NEW DELHI, Dec 24 � Kinaram Nath Oja, an exponent of the traditional Suknani Ojapali of Assam, has been selected for the prestigious Sangeet Natak Akademi Award. Eminent theatre personality Ratan Thiyam has been named for the highest Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellow (Akademi Ratna).
The Sangeet Natak Aka-demi this year elected three eminent personalities in the field of performing arts, including N Rajam, TH Vinayakram and Ratan Thiyam, as Akademi Ratna. The Fellowship of the Akademi is the most prestigious and rare honour, restricted to a very limited number of artistes.
Currently, there are only 40 Fellows of the Sangeet Natak Akademi.
Meanwhile, in a rare honour for the traditional Suknani form of Ojapali, Kinaram Nath Oja, has been awarded in the category of traditional, folk music, theatre and puppetry.
He is among eight artistes selected for the celebrated Award announced by the Akademi here today.
Instituted in 1952-1954, Akademi Awards symbolise the highest standard of excellence and achievements, and recognises sustained individual work and contribution to the practice and appreciation of the arts through performance, teaching and scholarship. The Akademi Fellow carries a purse money of Rs 3,00,000, while the Akademi Awards carry Rs 1,00,000, besides tamra patra and anga vastram.
The general council of Sangeet Natak Akademi has also selected 36 persons from the fields of music, dance, theatre and puppetry for the prestigious Akademi Awards for the year 2012.