The Bakul Bon award was conferred on folk artiste Kamala (Jayanta) Gogoi at the Asam Sahitya Sabha office here on Saturday.
Gogoi, who hails from Morijhanji near Teok in Jorhat district, is a renowned singer of Dihanaam and Tokari geet.
The award which is given annually by the Bakul Bon Trust, Assam and the Asom Bakul Bon Samaj to an exponent of folk art, music or literature, carries a cash prize of Rs 20000, a citation, a seleng sador and a packet of books.
Samiran Bordoloi, president of the Trust and in-charge assistant secretary of Asam Sahitya Sabha, who gave away the award, said that Kamala Gogoi had compiled all the extant Tokari Geets in an invaluable 300 odd pages book.
The book contains the origin of the lyrics besides an analysis of the songs.
“Kamala Gogoi might be considered young at 40 to be given an award but his output is such in the field of folk song that it matches that of an eighty-year-old,” Bordoloi said.
Bordoloi said that an identity of a people depended on its folk culture.
“Outside the state if you dance the Bihu or sing the Dihanaam, you will be immediately identified as an Assamese but not by reciting the Gita,” he said.
Lakhikanta Mahanta, Xatradhikar of Ujonial Xatra, Teok in the district, praised Gogoi who was popularly known as Jayanta, for retaining the purity of Dihanaam.
“Dihanaam has a religious basis but now it has become adulterated and is sung here and there without the reverence which should be accorded to it,” he said.
Gogoi entertained the gathering with snatches of Dihanaam along with his troupe and explained when and how the khol and nagera, both percussion instruments got incorporated in the singing of Dihanaam.
He also related that Bhupen Hazarika had penned Dihanaams and had lamented that the passing away of Srimanta Sankaradeva had left a huge gap in the folk based culture of the state, which was true.
Gogoi further said he was indebted to Pitambar Deva Goswami, Xatradhikar of Auniati Xatra who had been the first to recognise his talent and give him the platform to perform before an august gathering.
Saumitra Pujari, secretary of the Trust read out the citation which enumerated Kamala Gogoi’s contribution in these spheres and his renown from Sadiya to Dhubri.
Pujari further said the Bakul Bon Trust was committed to propagating and elevating folk music and literature which was the root of a person’s being.