
According to information, the hardcore terrorist who was responsible for many fatal strike in several upper Assam districts reached the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border and talked to Mrinal Hazarika and he was received by these group accordingly.

Hire and fire continues in Assam’s media

19 Apr 2010 - 1:15pm | Daya Nath Singh

Taking advantage of easily available MASS communication degree holders and serious unemployment problems in the state the media houses in Assam have got an opportunity to ‘hire and fire’ the media men, whimsically. The Fourth Estate in Assam is deprived of ‘fair deals’ despite the existing ‘The Working Journalists and other Newspaper Employees (Condition of Service) and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1955, enforced. Under this Act, the Central Government constituted Wage Board for suggesting salary and perks for journalists and other workers in media. This Act is confined and has its jurisdiction up to print media only. In the year 1985, the Bachhawat Wage Board recommended salaries and wages for media persons for the first time and after a lapse of 13 years, Manisana Singh Wage Board revised the earlier recommendations in 1998.

Now the Fourth Estate is not confined to print media alone. The Electronic and Web media have made inroads in this field. They have expanded their wings very fast. This Act does not have any control over them. This has led the media magnets an opportunity to ‘hire and fire’ the workers and exploiting them at the cheapest cost. The Wage Board’s recommendations have gone in the dust bins of maximum newspapers. Only a few have reputation of adhering the recommendations and paying, that too according to Manisana Singh Wage Board’s recommendations of 1998. Meanwhile, the Central Government constituted another Wage Board on May 24, 2007, the term of which is going to end by May 24 next. The Wage Board was asked to submit its report by this time. But according to available reports, Justice G R Majhithiar Commission could not do much progress in this case. Under the circumstances, the press people are still supposed to get the wages according to the recommendations of Manisana Singh Wage Board’s recommendations, which are also not paid by most of the media houses.

It may be noted here, that the Central and State government’s salaries have been revised several times. Emoluments in UGC and the Central organizations have also been revised many times. The media people have to bear the brunt of price rise with their limited income to support their families. On the other hand in Assam, most of the media houses do not issue appointment letters to their staff and deprive them of the benefits of provident fund, gratuity, medical benefits, earned leave and bonus etc,. Even state government publicizing too much about various welfare schemes for the people and society does not feel it necessary to check-up the malpractices going on in the local media. The state government is supposed to be duty bound to see whether the recommendations of wage Board have been applied in the organizations or not.

Since most of the media houses are controlled by politicians and other influential persons, the government seems very much reluctant to look into the welfare of media people. The press people have no security of life even. A number of journalists have been killed by security personnel, anti-socials and militants during last two decades. But the government remained unmoved and failed to provide any relief to the families of the victims or bringing the culprits to the book.

Vety camp near Deepor Bill

1 Apr 2015 - 7:21pm | Jayanta Kumar Das

Early Birds ,an environmental NGO of Assam arranged a free veterinary camp in nearer Deepor Beel area on Saturday on March 28 recently.The President of the organization Moloy Baruah and other members including Dr. Susil Ekka, Pranjal choudhury , Monika Das, Rana Das had participated in the camp and distributed free medicine. The determination of effortless job since 1998 to present Early Birds held 192 veterinary camps, 18 near Deepar Beel area. The extraordinary work without any govt. help has been appreciated by all which kind of social services are commendable job for our society. (As reported by Monica Das)