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Arun Sarma passes away

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GUWAHATI, March 27 - Eminent playwright and novelist, and winner of both Sahitya Akademi and Sangeet Natak Akademi awards, Arun Sarma passed away at Medanta � The Medicity hospital in Gurugram near New Delhi this morning.

He was 85 and had been ailing for some time.

Sarma who strode the arena of Assamese drama like a colossus for six decades, gave a new dynamism to the Assamese drama movement and aligned it with the focal trend of global dramatic literature. Known for his penchant for experimentation, Sarma�s unconventional approach in terms of both theme and treatment is borne out by many of his plays.

Born in Dibrugarh on November 3, 1931, Sarma passed his Matriculation from Tezpur Government Boys� HS School and later graduated in Education from Cotton College, Guwahati. After a brief stint with The Assam Tribune, he joined the All India Radio (AIR), Guwahati and had an enduring and fulfilling association with it.

A prolific writer, Sarma made his foray into the world of drama with his play Urukha Poja in 1952 that drew critical acclaim after it was staged at Tezpur and Guwahati. Sarma himself used to acknowledge that the laurels he received from his first play remained a lifelong inspiration. His plays have been broadcast by AIR Guwahati since 1953. In total, he wrote around 45 plays for radio.

Some of Sarma�s well-known plays are Jinti, Sri Nibaran Bhattacharyya, Parashuram, Purush, Kukurnesia Manuh, Ahar, Chiyor, Buranji Path, Padma, Kunti Ityadi, Anya Ek Adhyay, Poster Agnigarh, Napoleon Aru Deserie, Baghjaal, Chakrabyuha, Aditir Atma Katha, Chitralekha, and Robes of Destiny (a trilogy in English).

Sarma�s novels include Ubhala Shipa (The Root Upturned), Aashirbador Rong, translated into English as On a Wing and a Prayer, Sankalpa, Niriha Ashroy, and Baghjaal.

During his long association with AIR, Guwahati (from 1960 to 1986), Sarma also headed the Educational Broadcasting Section, and did pioneering work in using radio as a potent medium for supplementing classroom education. He had a six-month training stint on Radio Programme Production in BBC, London, in 1969. Through the 1970s and 1980s, he was instrumental in shaping the Drama section of AIR, Guwahati. During this period he wrote and directed around 45 plays and a number of radio documentaries for the Guwahati station as well as for All India Radio�s national programme, and received three international best awards for his documentaries.

He served as Station Director of All India Radio, Dibrugarh (1986-89) and retired from government service as Director, AIR, North East Service from Shillong in 1990.

Sarma had the rare distinction of having won the Sahitya Akademi award for Aashirbaador Rang in 1998 and the Sangeet Natak Akademi award for his contributions to drama in 2003. A recipient of the Assam Valley Literary Award in 2005, he won the Asam Sahitya Sabha�s Best Playwright Award for two consecutive years. He was honoured with Padma Shri in 2010 and also the Sankaracharyya Avatar Award for Literature in 2010.

In addition to his plays, novels and poetry works, Sarma edited a large number of plays, wrote scripts for tele-films and radio documentaries.

For radio broadcasting, Sarma won the Japan Prize International for the radio documentary All Buds to Bloom (1980), ABU (Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union) Award for the radio documentary Caution: Danger Ahead (1982), Prix Futura Berlin Commendation certificate for the radio documentary All Lips to Smile (1983).

Sarma�s body, which was flown in tonight from New Delhi, will be kept at the Rabindra Bhawan campus here for enabling the people to pay their last respects. His last rites will be performed at the Navagraha crematorium with full state honours tomorrow.

He leaves behind his wife, a daughter and a son besides a host of relatives.

Governor Banwarilal Purohit condoled Sarma�s death. Purohit termed him as a great writer and said that his death was an irreparable loss for the State. He also conveyed his sympathies to the bereaved family members.

Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal also condoled his death. In his message, Sonowal said that Sarma�s contributions would remain milestones in Assamese social life and act as inspiration to succeeding generations.

