| Family members and well-wishers pay tribute to Sonaram Chutia in Jorhat on Thursday. Picture by UB Photos |
Jorhat, Jan. 31: Hundreds of people today paid their last respects to Sonaram Chutia at Court Field here.
The Vaishnavaite scholar and Srimanta Sankardev awardee who passed away around 9.30 last night was chief of Srimanta Sankaradeva Sangha nine times and its chief adviser till the end. He was 97.
The cremation will take place at Tarajan crematorium tomorrow at 11.30am. Chief minister Tarun Gogoi is slated to attend the cremation.
PWD minister Ajanta Neog visited Chutia’s house early in the morning and expressed her condolences to the bereaved family on behalf of the state government.
Governor Janaki Ballav Patnaik also conveyed his condolences for the demise of the Vaishnavite scholar, freedom fighter and social reformer. He has conveyed his sympathy to members of Chutia’s family.
Among others who gathered at the Court Field were Jorhat MLA Rana Goswami, former Deputy Speaker Renupoma Rajkhowa and former MLA Hemanta Kalita.
The members of Srimanta Sankaradeva Sangha were utterly bereft. They said they had lost a father figure.
Bholaram Kakati, a member of the Sangha, pointed out that Chutia who was a true Gandhian passed away on the day the Father of the Nation had died.
Chutia who had spent eight months in two ashrams of Gandhiji in Maharashtra’s Sewagram and Paunar had followed the ideals preached by him.
It was a tearful farewell for the family of Chutia. His youngest son, Bijit Das, said his father was a stickler for discipline and punctuality was his watchword. He berated his children if they were ever late for anything. He also always carried a torch with him. Youngest daughter Mina Das Baruah who arrived from Guwahati said she would like to give awards to students who would score the highest marks in Sanskrit in matriculation examinations as her father loved the language.
Chutia’s grandson, Jayanta Madhav Dutta, said he carried out a ceaseless struggle to establish a casteless society and this should be followed by one and all as the issue is still alive.
Former principal of Cotton College Sita Nath Lahkar said over phone that the democratic way in which Chutia fought for equality for all classes of people should be carried forward. Nabard manager Mayur Bora said through his intellect and writings Chutia exposed casteism.