Keshab Mahanta passes away

The demise of the man who gave sensuousness a new dimension through use of imagery that brought alive the rhythm of the descending mists and the smell of the harvest, has created a void in the cultural world of Asom. As the news spread, people flocked to the residence of the poet to pay their last homage. Born in the year 1926, Mahanta had served in various capacities as teacher, editor, writer of children literature, translator and actively participated in the freedom movement. A socially committed writer, Mahanta depicted the pangs of the exploited class in his poems. His patriotism, and the cry of his soul has been reflected in his poems like Jaano Anupam, Moi Ahisilo: Aangulit Khon Goni, Aayojan Shesh and others.
If beauty and intoxication of the skies and earth mattered more in the poem Thok Meli Dhane, humanity and universalism were the pivotal ideas around which his poem Singshar Chikmik was developed. The Axom Xahitya Xabha conferred on him the Raghunath Choudhary Award for his collection of verses titled Tomar Tez.
It was for the lyric Jai Jawan, Jai Kishan that Mahanta received an award from late Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri. The Sahitya Akademi award came in recognition of his lyrics in 1993 for the collection Mor Je Kiman Hepah.
People from across the State have expressed their grief at the sudden demise of the man who ushered in a new dawn in lyric writing. “He was a man who penned his lyrics for the cause of humanity,” said Khagen Mahanta.
Pulak Banerjee, Birendra Nath Dutta, Hiren Bhatta, Monisha Hazarika and many others from the literary and cultural fields, while expressing their sorrow, described Mahanta as a man who belonged to the world of rustic simplicity.
Several organizations like AASU, AGP, BJP, APCC, Asom Lekhika Samaroh Samity have condoled the death of Mahanta who was consigned to the flames at around 4.45 p.m. at the Navagraha cremation ground here.
Earlier, his body was decked in floral grandeur and taken to the office of CPI, Seuj Sangha, AIR, Guwahati, Asom Gana Natya Sangha, Rabindra Bhawan, Swahid Nyas, where fans paid their last tribute to the departed soul.