GUWAHATI, Sept 24 - Eminent actor and director Abdul Majid, who enriched the State’s cultural spheres for over half a century, passed away at the GNRC Hospital here around 9:30 this morning. He was 85 and had been unwell for some time.
Born at Balibat in Jorhat district on November 16, 1931, Majid passed the Matriculation examination from Jorhat Government High School in 1950 and had to leave his college education halfway following his father’s death and assumed responsibility of his family. He started his job as a government employee in the Power Department in 1955 and retired in 1990.
Majid had his initiation into the cultural world at an early age and was particularly attracted to stage acting. He, along with a few like-minded individuals, founded the Kristi Sangha at Jorhat in 1950, and three years later formed the Milita Silpi Samaj. It played a key role in the making of the first President’s Silver Medal-winning Assamese feature film Ranga Police (1958) directed by Nip Baruah. The film also marked Majid’s entry into films as an actor where he earned critical acclaim for his negative role as a young man. He went on to play similar roles with élan a number of times.
Chameli Memsaab (1975), which marked a watershed in the annals of Assamese cinema, bears the stamp of Majid’s ingenuity as director. His acting prowess also came to the fore in the movie where he played the role of an eccentric tea-tribe man, Monglu. The film won the Rajat Kamal for the best regional film in the 23rd National Film Festival, 1976. Dr Bhupen Hazarika won the best music director award for the film.
Tejimala, Upapath, Bowari, Aparupa, Apeksha (Hindi), Sendur, Suruj, Puja, Papori, Ei Desh Mor Desh, Anthony Mor Naam, Bhai Bhai, Tathapio Nadi, Uttarkaal, Rickshawala, Agnigarh, Devata, Tumiye Mor Kalpanar, Priya O’ Priya, Jivan Nadir Duti Paar, Mon, Priya Milan, Jumon Sumon, Juye Pora Son, Jonda Iman Gunda, Hiya Diba Kak, Mamtaz and Sat Numbaror Sandhanat (2016) have been the other films where he acted.
Maram Trishna (1965) marked Majid’s directorial debut. He followed it up with the movies Chameli Memsaab, Banahangsa, Banjui, Ponakon, Uttarkaal and Sat Numbaror Sandhanat. He also made several short films, including Asomor Putala Nach, Ajan Fakir and Bahadur Gaonburha, besides several TV serials such as the hugely popular Naamghariya, Ajir Manuh and Ram Rahim. He acted in TV serials like Jivan, Agantuk, Gadhuli, Miksijili, Writu Ahe Writu Jai, Ajagar, Prabhati Suruj.
A stage actor par excellence, Majid acted in over 200 plays, including many in mobile theatres like Kohinoor, Aradhana, Awahan, Purvajyoti, Asom Star, Ma Lakshmi, Puberun, Indradhanu, Mancha Konwar and Meghdoot for several decades. He was also a vice president of the Indian People’s Theatre Association.
It was Majid who introduced popular actor Jatin Bora in his directorial venture Uttarkaal.
‘Lakhimi’ – Majid’s residence at Naamghar Path, Panjabari – witnessed footfalls in large numbers since morning today, with people from diverse walks of life thronging it to pay their respect to the departed soul.
His last rites were performed at the Satgaon Kabarstan around 8 pm.
A recipient of many awards, Majid was honoured with the Bishnu Rabha Award, Natasurya Phani Sarma Award, Jyotirupa Media Award and Prag Cine Award. He was also awarded the best director in the multilingual drama contest in New Delhi in 1971.
Majid leaves behind his wife Akuma Majid, and sons Nesimul, Kaju (well known video editor) and Omar besides a host of relatives.
Governor Banwarilal Purohit and Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal have, among others, condoled his death, terming it as an irreparable loss for the State’s cultural spheres. They also conveyed their condolences to the family members.