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53rd session of Asom Natya Sanmilan concludes

By Farhana Ahmed

NORTH LAKHIMPUR, Jan 28 � The four-day cultural extravaganza was held at the Padmanath Gohain Baruah-Ali Hyder stage at Tyagkshetra in North Lakhimpur from January 20 to 23. The session was inaugurated by Dulal Roy, prominent theatre activist and president of Asom Natya Sanmilan (ANS) by hoisting of the flag at the Tyagkshetra on the morning of January 20. In all, 50 flags were simultaneously unfurled on the occasion by prominent citizens of North Lakhimpur.

The tribute-paying ceremony was led by Umesh Sharma, working president of ANS. The welcome address of the opening ceremony was delivered by Rahul Borah, chief secretary of the organising committee. In his inaugural address, ANS president Dulal Roy said that though plays were not meant for mockery, but unfortunately, they had been reduced to a mockery due to lack of persistence in practicing it with its varied forms.

He opined that such elements had been damaging the essence of plays which could be corrected by play itself. The ace theatre activist concluded that �truth in the theatre is always on the move� and asked the audience and the public to patronise it forever. On the first night of the session which was dedicated to late Joga Baruah and Munin Bhuyan, three plays, namely Teton Tamuly by Tezpur unit of ANS, Aquarium by the Bokakhat unit and Parineetar Eiti by Tihu unit of ANS were staged.

The second day of the 53rd ANS session began with a symposium on the deterrence caused by commercial theatre in comparison to traditional one. The symposium was conducted by Dr Pushpa Gogoi and attended by Atul Mazumder, eminent theatre critic Sabin Rajkhowa, former chairman of Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra and Deepak Mahanta, playwright and Dulal Roy.

A review of the plays staged on the earlier evening was also held. In the evening which was dedicated to late Chandradhar Chamuah, Girish Bhuyan and Prafulla Baruah, four plays, namely Champawatee by Darrang College under the Tezpur unit of ANS, Sarabjaan, a children's play by the North Lakhimpur unit, Jeevanar Gateet Chandita Padya by the Maligaon unit and Aboor by Dakshin Pakowa Bahnjani unit of ANS were staged.

The third day of the session saw a discussion on �Evolution of Indian Children�s Play� conducted by ace playwright Sewabrata Baruah. On the third evening which was dedicated to late Deben Baruah, Bhuban Dutta and Renuka Mahanta, two plays, namely Stree Patra, a solo performance by Seema Biswas and Jagmeera, Mumbai and Siddhanta by North Lakhimpur unit of ANS were staged.

On the concluding day, an opening session was held on the main venue which was chaired by Dulal Roy. The session was attended by Union Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs, besides local MP Sarbananda Sonowal and Waman Kendre, director of the National School of Drama, New Delhi. Various awards of the Asom Natya Sanmilan were presented on the occasion.

Eminent playwright and lyricist Ratna Oza was conferred the Asom Natya Sanmilan Award, while living legend of mobile theatre Ratan Lahkar was presented the Brajanath Sharma Award. Similarly, actress Seema Biswas was presented the Mahendra Borthakur Award while Waman Kendre was awarded the Banikanta Rai Award on the occasion. The Mohan Bhaira Award was posthumously presented to Ramanee Burman, which was received by his wife at the function. Playwright Harendranath Borthakur, Dr Susheel Goswami, actress Tarulata Devi, dhol exponent Karuna Das, actor Nayan Neelim and Shymantika Sharma were also felicitated by the ANS.

During the Safi Ahmed-Bhabanee Bhuyan memorial theatre evening on the final day, Hindi play Mohe Piya by NSD, New Delhi was staged. Various cultural programmes like puppet show, mime performance and poetry recitation were also held during the four-day event.

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