Guwahati, Monday, January 18, 2010
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Life-size statue of Rupkonwar installed
Staff Reporter
 GUWAHATI, Jan 17 – It took time to emerge, but Guwahati’s new landmark is a paean to people power. Nearly one-and-a-half decade of painstaking efforts of common men and women culminated in the installation of a life-sized statue of Rupkonwar Jyotiprasad Agarwalla.

The statue stands on a spot of land near the confluence of the Brahmaputra and Bharalu, which once was an eyesore to passersby. The bronze statue in pale green has been crafted by Gautam Pal, and was selected after a screening by a group of eminent artistes. Today, on the 60th death anniversary of Agarwalla, it earned appreciation from many of those who attended its unveiling.

Speaking after unveiling the statue, noted litterateur Dr Nagen Saika offered tributes to Jyotiprasad Agarwalla, describing him as an icon who has carved a permanent niche in the realm of Assamese culture. Saikia counted the multi-faceted genius among stalwarts such as Sankardeva and Lakshminath Bezbaruah whose contribution to the region’s culture was immense.

The former president of Asam Sahitya Sabha said that Agarwalla was more than a path-breaking artiste and filmmaker; he was a social thinker and philosopher who sought to shape the future through his creations.

Saikia appreciated the efforts of all those who planned and worked for erecting the statue, and said that it was indeed an appropriate honour to a creative genius of the land.

In his welcome address, BN Kakoti, general secretary of Jyotiprasad Agarwalla Smritiraksha Samiti, offered insights to the process that resulted in the statue being erected.

He revealed that the committee was planning to develop the surroundings in an aesthetic manner that will showcase select facets of Agarwalla’s creative output in an impressive way.

Today’s function was presided over by distinguished writer Nalinidhar Bhattacharya and was graced by litterateur Nirupama Borgohain and Gyanashri Pathak, daughter of Jyotiprasad Agarwalla, among others.

Earlier in the day, two exhibitions of Agarwalla’s quotes and his pictures were inaugurated at the venue and a procession was taken out where children and a marching band of South Point School took part.