Born in 1933, Beni Chandra Jamatia is a self-taught folk songwriter and composer

Agartala: Beni Chandra Jamatia of Tripura has been conferred with the prestigious Padma Shri for his contribution in the field of literature and education. The fourth highest civilian award of India — after the Bharat Ratna, Padma Vibhushan and Padma Bhushan — was conferred on Jamatia on the occasion of 71st Republic Day recently.

Born in 1933, Jamatia hails from Maharani in Gomati district, according to his grandson Kahamnuk Jamatia, and is also the father-in-law of former Tripura minister Nagendra Jamatia.

Tripura chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb congratulated the Padma Shri awardee through his tweet, as he wrote, “I congratulate Shri Benichandra Jamatia of our state on being awarded with prestigious Padma Shri for his immense contribution in the field of Literature and Education. It’s a matter of pride for the entire state and I wish him all the best for his future endeavours”.

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“He was a self-taught person and even though he did not had the exposure to the formal education but, his parents taught him at home about the Puranas by narrating it in Kokborok language to him,” his grandson added.

Jamatia’s book — Dormo Lam bay Kok Borok Baul — was published by Kokborok Sahitya Sabha Karimani in 1992, which was also translated into English — The Path of Dharma and Kok Borok Devotional Songs.

Earlier last year, the Padma Shri was conferred to eminent surgeon Rathin Datta, gymnast Dipa Karmakar, tennis player Som Dev Dev Varman and folk music artist Thanga Darlong from the state.

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