Akademi honours 4 from NE

Four writers from the Northeast have received the Sahitya Akademi Award, whose results were announced today.

By PRANAB KUMAR DAS and PREETAM B. CHOUDHURY in Guwahati
  • Published 22.12.16
  •  

Guwahati, Dec. 21: Four writers from the Northeast have received the Sahitya Akademi Award, whose results were announced today.

Jnan Pujari won for his poetry collection Meghmallar Bhraman, Geeta Upadhyay was honoured for her Nepali novel Janmabhumi Mero Swadesh, Moirangthem Rajen received the prize for his Manipuri short story collection Cheptharaba Eshingpun and Anjali Narzary (who uses the pseudonym Anju) won for her Bodo poetry collection Ang Maboroi Dong Dasong.

Born in 1948, Pujari did his masters in Assamese from Dibrugarh University. He started writing poems in the seventies. "It's Jnan! A long delayed justice! I am so happy. I think he is a gifted Assamese poet who brought subtle plays of narrative, drama and folk into a very different kind of poetry," said writer Apurba Sarma.

Rajen is the commandant of the 8 Manipur Rifles and posted in Chandel district. He hails from the newly created district of Kakching in Manipur. Cheptharaba Eshingpun is his third book following a collection of short stories and a collection of poems.

"I was surprised when I was informed by a colleague from Delhi this afternoon that my book had been selected for the award. I was not expecting it," Rajen said. He has been on the road for the last four nights, providing security to VIPs and ensuring free movement of vehicles in Chandel district during the ongoing economic blockade.

Narzary is the head of the physics department of Kokrajhar Government College. She received the Rangsar Literary Award, instituted by the Bodo Sahitya Sabha, in 2002. She has written several books, mostly poetry, including Phasini Doulengao Okhaphwr, Gwrbwni Radhab, Nwngni Jiu Angni Bibhungthi and Gwrbwni Kontahini.

As the news of her winning the Sahitya Akademi Award spread, many well-wishers, family members and friends thronged Narzary's residence at Tengapara to congratulate her. The BSS expressed its happiness and congratulated her. Upadhyay and Pujari hail from Sonitpur district.

Upadhyay, who lives at Chanmari in Tezpur, had received the Sahitya Akademi Award in 2011-12 for translating Jyoti Prasad Agarwala's play Karengar Ligiri into Nepali. Her book Janmabhumi Mero Swadesh has India's freedom movement as its backdrop. "I got a phone call this afternoon from the Sahitya Akademi that I have got the award. I am feeling very happy for being selected by Sahitya Akademi for the second time," she told The Telegraph.

Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal congratulated the winners.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY RAJIV KONWAR AND KHELEN THOKCHOM