Rest in Peace: Notable people we bade Goodbye in 2017
2017 was an emotional year of saying goodbye to beloved history makers from the worlds of entertainment, literature, journalism, politics and sports. As the year comes to an end, G Plus remembers the famous faces of Guwahati who passed away this year and looks back at their lives, careers and the lasting memories they left behind!
1. Biju Phukan (Actor) - The man who epitomised the expression of on-screen romance with his smile, left for his heavenly abode on 22nd November 2017.
Celebrated Assamese cinema actor Biju Phukan passed away at a city hospital following a cardiac arrest. A legendary figure of Assamese cinema, Biju Phukan had played various roles in more than 80 films. His film journey started with Assamese thriller Dr Bezbarua in 1969, after which there was no looking back for him. He not only acted in Assamese films, but Bengali films as well. He was also a known name in stage acting.
As the evergreen actor moved to a better world leaving behind a void that can never be filled, his contribution to Assamese film fraternity will certainly remain the roots that the upcoming generations will hold on to as ‘Axomiya’ identity.
2. Rima Sharma (Journalist) - In a tragic accident, journalist of a leading news channel, Rima Sharma passed away after a speeding truck hit her on GS Road in front of Dona Planet in Guwahati on the midnight of 26th August.
Local people immediately rushed her to Guwahati Medical College Hospital (GMCH), but the team of doctors declared her dead soon after seeing the condition. While the truck fled the scene after hitting Sharma, it was identified and seized a week after the incident and the driver Golap Thakuria (38) was arrested by Bhangagarh Police.
Prior to her last rites being performed at Navagraha, Rima was paid rich tributes at her work place and Guwahati Press Club. Various media organizations along with a number of civil society groups and individuals expressed shock at her tragic death.
3. Abdul Majid (Film personality) – Veteran Assamese film and theatre personality Abdul Majid passed away on 24th September at the age of 86. Majid, a veteran actor, director and playwright, was admitted to the hospital on September 23. He died following a heart attack at GNRC hospital.
Popularly known as Majidka, he was a prolific dramatist who performed a kaleidoscope of roles in over 200 plays and worked for promoting new talent. While Majid had made seven films in a span of 48 years, he also made over a dozen short films and documentaries, the most significant being one on Bahadur Gaonburha (real name Sheikh Bahdil).
Majid, who had last served as Cultural Officer with Assam State Electricity Board (ASEB), also directed over 100 plays on the amateur stage and about 50 plays for mobile theatre groups, apart from acting in about 30 films and 200 stage plays.
4. Radhika Mohan Bhagawati (Journalist) – Radhika Mohan Bhagawati, veteran Guwahati-based journalist and editor of Dainik Asam, oldest Assamese daily newspaper, passed away on 30th September this year.
Author of over a dozen Assamese books including Raktajaba, Ejan Raja Asil and Banariya Phool, he had won the Sahitya Akademi translation award in 1991, apart from other awards like the Shiva Prasad Barooah National Media Award (2009), Birendra Kumar Bhattacharyya Award (2009), the ‘Sadin’ Journalism Award (2015), RN Borooah & Pratibha Borooah Lifetime Contribution Award (2016) and the first Republic Day Journalism Award instituted by the Assam government (2017). Bhagawati was also chairman of Media Trust, successor to the Committee for Celebration of 150 Years of Journalism in Assam.
5. Bidisha Bezbaruah (Actress) – Assamese actor and singer Bidisha Bezbaruah was found dead at her residence in Gurugram on 18th July.
Bidisha, who was a well-known name in the Assamese film industry, was lauded for her brilliant performance in Xanto Xisto Hristo Pusto Mohadusto. She even anchored a few stage shows and shared the stage with popular singer Angarag Papon Mahanta during a Radio Mirchi event.
A native of Assam and an alumnus of Indian Institute of Mass Communication, Bidisha had also featured in several TV shows, acted in plays and made a small appearance in a song sequence in Jagga Jasoos.
6. Arun Sarma (Writer) – Renowned playwright and Sahitya Akademi Award-winning novelist Arun Sarma died on 27th March at a private hospital in Delhi after a brief illness.
Sarma, who was born in 1931 in Dibrugarh district, had written more than 50 plays and books in his career. He also won a number of awards, including Padma Shri, Sahitya Academi award and Assam Valley Literary award.
Sarma was one of Assam’s contemporary playwrights, particularly known for his unconventional plays. In 2005, Sarma designed, scripted and executed a son-et-lumiere (sound-and-light show) describing the history of Assam which is played daily at the Sankardeva Kalakshetra in Guwahati every evening.
7. Dolly Das (Folk singer) – Dolly Das, the globally renowned Assamese folk singer and researcher from Assam, passed away on December 13 at the age of 67.
The noted singer had represented Assam on several international platforms. A great envoy of the folk music and culture of Northeast India to the outside world, Das specialized in ‘Kamrupiya Loksangeet’, ‘Gowalpariya Loksangeet’ and ‘Deh Bisar Geet’.
Apart from having 75 audio and video folk music cassettes to her credit, Das has also written five books. Moreover, she was a regular artist at the Doordarshan Kendra, Guwahati and Doordarshan Kendra, Dibrugarh. Das was also actively associated with various social and cultural societies.
Last October, the versatile singer was also conferred with the Vayashreshtha Samman Award by the Ministry of Social Justice and Employment. The award was presented by the President of India, Ramnath Kovind.
- Look back 2017
- Notable deaths of 2017
- Bidding goodbye
- Rest in Peace
- Guwahati Plus
- G plus