Assam: Assamese Poet Nilmani Phookan Bags Jnanpith Award

The prize was given to the author in recognition of his lifelong devotion to literature.

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  • Nilmani Phookan is not only one of the greatest living poets in the world but he is an institution in himself.  

GUWAHATI:  Noted Nilmani Phookan, an Assamese poet, has received the highest literary honour, the ‘Jnanpith Award.’  The prize was given to the author in recognition of his lifelong devotion to literature.

After Birendra Kumar Bhattacharyya and Mamoni Raisom Goswami, Nilmani Phookan has received the prize. In 1981, the author received the Sahitya Akademi Award.

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The Bharatiya Jnanpith Honor is India’s oldest and highest literary award, given yearly to an author for “great contribution to literature” by the Bharatiya Jnanpith.

The prize, which was established in 1961, is given solely to Indian authors who write in Languages of India listed in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India and English, and it is not given posthumously.

Nilmani Phookan is an intellectual and an Indian poet who writes in the Assamese dialect. His work is full of symbolism and is indicative of the genres in Assamese poetry. It is influenced by French symbolism. Surya Henu Nami Ahe Ei Nodiyedi, Gulapi Jamur Lagna, and Kobita are some of his best-known pieces.

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In 1964, he began his teaching profession at Arya Vidyapeeth College in Guwahati, where he remained till 1992. He has also interpreted poems from Japan and Europe into Assamese. In 1997, he got the Assam Valley Literary Award, and in 2002, he was granted the Sahitya Akademi Scholarship, India’s highest literary accolade, bestowed by the Sahitya Akademi, India’s National Academy of Letters, and designated for “literary immortals.” Dibrugarh University gave him a D.Lit. in 2019.

For his poetry book, Kavita, he received the 1981 Sahitya Akademi Award in Assamese (Kobita). In 1990, the Government of India bestowed the Padma Shri upon him, and the Sahitya Akademi Fellowship, India’s highest literary accolade, was bestowed upon him by the Sahitya Akademi, India’s National Academy.


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