BARPETA, June 20 - Noted painter-filmmaker Pulak Gogoi and Sattriya dance exponent Sailen Saikia were today presented this year�s Kalaguru Bishnu Rabha Award at a function held here on the occasion of Rabha Divas.
The awards were formally handed over to the eminent cultural activists by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal. Each award carries a gamosa, a seleng chadar, a citation, a sarai and a cheque for Rs one lakh. The awardees, in their acceptance speeches, expressed gratitude to the government for selecting their names for this prestigious award.
Addressing the gathering, Sonowal appealed to the State�s youths to engage themselves in the process of development so that Assam can emerge as the best State in the country on all fronts. He emphasised that Kalaguru too had dreamt of establishing Assam as a strong entity on the global stage through the unity of people and participation of youths. Referring to Rabha�s song �O Asomiya deka dol�, the Chief Minister said the clarion call given by Rabha to the youths clearly indicated that he attached maximum importance to realising their potential.
Referring to the revolutionary in Bishnu Rabha, Sonowal said Kalaguru wanted emancipation of the downtrodden and the underprivileged section of society, which is also one of the most relevant issues of the modern times.
�If the condition of the downtrodden does not improve, development of India in the truest sense will never be possible,� Sonowal said and added that youths must come forward to lead the society and they will have to become the future leaders.
Sonowal also paid rich tribute to the late artiste Purushottam Das on his death anniversary today and also wished Gokul Pathak, a comrade of Bishnu Rabha, sound health and a long life.
Cultural Minister Naba Kumar Doley, Barpeta MLA Gunindra Nath Das, media advisor to the Chief Minister Hrishikesh Goswami also addressed the meeting.
Jorhat MP Kamakhya Prasad Tasa, Lahowal MLA Rituparna Baruah, State Commissioner cum Secretary (Cultural) Pritam Saikia, Director of Cultural Affairs Deba Prasad Mishra, Barpeta DC Thaneswar Malakar and a host of politicians, social workers and officers attended the meeting.