Guwahati: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu conferred upon the prestigious Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi Award for National Integration and Contribution for the year 2021 to eminent writer, scholar Dr. Nirode Kumar Barooah, Kasturba Gandhi National Memorial Trust, Assam Branch and Shillong Chamber Choir, Meghalaya in the presence of Governor of Assam Prof. Jagdish Mukhi, Chief Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma and Cultural Affairs Minister Bimal Bora in a programme held at Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra in Guwahati on Sunday.
The award was instituted by the Government of Assam in the memory of the first Chief Minister of Assam Bharat Ratna Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi. The award is bestowed upon institutions and individuals from diverse fields in honour of their exemplary contribution towards national integration. The award carries a cash reward of Rs. 5.00 lakh, a citation and a shawl.
Germany based writer-scholar Dr. Nirode K. Barooah, alumni of Cotton College, Guwahati and University of Banaras, taught modern history at the University of Delhi.
He published several books and research paper on the Indian Freedom Movement with particular reference to Assam. He wrote several books both in English and Assamese language on historical themes.
Barooah who obtained a Dr. Phil. degree from the University of Bonn in 1975 had also been a member of the Association of the Foreign Press in Germany for some time. Kasturba Gandhi National Memorial Trust, Assam Branch was founded by Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi on January 9, 1946. The Trust initiated huge efforts to forge national integration and promote the ideals of non-violent resistance. The Trust has been contributing immensely for empowerment of women. Shillong Chamber Choir is an Indian chamber choir based in Shillong,
Meghalaya that was founded in 2001. It has performed in several national and international platforms and received much acclaim. Notable achievements of the choir include its performance at President Pratibha Patil’s presidential banquet at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on 8 November, for the U.S. President, Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, during their November 2010 state visit to India.
Speaking on the occasion Chief Minister Dr. Sarma paid rich tribute to Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi and said that he a visionary leader who laid the foundation of modern Assam. Dr. Sarma said that Bordoloi always stood for the interest of the people of the state and his stellar role, uncompromising attitude and commitment towards the state ensured that Assam remains an integral part of India.
Underlining Bordoloi’s role in India’s freedom movement and as Prime Minister of the provincial government of Assam, Chief Minister Sarma said that Lokapriya led the State during the most difficult times with immense fortitude and farsightedness.
Dr. Sarma said that Bordoloi with the blessings of Mahatma Gandhi vehemently opposed the proposal of the Cabinet Mission to put Assam in Group C along with then East Pakistan and it was because of his leadership that Assam remained a part of India. Lokapriya never compromised with the interest of Assam and played a stellar role in foiling the evil designs of Sadullah government, Dr. Sarma said.
Chief Minister further said that in the history of Assam, Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi would always be remembered for his stand against “Grow More Food” policy of Sadullah government, contribution towards inclusion of VI schedule in the constitution, creation of belt and blocks and stand against the grouping system of the Cabinet Mission. While Cultural Affairs Minister Bimal Bora delivered the welcome speech, the award ceremony was also addressed by Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Governor Prof. Jagdish Mukhi.