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Mobile theatre pioneers get state honours

- Producer Krishna Roy and actor Bishnu Khargharia felicitated by chief minister Tarun Gogoi

July 31: The state government today felicitated theatre personality Krishna Roy and actor Bishnu Khargharia for their contribution to the development of cultural arts.

The felicitation programme was organised at Rabindra Bhawan this evening and attended by chief minister Tarun Gogoi and cultural affairs minister Pranati Phukan.

After felicitating the duo, Gogoi said artistes play a significant role in bringing harmony to society and keeping violence away. “They have helped take society forward,” he said.

After the felicitation, Khargharia recalled Phani Sarma (a pioneer in Assamese theatre) and said he was very happy with the honour. “I feel as if Phani Sarma is praising me from heaven today,” he said.

“I have been associated with mobile theatre for decades. I have travelled from village to village, staging many plays. The thought of ways to take mobile theatre ahead by improving its qualitative aspect has always been my goal,” Krishna Roy said.

He recalled Achyut Lahkar, the founder of mobile theatre and Bhabendra Nath Saikia for their contribution in developing mobile theatre.

Born to Lakhmikanta and Jamini Roy in 1941 at Pathsala in Barpeta, Krishna Roy has earned recognition as a producer of mobile theatre. Owing to financial difficulties, Krishna started his career in 1965 as an editor and light manager in Nataraj Theatre, formed by Achyut Lahkar.

His association with cultural icon Bishnu Prasad Rabha and Achyut Lahkar encouraged him to dedicate himself to theatre.

After working with several theatre groups, he started Kahinur Theatre in 1975 with Ratan Lahkar and Abahan Theatre in 1980-81. He engaged writer Bhabendra Nath Saikia, who wrote some great plays for Abahan and enriched Assam’s mobile theatre. Abahan has staged altogether 140 plays so far across the state.

Bishnu Khargharia is a household name in the state for his decades-long career in Assamese films.

Born in Dibrugarh in 1946, Khargharia was inclined towards acting from his childhood.

He also gained recognition as an actor by acting in around 100 plays. He got involved with mobile theatre from 1980.

Khargharia entered the film industry in 1970 through Assamese film Aranya, directed by Samarendra Narayan Dev and has so far acted in nearly 40 films.

He is most remembered for his role in Xagoroloi Bohu Dur, directed by Jahnu Barua.


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