Staff Reporter GUWAHATI, April 21 - Eminent writer and journalist Homen Borgohain and renowned poet Nilamoni Phookan were today honoured with the prestigious Rashtrakavi Kuvempu National Award 2017 for their exceptional contributions to the literary world.
Nilamoni Phookan and Homen Borgohain at the award presentation function. – UB Photos
The award, instituted by Rastrakavi Kuvempu Pratisthana of Kuppali (Karnataka) is given in the name of iconic Kannada writer and Jnanpith Award winning litterateur KV Puttappa, popularly known by his pen name Kuvempu.
A versatile writer having his lasting imprints on all forms of literature including epic, poetry, story, novel, play, criticism, treatise, children literature and others, Kuvempu was also a champion of universal brotherhood, scientific temperament, rational attitude, patriotism and spiritual quest.
The award carries a silver medal, a citation, a shawl and a cash prize of Rs 2.5 lakh each. Due to poor health condition of the recipients, the Pratisthana came all the way from Karnataka to give away the awards.
In his speech, Phookan said he felt honoured to receive the award in the name of such a great writer and reformist. “Literature created in South Indian languages has immensely enriched the Indian literature. I accept the award and pay my homage to the literary stalwart,” he said.
Borgohain recalled some of his memories associated with the Kannada literary world that included one of his stories – Ismail Sheikhor Sadhanot – published in a Kannada magazine and the moments spent with eminent Kannada writer UR Anantamurthy during one of the sessions of the Asam Sahitya Sabha.
The writers expressed their gratitude to the Pratisthana for coming to Guwahati to honour them.
Earlier, Professor Ham Pa Nagarajaiah and another prominent writer Agrahara Krishnamurthy spoke on the life and works of Kuvempu and his role in promoting the concept of ‘universal man’.
Speaking as the chief guest, noted litterateur Dr Dhruva Jyoti Borah said India thinks, speaks and creates in regional languages and it is the duty of people associated with the literary world to build as many bridges as possible to connect the regional languages.
Borah also stressed the need to rise above narrow communalism and boundaries of caste, creed and religion with a strong conviction to promote universal humanism, liberal democracy and secularism. “India will be lost if we divide it on the grounds of religion,” he added.
Bengali writer Shyamal Bhattacharyya and Urdu poet Maher Mansour also spoke on the occasion. The function was organised in collaboration with the North East Foundation, Guwahati. The welcome speech was given by Chandan Sarmah.