Sambalpur may get a language research centre

5oriasameseA six-member team of Asam Sahitya Sabha today visited the house of eminent Assamese poet Lakshminath Bezbarua in Sambalpur. The members of the team were Manik Ahmad, R. Dora, Qutabudhin Ahmad, Jadab Sharma, Devprashad Tanugda, and president of the Asam Sahitya Sabha Rong Bong Terang. Lakshminath Bezbarua, during his stay in Sambalpur between 1917 and 1932 had lived in a house near Kacheri.

The house, in which he had stayed, is in a dilapidated condition. Another house where Bezbarua used to meditate is being used as the office of the revenue inspector of Sambalpur. “Lakshminath Bezbarua had given the property to  his eldest daughter Aruna,” said Deepak Panda, writer of the book Sambalpur  Sambalpur. “Further, the property  was handed over to Omkarmal Poddar. Bezbarua’s daughter might have sold  this property to Poddar. In 1977, as the government revoked the lease, the matter went to court. The case has remained pending before the high court since 1985. Now the Assam government is eager to preserve the house and convert this building into a memorial, namely the Bezbarua Smruti Bhavan,” he added.

“The eldest of the three daughter of Bezbarua, Aruna stays in Calcutta. Bezbarua left his last breath while he was in his daughter’s house in Dibrugarh in 1938,” he added. Bezbarua was honoured with the Sahitya Akademi award. He was married to one of the nieces of Rabindranath Tagore. Bezbarua set a high literary standard through the monthly periodical magazine Banhi which he edited and published. In the seventh volume of 21st year of the Banhi, he mentioned that he had come to Sambalpur in 1917. The city feels proud that one of the greatest litterateurs of Assamese language, Lakshminath Bezbarua, stayed here for 15 years of his life. Bezbarua used to work for a timber company and was posted in Sambalpur during 1917 to 1932,” said a local resident.

“We want to convert the buildings into a place where research on Oriya and Assamese literature can take place. We have also discussed the matter with the chief minister of Orissa,” said RongBong Terang. “Assam governer J.B. Pattanaik suggested us to visit this historical place,” he added.  “We also want to convert the place into a monument. But our hands are tied as the matter is already in the high court,” said Hemant Dash, collector of Sambalpur.

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