GUWAHATI, March 9 � The Padmanath Vidyabinod literary award and the Bhuparjatak (Globe-trotter) Ramnath Biswas literary award, instituted by the Ramanath Bhattachaya Foundation, Mumbai, were presented to Assamese poet Hirendra Nath Dutta and Bengali poet Swapan Sengupta of Tripura respectively at a function held at the Vivekananda Kendra here today.
Both the awards carry a cash prize of Rs 51,000, a citation and a memento, besides a specially designed scarf. The function, conducted by chief adviser of the foundation and veteran poet-journalist Sukumar Bagchi, was attended by a number of distinguished personalities.
Accepting the award, Dutta said that he was very happy to receive the award given in the name of Pandit Padmanath. Sengupta hailed the foundation�s activities in the fields of literature and culture.
The Padmanath memorial lecture on the development of Bodo poetry could not be delivered personally by Dr Pramod Chandra Bhattacharya due to his illness. However, the written lecture was incorporated in the memorial souvenir. While delivering the Ramnath Biswas memorial lecture, a retired professor of Calcutta University, Dr Biswabandhu Bhattacharya dwelt at length on the imageries used in modern Bengali poetry.
Both Padmanath (1868-1938) and Ramnath (1894-1955), in whose names the two awards are given, were born in Baniachang under Habiganj subdivision in the Sylhet district of undivided Assam.
Padmanath had a bright educational career spending major parts of his life as a professor in Cotton College, Guwahati and was actively associated with literature and historical research of Assam with his pioneering research work titled Kamarupashasanavali. He was also instrumental in the establishment of the Assam Research Society and was also one of the founder-members of the Asam Sahitya Sabha.
On the other hand, Ramnath had participated in the Indian freedom struggle as a member of the famous Anushilan Samiti and later travelled four continents of the world on a bicycle, which earned him the title of �Bhuparjatak� (globe-trotter). He had written over 30 travelogues.
The awards aim at establishing a closer cordial relationship between the Assamese and the Bengali communities.
A souvenir edited by Sukumar Bagchi and published on the occasion by the foundation was released by noted intellectual and editor of Janasadharan, Dr Sivanath Barman.
He hailed the foundation�s efforts in bringing the Assamese and the Bengali communities closer by deciding to give its awards to one Assamese poet and a Bengali poet together.