Hirendra th Dutta presented Assam Valley Literary award
BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, April 18: The Assam Valley Literary Award was presented to renowned poet and litterateur Hirendra th Dutta by the Williamson Magor Education Trust at an award giving function organized at the Pragjyoti- ITA Centre for Performing Arts at Machkhowa here on Saturday.
Distinguished poet Sitanshu Yashaschandra graced the occasion as chief guest and presented the award to Dutta.
In his acceptance speech, Dutta said, “As an Assamese poet, I have arrived at the realization that presently poets of all tiolities are experiencing an uncertain prospect concerning the future of mankind. On the one hand, through technology we are enjoying the benefits of marvelous mechanical tools and on the other, reckless competition is going on among different countries to increase or acquire nuclear weapons. Dastardly acts of homicide are committed almost everywhere. Poets and thinkers are using their pens in protest against such barbarism.”
He further said, “Presently the wave of globalisation sweeping the world has affected us all. I have a feeling that by getting fascited with the English language, our new generation has grown somewhat apathetic towards the Assamese language. The ability to speak our mother tongue fluently and correctly is an imperative for all Assamese people. Otherwise, we will be transformed into aliens in our own birthplace,” adding, “Assamese culture can be permanently preserved by Assamese language only. This plain truth is well worth observing. Of course, I cannot ignore the importance of English now-a-days. Under such circumstances, let me uphold the conviction that we should assiduously develop our skills in both languages.”
Born in 1937 at Titabor, Dutta has to his credit several collections of poems, two collections of critical essays and has also edited an anthology of Assamese poetry.
His poetry is marked by unusual and impressive imagery, density of form and a characteristic poetic diction that mages to project the tremor and confusions of our age without being cynical. Dutta is also the recipient of Sahitya Akademi Award in 2004.
In his speech, chief guest Sitanshu Yashaschandra said, “In Assamese poetry, one finds some of the most telling depictions of river as a formidable frontier and as a vast passage. Hirendra th Dutta has quite a different take on rivers and voyages. His poem ‘The Song of the Fishermen’ tells us of distances of a different kind, distances that come from cracks in our contemporary Indian society, deep fissures that are difficult to cross and dangerous if not bridged,” adding, “Juxtaposed with Nilamani Phukan’s poem on the one hand and vakant Barua’s on the other, Hirendra th Dutta’s poem could be read more fully, within the context of Assamese poetry.”