Rich tributes paid to legendary Assamese artist Purushottam Das

The 106th birth anniversary of legendary Assamese musician Purushottam Das was recently observed in a glittering function organized by the Amguri Puberun Cultural Organisation of Sivasagar district and Sangeet Khanikor Purushottam Das Smriti Raksha Samiti, Guwahati, in collaboration with the Assam directorate of cultural affairs at the premises of Amguri Auniatia Hemchandra Dev Higher Secondary School.

The function started off with the lighting of the traditional lamp by the principal of the school, Amarjyoti Borthakur, who delivered a brief speech. The state’s eminent music director and composer Ramen Choudhury, who is an adviser of the Smriti Raksha Samiti, laid a wreath at the portrait of Purushottam Das.

After this, adviser of Smriti Raksha Samiti–Ramen Choudhury, president Kumar Deepak Das, executive president Abani Ranjan Pathak, cultural secretary Bipul Baruah, cultural president Dimbeswar Das, Sangeet Khanikor Purushottam Das Smriti Raksha Samiti awardee for 2023 – Umananda Dowerah and other office bearers were felicitated.

Kabin Das, one of the editors of the Samiti, explained the purpose of organizing this event.

Noted theatre artiste and director Prashant Sharma spoke about various aspects of Purushottam Das’ life in his speech as the chief guest.

The cultural evening got going with a chorus performance by a group of artistes from Amguri Nabin Library, based on a composition by Purushottam Das, followed by renditions of Purushottam Das’ timeless creations.

On the occasion, an audio-visual song composed by Purushottam Das, rendered by Kabin Das and Dhritishree Devi, was released by Jogesh Kishor Phukan, a noted writer and resident of Amguri.

The highlight of the evening, however, was the presentation of the Sangeet Khanikor Purushottam Das Smriti Raksha Samiti Award for the year 2023 to Umananda Dowerah, a renowned archivist of Assam’s musical heritage. Dowerah’s own museum – Umananda Gramophone Record Museum and Research Centre, located at his residence in Moran, houses more than 5000 records that include the original voices of Jyotiprasad Agarwala, Bishnu Prasad Rabha, Phani Sarma, Anandiram Das, and many other iconic figures of Assam, besides the original record of the first Assamese song “Phulu Phulile Jonaye Hahile”, recorded in the voice of singer, composer and stage actor Prafulla Chandra Barooah in 1924, as well as Lakshminath Bezbaroa’s “O Mur Apunar Desh”.

An accomplished music teacher and artiste, Dowerah has been painstakingly collecting old and rare records for several decades now, which are carefully documented and preserved in a scientifically protective environment. He also owns a number of gramophone record players of various shapes and forms.

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About Prantik Deka


Prantik Deka writes regularly on culture for leading English dailies - The Sentinel and The Assam Tribune. Prantik has produced a number of serials and documentaries under his banner of Roopkar Cine Enterprise. His most important works include a documentary series titled ’70 Years of Assamese Film Industry’.