DHUBRI: A doyen of celluloid and creator of Devdas on the silver screen, Pramathesh Chandra Baruawas remembered on his 69th death anniversary here under the auspices of Dhubri Xahitya Xabha and the royal family members of Gauripur in Dhubri district at the Xabha auditorium on Sunday. At the onset of the programme, floral tributes were offered at the portrait of Jnanpith award winner Dr Mamoni Raisom Goswami.
As an appointed speaker, retired professor and prominent writer, Akkabar Ali Ahmed spoke at length on the life and works of Barua and said that he was a contemporary of Jyoti Prasad Agarwala and it was a coincidence that the memorable creation of Agarwala-Sati Joymoti -and Barua'sDevdas were both released in the same year -1935.
The memorial meeting was also addressed by former vice-president of Axam Xahitya Xabha, Pachugopal Chakraborty, Lutfar Rahman, Azahar Hussain Sheikh and Barua's grand-daughter Mousumi Barua. The memorial meeting was presided over by Dhubri Xahitya Xabha president Udayan Chakraborty.
Later talking to The Sentinel, Mousumi Barua said that Pramathesh Chandra Barua entered films at a time when Indian cinema and its filmmakers were shaping its identity. She added that Barua himself had a big hand in leaving his own indelible mark in the annals of Indian film history. "Skilled in all aspects of filmmaking, Barua was Bengali cinema's biggest star. When he appeared as Devdas in Dhaka, all the cinema houses were shut as the whole city wanted to have a glimpse of their hero in person performing on stage," Barua added.
She also said that born into a royal family, this prince-turned-actor-director changed the theatrical manner of stylized acting into the conversational manner of real-life situations. His rise as an actor-director was matched with tragic failures in his personal life. Strangely, the last stage of his life resembled that of the hero he made famous - Devdas. Elderly people close to the royal family account that alcohol became his nemesis, he was consumed by tuberculosis and died an untimely death.
Pramathesh Barua was born on October 24, 1903 in Gauripur of erstwhile Goalpara district. He was the son of Raja Prabhat Chandra Barua of the Gauripur royal family. Barua did his schooling from Hare School, Calcutta. In 1924, he earned the Bachelor of Science degree from the Presidency College, Kolkata. Then he went to Europe, where he came to know about films.