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Arun Sarma: The pride of Assam
Noted playwright and littérateur Arun Sarma is the lone Assamese to figure in the list of Padma awardees announced on January 25. He will be honoured with the Padmashree for his lifetime and untiring contribution to the field of art and literature.
THE ENTIRE cultural and literary fraternity of Assam, the Northeastern state of Assam exalted in joy after the Padma Awards were announced in the eve of Relublic Day.
The reason to celebrate was of course the Padmashree that was announced for noted playwright and littérateur Arun Sarma. Sarma, a doyen of Assamese culture and literature is the lone Assamese to be selected for this coveted award. He will be honoured with the Padmashree for his lifetime and untiring contribution to the field of art and literature.
Sharma shot into fame with his first play ‘Urukha Poja’ (The dripping hut) in 1952. From then, there was no looking back. Till date, he has to his credit more than 20 popular stage plays and a double of equally successful radio plays.
Arun Sarma had set a definite standard for drama in Assam unparallel till today apart from elevating radio plays to a never before height. Starting his career as a teacher, Arun Sarma served the All India Radio station in Guwahati in the capacity of its director for a considerable period and that too with elan during which he received accolades and admiration from one and all. His contribution to the field of academics and literature is also immense. He is also a proud recipient of the Sahitya Akademi Award for his novel, “Axirbaador Rong”, (The colours of blessings). Arun Sarma is also the only Assamese to have been conferred with both the Sahitya Akademi and Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards. Lately he was also adorned with the Assam Valley Literary Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Axom Xahitya Xabha, the apex literary body of Assam.

An elated Sarma, while sharing his first reaction with media persons in Guwahati on the evening of January 25, 2010, thanked the people of Assam for the love and acceptance showered on him all these years.
Some of the other honours of the Padma Awards for the Northeastern region of India were shared by Haobam Ongbi Ngangbi and Rajkumar Achouba Singh in the field of art from Manipur; Ayekpam Tomba Meetei again from Manipur for exemplary service in the arena of social work, while the solitary Padmashree recipient from Mizoram was Lalzuia Colney in the field of literarture and education.

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