Dibrugarh: A memorial bust of Assam's cultural icon Rupkonwar Jyoti Prasad Agarwala was unveiled by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal during his 117th birth anniversary celebrations at his birthplace Tamulbari Tea Estate in Dibrugarh, 15-km from here on Monday.
Jyoti Prasad who is known for his immortal films like Joymoti and Indramaloti was born to Parmananda and Kiranmayee Agarwala in Tamulbari tea estate on June 17, 1903.
His forefather, Nabrangram Agarwala had come to Assam in 1811 from Rajasthan's Marwar region. Young Jyoti Prasad spent the better part of his childhood in the tea garden before moving to Tezpur for his studies. He studied at different schools in Assam and Kolkata and in 1926 he went to Edinburgh to study Economics. Thereafter he underwent a 7-month stint in film making in Germany following which he made Joymoti, the first-ever Assamese film which was released in 1935. The talented filmmaker and playwright also known as 'Rupkonwar' also composed nearly 300 songs before passing away on Jan 17, 1951, in Tezpur at the young age of 47. Some of his immortal compositions include popular songs like 'Ture Mure Alokare Jatra', 'Seuji Seuji Seuji O', 'Luitor Parore' etc. His death anniversary is celebrated as Shilpi Divas (Artists' Day) in the state.
Hailing Jyoti Prasad as the trailblazer of Assamese film and theatre and guiding light of the Assamese society, Sonowal urged the people of the state to follow the footsteps of the cultural icon. The CM also recalled his priceless contribution to Assamese culture art and society. Jyoti Prasad's eldest daughter Jayashree Chaliha and other family members, ex-Asom Sabha president Nagen Saikia,
Vice Chancellor of Srimanta Shankardev University, Kandarpa Kumar Deka, Dibrugarh MLA Prasanta Phukan, Lahowal MLA Rituparna Baruah were among those present in the program.
The CM also released a book titled 'Ancestors of Jyoti Prasad' written by prominent author Debi Prasad Bagrodia.
The management of Tamulbari tea company private limited has already begun the preservation and restoration work of the residence and place of birth of Jyoti Prasad Agarwala under 'Project Jyoti Tirtha'.