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Jnanpith awardee Indira Goswami passes away

 

HEMANTA PHUKAN | Guwahati, November 29, 2011 11:03
Tags : Mamoni Roisom Goswami | indira goswami death | ulfa |
 

Barely twenty five days after the demise of Dr Bhupen Hazarika, Assam witnessed yet another massive blow. Eminent litterateur and Jnanpith awardee, Dr Indira Goswami passed away at 7:45 Tuesday morning at Guwahati Medical College Hospital.

Hospital sources said that she had suffered a severe cardiac arrest last night at 11 pm and was put on ventilator. Earlier on February 13 this year, she was admitted to hospital following lung infection and breathing problems.

Popularly known as Mamoni Roisom Goswami, she had taken the initiative to be the peace facilitator between the underground ULFA and the Central Government in the middle of the last decade.

Responding to her appeal, ULFA had constituted People’s Consultative Group (PCG) with different sections of the Assamese society including media persons. The committee had three rounds of talks with the Centre, one of them being with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

PM had sent a letter to the ULFA through Goswami stating that the government was ready to discuss all the ‘core’ issues, however, did not mention the main demand of the ULFA ‘sovereignty’.

Goswami, a retired Delhi University Professor, had published several creative and scholarly works in Assamese and English. An expert of Ramayani studies, she received the prestigious Jnanpith Award in 2000 and Sahitya Akademy Award for her famous Assamese novel Mamore Dhara Tarowal (The Rusted Sword) in 1983.

She also received Assam Sahitya Sabha Award 1988, Bharat Nirman Award in 1992, Katha National Award for Literature 1993 and Kamal Kumari Foundation National Award in 1996.

She served as India’s first Principal of Prince Clause International Laureate instituted by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2008. For her unparallel scholarly work in the field of Ramayani studies, she was awarded the International Tulsi Award from Florida University.

Goswami was also awarded D Lit. Degree from Rabindra Bharati University, Rajiv Gandhi University and Indira Gandhi National Open University. Dr Goswami was awarded the Ambassador for Peace from the Inter Religious and International Federation for Peace. She refused the Padma Shri in 2002.

A woman of remarkable insight and passion, Dr Goswami wrote popular novels which include ‘The Moth Eaten Howdah of a Tusker, Pages Stained with Blood, The Man from Chinnamasta, etc.

Meanwhile, the Assam Chief Minister, Tarun Gogoi, has condoled the demise of the litterateur. In his message, Gogoi said that the death of Dr Goswami has created a vacuum in the literary field in the state.

ULFA commander-in-chief Paresh Baruah and the newly appointed chairman Dr Abhijit Barman of his faction also condoled the death of renowned litterateur. In a joint e-mail to the media Baruah and Barman said, “Goswami would be remembered in history for correctly presenting ULFA’s goal, purpose and philosophy to Government of India. Baideu (elder sister) has a special place in the heart of every ULFA member and we will remember her at every step of our movement.”

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Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017