Due to the unusual situation arising from the Covid pandemic, the central event of the silver jubilee celebrations of the award (1995—2020) was held online via a special webinar on Kati bihu day, the 17th October 2020, coinciding with the 105th birth anniversary of Munin Barkotoki.
Here is the poster of the event.
At the outset, Meenaxi Barkotoki, Managing Trustee, welcomed all the attendees of the Webinar and briefly explained the purpose of the meeting. It was followed by a slide show presentation in which past awardee and distinguished poet Kushal Dutta gave a quick overview of the 46 awardees who have won the award in the last 25 years. It needs to be mentioned that the award has been given away every year since its inception in 1995 to one or two promising writers.
The main focus of the meeting was the special silver jubilee lecture titled ‘Asamiya Sahityat Sristixilota: Sambhavona aaru Pratyahban’ delivered by distinguished writer and academic Prof. Madan Sarma. In his speech Prof. Sarma also spoke about the literary achievements of the awardees and their contribution to present day Assamese literature.
Another attraction of the meeting was a preview of three books that are on the pipeline and will be published and released soon in the market. Two of them are selected pieces from the writings of the Munin Barkotoki Awardees, one in Assamese titled ‘Dristi aaru Sristi’ to be edited by past awardee and noted essayist Jyoti Khataniar, and the other in English translation titled ‘Unchartered W(e)aves’ edited by Pradip Acharya and Meenaxi Barkotoki and which will be published by Papyrus. Attendees were treated to a short video which gave a brief peep into the making of the Assamese edition of a fictionalized biography of Munin Barkotoki titled ‘Barkotokir Pom khedi’ by Shisir Basumatary; the English version titled ‘The real Mr. Barkotoki’ has already been published by Speaking Tiger and has received considerable acclaim.
The meeting was moderated very ably by Kakoli Bora and ended with a vote of thanks.
The full video of the programme is available on YouTube