NORTH LAKHIMPUR, April 9 – A three-day ethnic theatre festival organised by Asom Natya Sanmilan in association with Asom Sahitya Sabha was held in North Lakhimpur from April 2 to 4 where some brilliant plays by various ethnic groups were staged. Seminars and symposia also held during the festival.
The theatre festival was inaugurated by Rong Bong Terang, president of Asam Sahitya Sabha on April 2 in the District Library auditorium.
In his inaugural address Terang said that a new chapter in the field of drama had started on the soil of Lakhimpur. The president of Asom Natya Sanmilan and veteran film-maker and actor Abdul Mazid attended the inaugural ceremony as the chief guest. In his speech the ace actor said that a play can be a catalyst in unifying and binding humanity and it could become a medium of exchange of men’s feelings by penetrating deep inside one’s heart.
He also said that plays could contribute immensely in bringing social progress and change. The secretary of Asam Sahiyta Sabha Dr Paramananda Rajbongshi in his address said that the plays were a medium of expression of human freedom as showed by Srimanta Sankardev. He also criticised the State government for not mentioning the development of the lai khuta house founded by Sabha’s first president Padma Nath Gohain Baruah, a native of North Lakhimpur in 1865 in Kohima as a centre of cultural exchange as planned by Asam Sahitya Sabha in the budget of 2010.
Referring to the present hospitalisation and its financial problems of noted playwright from North Lakhimpur, Ali Hydar, Dr Rajbongshi informed the audience anybody who joins Asam Sahitya Sabha as its life member would be covered by health insurance benefits.
The souvenir of the theatre festival, Enajori, was released by Hemen Gogoi, retired principal, North Lakhimpur College and a well-known cultural activist. The festival was earlier inaugurated with a chorus composed by Chandra Borah, president of the organizing committee. The inaugural function was attended by the executive president of Asom Natya Sanmilan, Jiten Sharma, ex-president-in-charge of Asam Sahitya Sabha, Biswa Baruah and the official of the cultural section of Sabha, Bipul Deori. Artists Indreswar Pegu, Haren Subba and Joona Das were felicitated on that occasion.
On the first night of the ethnic theatre festival a Mising play written by Dibakar Pegu, Yei Gene Do: Mira Dungko Bi (River like the Sky) by Dumer Theatre Group, Gogamukh was staged. It was followed by Dharmendra Upadhya’s Nepali play Kath Putli by Nepali Natya Sanmilan, Rajgarh.
The second day of the festival, a cultural procession was taken out participated by Rong Bong Terang and Abdul Mazid through the main roads of North Lakhimpur. On the second night of the ethnic theatre festival, a Rabha play by Jayanti Rabha named Vasundhara was staged by Machalengka Theatre Group followed by a Deori play Moonseybar Biya by Chakrapati Deori.
On the third day of the festival a seminar on folk theatre was organised at Lakhimpur Commerce College. It was attended by noted playwright and poet Rafiqul Hussain, renowned academician Dr Upen Rabha Hakasam and Prof Suchitra Sen Chwodhury and the vice-president of Asom Sahitya Sabha, Kanak Sharma.