Guwahati: Paying tribute to Jyotiprasad Agarwala for his contribution to the cultural landscape of Assam, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Monday stressed the importance of creative pursuits for its universal appeal while keeping intact the flavour of one’s roots.

Recalling Agarwala’s endeavours in filmmaking, poetry, music composition, writing and cultural activism, Sarma said that the versatile man had taken an immense risk in making the first Assamese feature film Joymoti’ way back in 1935, which eventually paved the way for other filmmakers, an official statement said.

The chief minister was speaking at a Silpi Divas’ programme to mark the filmmaker’s death anniversary.

Agarwala always spoke about the masses through his creations and inspired the Assamese youth against oppressors during the freedom struggle while making them believe in their strengths, he said.

Besides the cultural activist, doyens of the era like Bishnu Prasad Rabha and Phani Sarma ushered in a new era of Assamese cultural resurgence and galvanised people with their creativity, he said.

Their influence was all-pervasive through their music, drama, writings and films, Sarma said.

Noting that Agarwala had transcended regional boundaries with the universal appeal of his creations while keeping the Assamese spirit intact, Sarma urged people to work for the preservation of the language, literature and culture of the state.

The chief minister presented Silpi Award 2022 to eminent artistes Aparna Bujarbaruah and Pulak Banerjee on the occasion, the statement said.

He also handed over Bishnu Rabha Award 2021 to painter and sculptor Sonaram Nath and folk artiste Dron Bhuyan, Natasurya Phani Sarma Award 2021 to dramatists Abinash Sarma and Upakul Bordoloi, and Bir Raghav Moran Award 2021 to educationist and litterateur Dr Upen Rabha Hakasam.

Silpi Pension for the year 2021 was given to 50 people .

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