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Award for Jorhat drummer

Jorhat, March 15: The Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad conferred the Moghai Oja award on Bogai Bora Oja, a local drummer, on Moghai Oja Divas today to popularise folk instruments among youths and keep the fast-waning tradition of drumming alive.

The award comprised a drum, a citation, sarai and Rs 5,101.

Bogai Oja, who hails from Bohotgaon, Meleng Balisapori, had accompanied Moghai Oja in many stage performances in the state and in Delhi, Mumbai and Calcutta.

The founder secretary of the All-Assam Dhulia Sanmilani, Debendra Charan Barbaruah, who attended the ceremony, proposed that the death anniversary of Moghai Oja should be observed as Dhulia Divas and not Moghai Oja Divas to give it a wider base. He demanded that the state government should put forward a proposal to the Centre to issue a stamp of Moghai Oja.

The chief adviser of the AJYCP, Putul Dutta, criticised the government for neglecting Oja by only giving the Moghai Oja award twice nearly six years ago after chief minister Tarun Gogoi had made the announcement in 2003 and doing nothing much.

Mahendra Chutia, the assistant secretary of the All Assam Dhulia Sanmilani, said the dhulias should move out from playing traditional instruments and adapt to the age of computers.

Debojit Bora, the assistant general secretary of the Asam Sahitya Sabha, said the trend of Bihu dances being performed on stage with the music being played on CDs was sounding the death knell for folk music as the presence of pepa, gagana and dhol players were no longer required.