An era ends with Brahma's demise - BTC declares mourning

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  • Published 6.03.12
A painting by Shobha Brahma (picture on left) . File pictures

March 5: Artist Shobha Brahma died this afternoon and with him passed away an era of painting and sculpture in Assam.

Brahma, who was suffering from cardiac ailments, died at Hayat Hospital. He is survived by his wife, a son and two daughters. He was 83.

The BTC has announced a day of mourning tomorrow. “It’s a big loss for all,” said BTC chief Hagrama Mohilary.

The hospital’s general manager Manoj Deka said the artist was admitted to the intensive-care unit in a critical condition at 8.30 this morning. Brahma had been suffering from cardiac ailments and a pacemaker was implanted in him at Dispur Polyclinic a few days ago.

“Tests conducted by doctors in the ICU found that Brahma’s heart was not able to pump enough oxygen. Despite best medical efforts, he died at 3.25pm of hypoxic/anoxic encephalopathy, a condition in which brain tissues are deprived of oxygen and the brain cells start dying fast,” Deka said.

As the news spread, prominent personalities and fans started arriving at the hospital at Bhetapara to pay tribute. Arrangements were made on the hospital premises to facilitate people to pay their tributes. The body will be kept at the hospital tonight.

Deka said Kamrup (metro) deputy commissioner Ashutosh Agnihotri had informed him that the cremation would take place in the city tomorrow.

Painter Kishore Kumar Das said Brahma’s demise was an irreparable loss for the artistes of the state. He said Brahma was the senior-most painter in the state but his paintings were “modern” and he liked to play with colours.

“Along with Jibeswar Barua, he was the founder of the Government College of Arts & Craft. Brahma distorted the realistic figures and shaped them with his unique style. Many of his students have now established themselves and are working in different parts of the world,” Das added.

Sculptor Biren Sinha said Brahma had the genius of taking forward both art and sculpture. “I am lucky that I found an artist like him. He contributed so much despite working at a time when there were no proper facilities. He was like our guardian and we are walking in the path shown by him,” he said.

Various Bodo organisations and art lovers paid their condolences.

Bodo artist and sculptor Kamal Goyary, who was a student of Brahma at Government College of Arts & Craft, expressed shock over Brahma’s demise.

Goyary, who has given shape to various sculptures, including Jwhwlao Dwimalu at Karigaon, Bodofa Upendranth Brahma at Dulungapuri and near the BTC secretariat in Kokrajhar, remembered Brahma as a person who dedicated his life to arts and painting. “He was completely dedicated to painting. He was born for it,” he said.

The All Bodo Students Union, the Bodo Samaj, the NDFB (Progressive), the All Assam Tribal Sangha and the Tribal Youth League extended their condolences to Brahma’s family.

Brahma was born on October 14, 1929 at Dumaka in Gossaigaon in Kokrajhar district of Assam to Haricharan and Debashree Brahma.

He studied in Cotton College (1948 to 1952) and then studied arts at Kala Bhawan in Visva Bharati University, Shantiniketan (1952 to 57).

He taught at Tarini Choudhuri HS and MP School and Government College of Arts & Craft (1960 to 1989). He was a member of various state government committees. He was also associated with Lalit Kala Akademi (New Delhi) and the North East Cultural Centre in Dimapur. He was also the vice-chairman of Srimanta Sankaradeva Kalakshetra.

He was conferred the Asom Silpi Diwas Award in 1977, the Kamal Kumari Barua Award in 1991, the Bishnu Rabha Award in 1996, the Pranab Barua Silpi Award in 2002, the Sambhawana Award in 2002 and the Lalit Kala Ratna Award in 2007.

He published a number of books, including Bharatiya Sitrakala, Gwdan Uji (in Bodo language), Silpakalar Nabajanma, Leonardo da Vinci: Jiban aru Sitrakala and Golap Ranga Xonali.