Chowdhury, Narzary given Akademi award Spl Correspondent NEW DELHI, Feb 17 – Promising Assamese writer, Dr Rita Chowdhury and Bodo literary figure, Bidyasagar Narzary were formally given away the Sahitya Akademi Award by president of the prestigious literary body, Sunil Gangopadyay here this evening. The awards marked the beginning of the Festival of Letters annually organised by the Akademi. The function held at the Kamani Auditorium was attended by host of literary figures, authors and eminent personalities. Present on the occasion was Dr Chowdhurys husband, Chandra Mohan Patowary, Lakhi Nandan Bora, Rajya Sabha MPs Biren Baishya and Kumar Deepak Das, among others.
The Award carries a cash of Rs 50,000, a shawl and a plaque.
Addressing the function, the president of Sahitya Akademi said in 100 years or so half of languages worldwide would become extinct, while the other half of the 1000 languages wont exist in another 1000 years.
He said that one-third of the worlds population speak Indian and Chinese languages. And in India Hindi and Bengali are the two languages spoken widely.
The president, however, created a controversy, when referring to the determination of the people to speak mother tongue were even willing to sacrifice their lives. He said in Cachar district of Assamabout90 per cent of the people speak Bengali language, but their agitation to declare Bengali as their mother tongue is suppressed.
When people of Cachar took to the streets on May 19, the police resorted to indiscriminate firing. This illegal act was not given publicity but hashed up, he alleged.
To save mother tongue, some people were willing to sacrifice their life. We too at the Sahitya Akademi believe that mother tongue is never dead. We are committed to save all mother tongues spoken in India, he said.
This Sahitya Akademi Award 2008 was given o 23 Indian languages. There was no award for the English language category. The Akademi has published 411 books and sold books worth Rs 3.55 crore.
Dr Chowdhury, who is currently working as lecturer at cotton College, has written 12 novels and her first important work Abirata Yatra was published in 1981. She has also written three collections of poetry. Recipient of Asom Shitya Sabha Award, she was also awarded the Kalaguru Bishnu Rabha Award for her work Deo Langkhui.
The novel is about the love and life among the Tiwa people belonging to Gova kingdom. The historical times depicted in the novel are accurate and wonderfully brought to life.
Born in 1954 in Kokrajhar district, Bidyasagar Narzary, who heads the Regional office of the Press Information Bureau at Guwahati has authored 22 books in Bodo language. Also to his credit are seven books in English and one in Assamese. He is the recipient of the Gurudev Kalicharan Brahma Sevashram Samiti honour of Certificate and Rangsar Literary Award given by7 Bodo Sahitya Sabha.
Birgwsrini Thungri a historical novel authored by him is about the Bodo women who fought against the British and the king of Bhutan and is widely acclaimed for its historical accuracy.