GUWAHATI, March 5 – Distinguished artist, sculptor, and academic Sobha Brahma breathed his last in Hayat Hosptial in the city today. Brahma was admitted for treatment after he complained of chest problems, and passed away around 3 pm, family sources said. He recently had a pacemaker implant after having cardiac problems.
Among the frontranking artists and sculptors of his time, he was honoured with the highly regarded Kala Ratna award by the Lalit Kala Akademi for his artistic brilliance. For his contributions to art, the Dibrugarh University and Rabindra Bharati University both had conferred D Litt degrees on Brahma.
Considered not just as an exceptionally talented artist, his peers and admirers also recall his fine teaching abilities. Students respected him as a teacher of immense knowledge, and later as the principal of Government College of Art and Craft. Later, he served as the Vice Chairman of Sankardeva Kalakshetra, and was instrumental in highlighting the indigenous art of North East India.
His works, in both solo and group exhibitions have had national and international exposures earning him admirers in places as diverse as Guwahati, Kolkata, New Delhi, Berlin, and Sofia to name a few.
Born in Bhumka in Kokrajhar district on October 24, 1929, he obtained his education in Guwahati and in West Bengal. During his studies in Bengal (1952-57) he came into contact with the legendary artists Ram Kinkar Vaij and Nandalal Bose, a fact mentioned in the records of Lalit Kala Akademi.
A deeply introspective artist, Brahma was prolific even in the later phase of his life. He completed several paintings in the year 2006, which now are on display at the art gallery at his residence. Continuing with his effort to promote art, he had created the Sobha Brahma Trust.
Brahma had written extensively about art and culture in various publications. According to an admirer, he had deep insight into the art and crafts of indigenous communities such as Bodos, Rabhas and Karbis.
He received several honours, which included the Kamal Kumari Baruah award, BT Council award, and Bishnu Rava award.
The artist leaves behind his wife, son, and two daughters along with a host of other relatives. According to his son, the cremation would take place at the Nabagraha cremation ground tomorrow afternoon.
This evening several artists of repute visited his home to convey their condolences. They agreed that the void left by Brahma’s death will not be filled.
Mourned: Condolences have poured in from various parts of the State following Brahma’s death.
The Dhemaji Artists’ Guild has expressed deep sorrow at the demise. In a joint statement, Dr Puspa Gogoi and Surya Boruah, the president and the secretary of the organisation respectively, said that in his death not only the people of Assam but also India have lost a great artist and the loss caused by his passing away is irreparable.
Our Kokrajhar Correspondent adds: The death of Dr Brahma was widely mourned in Kokrajhar with people from all walks of life expressing pain over his demise. In his condolence message BTC chief Hagrama Mohilary said the death of Dr Brahma is a great loss to the society. Several leaders of the Bodo society also condoled his death and said Dr Brahma will be remembered for his contribution in the field of art and culture forever.
Meanwhile, the BTC authority has declared tomorrow a holiday as a mark of respect to the departed soul.