ITANAGAR ( By Pradeep Kumar ): Arunachal Pradesh literary luminary Yeshe Dorjee Thongchi, who was conferred prestigious Padma Shri (for literature and education in 2020), has been chosen by Assam government for Sukaphaa Award.
The Award comprising Rs three lakh, a citation and a traditional angabastra, given every three-year, would be given to Thongchi, Arunachal Pradesh Literary Society founder-president, by Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal at Moran on December 2 next coinciding with Axom Divox.
Previous recipients of the award were noted Assamese scholars Ranbong Terong & Bimal Barpatra Gohain and Marathi writer Siddharth Thakkar.
In fact, first Ahom King Chaolung Sukaphaa, a Tai prince from Mang Mao had arrived through the Patkai Hills, to establish Ahom Kingdom in 1228 to rule Assam for nearly 600 years and in the process had unified various indigenous ethnic groups of the region that left a deep impact on the region. Thus Axom Divox (Assam Day) is celebrated since 1996 to commemorate the advent of the first king of the Ahom kingdom.
About Yeshe Dorjee Thongchi
Thongchi, born on 13.06.1952 to late Tashi Phuntsu Thongchi and late Rinchin Chojom Thongchi at Jigaon village of West Kameng district, began his literary pursuit from his school days. Although his mother tongue is a dialect called Sherdukpen spoken by few thousand people, but he started writing in Assamese language which was the medium of instruction in then NEFA. His first poem Junbai was published in 1967 in an Assamese children’s magazine of same name when he was followed by some patriotic poems in some leading Assamese newspapers and magazines.
It made him popular as a poet amongst his teachers, fellow students, friends and other residents of town of Bomdila, headquarters of then Kameng Frontier Division. Due to encouragement received from his teachers for writing one act plays on the life of tribal people of NEFA and on patriotic theme, Thongchi wrote many one act plays and staged at several places.
‘Himantar Dabanal Fire at Border’, one of his one act plays, was amalgamated with another such drama to present it at National Dramatic Festival at Bangalore. He joined civil service in 1977 and inducted to Indian Administrative Service in 1992 but is the second longest serving DC or collector o India and known as prolific writer.
He had received Sahitya Akademi Award-2005 for Assamese novel Mauna Outh Mukhar Hriday, Phulchand Khandelwal Sanghati Bata award-2001, Bhasha Bharti Award-2005 from Mysore-based Central Institute of Indian Language, Basudev Jalan Award from Axam Xahitya Xabha and annual Bhupen Hazarika Award 2017 from Pune based organisation, in recognition of outstandingliterary contribution at national and international levels.
A prolific Assamese writer, whose books have not only won literary awards but have also been made into award-winning films, namely In The Land of Poisonous Women and Mishing – based on his books. These films were awarded Rajat Kamal in regional cinema category during National Film Awards-2019.