DIBRUGARH, Dec 2 - Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has called upon the people to keep alive Chaolung Siu-ka-pha�s principle and ideology of hard work and harmonious co-existence in a bid to build a stronger and more vibrant Assam. Attending the Asom Divas function on the Dhemechi Higher Secondary School playground today, Sonowal recalled the first king of the Ahom kingdom and architect of Bor Asom, adding that Siu-ka-pha was an embodiment of hard work and indomitable spirit. �The way he overcame the challenges of his times during his journey from Yunnan province to Assam and established the great Ahom kingdom exemplified his courage and vision which should be studied more extensively. It was not an easy task for the great king to build a harmonious society in a land of myriad cultures, languages, customs and traditions. However, he made this possible with his visionary strategies and policy of assimilation,� he said.
Stating that Prime Minister Narendra Modi through the Act East Policy has set the goal to transform Assam and the North East as an important destination for the South East Asian countries, the Chief Minister called upon the people to march ahead to realise this avowed goal by taking Siu-ka-pha�s ideals along. He said there is a need for further interaction between the people of the north-eastern region and the South East Asian countries and exchange of information about their shared history.
Highlighting the State government�s initiative to keep alive Siu-ka-pha�s ideals, Chief Minister Sonowal informed that steps are being taken to promote the art and culture of all large and small communities, besides observing the birth and death anniversaries of various legendary figures of these communities. He also said that steps are being taken for setting up a �Swargadeo Samannay Khetra� at Charaideo in memory of the 42 Ahom kings, apart from installation of Siu-ka-pha�s statue on the Janata Bhawan premises. He said that while the State government has set up a Siu-ka-pha chair at Dibrugarh University, the Central government has declared Sivasagar, known for its rich heritage of Ahom era, as an iconic site.
On the occasion Chief Minister Sonowal presented the Siu-ka-pha Award to noted litterateur Yeshe Dorjee Thongchi. The award consists of a gamocha, chabkan, hengdang, safura and a cheque of Rs 3 lakh.
Among several other awards, Thongchi is also a recipient of the prestigious Padma Shri and Sahitya Akademi Award for his work in literature and education.
Thongchi hails from Arunachal Pradesh. He was born to the late Tashi Phuntsu Thongchi and the late Rinchin Chojom Thongchi in Jigaon village in West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh. Although Assamese is not his mother tongue, Thongchi started his literary works in Assamese since his school days as the medium of instruction in those days was Assamese. Junbai, a poem published in 1967, is his first literary work.
Sonowal lauded Thongchi for his role in developing better bonhomie among the people of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.
While renowned Tai scholar Pushpa Gogoi delivered the keynote speech, Thongchi shared his experience on the occasion.
The programme was also addressed by Minister of State for Cultural Affairs (i/c) Naba Kumar Doley, Minister of State for Revenue and Disaster Management (i/c) Jogen Mohan, MPs Kamakhya Prasad Tasa and Topon Kuman Gogoi and MLA from Moran LAC Chakradhar Gogoi. Secretary of Cultural Affairs department Madhurima Sen Baruah delivered the welcome address.
The Chief Minister along with the other dignitaries also released a souvenir titled Dhemechi on the occasion.
The Asom Divas celebration was organised by the State Department of Cultural Affairs in association with the Dibrugarh district administration.