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Arun Sarma passes away

GUWAHATI, March 27 - Eminent playwright and novelist, and winner of both Sahitya Akademi and Sangeet Natak Akademi awards, Arun Sarma passed away at Medanta � The Medicity hospital in Gurugram near New Delhi this morning.

He was 85 and had been ailing for some time.

Sarma who strode the arena of Assamese drama like a colossus for six decades, gave a new dynamism to the Assamese drama movement and aligned it with the focal trend of global dramatic literature. Known for his penchant for experimentation, Sarma�s unconventional approach in terms of both theme and treatment is borne out by many of his plays.

Born in Dibrugarh on November 3, 1931, Sarma passed his Matriculation from Tezpur Government Boys� HS School and later graduated in Education from Cotton College, Guwahati. After a brief stint with The Assam Tribune, he joined the All India Radio (AIR), Guwahati and had an enduring and fulfilling association with it.

A prolific writer, Sarma made his foray into the world of drama with his play Urukha Poja in 1952 that drew critical acclaim after it was staged at Tezpur and Guwahati. Sarma himself used to acknowledge that the laurels he received from his first play remained a lifelong inspiration. His plays have been broadcast by AIR Guwahati since 1953. In total, he wrote around 45 plays for radio.

Some of Sarma�s well-known plays are Jinti, Sri Nibaran Bhattacharyya, Parashuram, Purush, Kukurnesia Manuh, Ahar, Chiyor, Buranji Path, Padma, Kunti Ityadi, Anya Ek Adhyay, Poster Agnigarh, Napoleon Aru Deserie, Baghjaal, Chakrabyuha, Aditir Atma Katha, Chitralekha, and Robes of Destiny (a trilogy in English).

Sarma�s novels include Ubhala Shipa (The Root Upturned), Aashirbador Rong, translated into English as On a Wing and a Prayer, Sankalpa, Niriha Ashroy, and Baghjaal.

During his long association with AIR, Guwahati (from 1960 to 1986), Sarma also headed the Educational Broadcasting Section, and did pioneering work in using radio as a potent medium for supplementing classroom education. He had a six-month training stint on Radio Programme Production in BBC, London, in 1969. Through the 1970s and 1980s, he was instrumental in shaping the Drama section of AIR, Guwahati. During this period he wrote and directed around 45 plays and a number of radio documentaries for the Guwahati station as well as for All India Radio�s national programme, and received three international best awards for his documentaries.

He served as Station Director of All India Radio, Dibrugarh (1986-89) and retired from government service as Director, AIR, North East Service from Shillong in 1990.

Sarma had the rare distinction of having won the Sahitya Akademi award for Aashirbaador Rang in 1998 and the Sangeet Natak Akademi award for his contributions to drama in 2003. A recipient of the Assam Valley Literary Award in 2005, he won the Asam Sahitya Sabha�s Best Playwright Award for two consecutive years. He was honoured with Padma Shri in 2010 and also the Sankaracharyya Avatar Award for Literature in 2010.

In addition to his plays, novels and poetry works, Sarma edited a large number of plays, wrote scripts for tele-films and radio documentaries.

For radio broadcasting, Sarma won the Japan Prize International for the radio documentary All Buds to Bloom (1980), ABU (Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union) Award for the radio documentary Caution: Danger Ahead (1982), Prix Futura Berlin Commendation certificate for the radio documentary All Lips to Smile (1983).

Sarma�s body, which was flown in tonight from New Delhi, will be kept at the Rabindra Bhawan campus here for enabling the people to pay their last respects. His last rites will be performed at the Navagraha crematorium with full state honours tomorrow.

He leaves behind his wife, a daughter and a son besides a host of relatives.

Governor Banwarilal Purohit condoled Sarma�s death. Purohit termed him as a great writer and said that his death was an irreparable loss for the State. He also conveyed his sympathies to the bereaved family members.

Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal also condoled his death. In his message, Sonowal said that Sarma�s contributions would remain milestones in Assamese social life and act as inspiration to succeeding generations.