TEZPUR, Jan 17: Several organisations here, including the Tezpur Sahitya Sabha, Rupkonwar Samadhi Kshetra, Trimurty Udyan, Jyoti Bharati, Lekhika Samaroh, Asomiya Bhasa Unnati Sabha, Ban Theatre and others, paid rich homage to Rupkonwar Jyotiprasad Agarwala on his 68th death anniversary today, observed as the Silpi Divas across the State.
Tezpur Sahitya Sabha president Hemanta Kumar Baruah and other dignitaries paid tribute to the cultural icon in a programme organised under the aegis of the literary body. In his speech, Baruah stated that Agarwala dabbled in politics for the cause of the common masses. �Agarwala tried to usher in a classless society by creating a conducive atmosphere for both the rich and the poor,� he added.
Tezpur MLA Brindaban Goswami, who is also the president of Trimurty Udyan, opened the tribute-paying programme at Trimurty Udyan. AGP leader Birendra Prasad Baishya, who was also present in the programme, observed that the people of Assam should follow the ideals propagated by Rupkonwar to protect Assamese language, culture and literature.
At the Ban Theatre, the programme was opened by its president, Pulin Bhattacharya, who, in his speech, stated that Agarwala brought about a renaissance in Assamese literature and culture, which helped in establishing its identity as a separate language and not as an offshoot of the Bengali language.
In 1935, Agarwala pioneered the Assamese film industry by making the first Assamese film, Joymoti, Bhattacharya said, adding that Rupkonwar�s plays, poems, short stories, journalistic writings, songs and music have inspired generations of people not only in Assam but also in the North East.
In 1930 after returning from the Edinburgh University and Germany where he had studied Economics and filmmaking respectively, Agarwala plunged into the freedom movement after coming into close contact with Mahatma Gandhi who had stayed at Agarwala�s ancestral home, �Poki,� when he came to Tezpur. During the Quit India Movement of 1942, under Agarwala�s fearless leadership, people, particularly in north Assam, came out and courageously faced British bullets. Agarwala was also jailed and to escape imprisonment, he had to frequently go underground.
The Assamese people should not remain complacent by observing the Silpi Divas alone every year; rather they should follow the ideology of the cultural icon for the enrichment of the Assamese society, Bhattacharya maintained.