Artist Ganesh Haloi gets state award for autobiography
Ganesh Haloi, renowned artist and resident of AE Block, received the Manojmohan Basu Smarak Samman at the Literature Festival and Little Magazine Fair, organised by Paschimbanga Bangla Akademi.
At a programme held at Rabindra Okakura Bhavan on January 11, author Debesh Roy and poet Joy Goswami handed over the award to the 83-year-old for his autobiography Amar Katha, published in 2019.
“I’ve traced my life from my childhood in Jamalpur village in Mymensingh in what is now Bangladesh. We had to come over as refugees in 1950 after Partition. I enrolled in college here and my first job was to sketch the paintings in the Ajanta caves. I did that for seven years till I joined the Government College of Art and Craft as a faculty member. I have written about all those days,” Haloi said.
Roy lashed out at the Citizenship Amendment Act, pointing out that it was not enough for Bengalis to speak the language to prove themselves to be Bengali. “We are facing an assault. People are even telling us what to eat! We need to forget small differences to unite and fight. We are a rainbow nation and we need to preserve all hues. One way to preserve our Bengali identity is to celebrate our literature.”
For the first time at the festival, 16 little magazines were handed financial assistance to the tune of Rs 25,000 each.