GUWAHATI, Aug 16 - Revealing several known and unknown facets of legendary singer Khagen Mahanta, a book, Khagen Mahanta � Asadharan Shilpi, Sadharan Manuh, a collection of write-ups by many of his close associates, was released today by eminent playwright Arun Sarma and educationist Dr Amarjyoti Choudhury in a function held at the Guwahati Press Club.
Besides his son and popular singer Angaraag Papon Mahanta, as many as 50 writers have contributed to the book, which has been published by Sahitya Prakash and edited by Partha Pratim Hazarika.
Addressing the gathering at the inaugural function, Arun Sarma said that the State would always remember Khagen Mahanta�s unparalleled contributions to the cultural world of Assam. �In Assam, Khagen Mahanta and All India Radio, Guwahati, were synonymous to each other. His songs touched and inspired both the rural and urban masses alike,� he said.
Recalling his personal association with the artiste, Sarma lauded the initiative of bringing out a book in his name as a befitting tribute to the singer.
�He was the personification of a spiritual entity, a folk artiste and a cultural rebel,� said Dr Amarjyoti Choudhury in his brief speech.
�His khol and borgeet presentations on the one hand and a deep-rooted love for folk music on the other, coupled with the rebellious characteristics of his voice, made him more versatile, transcending all boundaries,� said Dr Choudhury, adding that it was the responsibility of the entire society, and not just the family members, to publish the book as a tribute to the singer.
The book contains write-ups by Archana Mahanta, Ratna Oja, late Mahananda Sarma, Ranjan Kumar Dutta, Nanda Bennerjee, Nikunjalata Mahanta and Dr Pradip Neog among others.
Hoping that the book would help the coming generations to understand Khagen Mahanta in a better way, Angaraag Mahanta lauded the role of Sahitya Prakash and the Assam Tribune Group for bringing out the book. �The book has been brought out with much love and dedication,� he added.
Earlier, the editor of the book, Partha Pratim Hazarika gave a brief introduction to the book.
�A simple human being, Khagen Mahanta was the embodiment of pure Assamese music and culture. The book contains several such instances that reflect the artistic brilliance as well as inherent simplicity of the artiste. Even the unbiased write-up by Angaraag Mahanta gives an authentic account of one musician exploring the traits of another. Through the articles of his close associates and well-wishers, we can rediscover Khagen Mahanta in this book,� he added.