Arunachal: N Koley, Yumlam Tana Receive Lummer Dai Literary Award

Lummer Dai

The Arunachal Pradesh Literary Society (APLS) on Friday celebrated its 15th Foundation Day at the conference hall of JN State Museum with a day-long programme.

On the occasion, the Luminous Lummer Dai Literary Awards 2020 and 2021 were conferred by Sahitya Akademi awardee and APLS president Yeshe Dorjee Thongchi to Ramendra Nath Koley and Yumlam Tana.

The state’s highest literary award that carries a citation, a plaque, a shawl, a collection of books and a cash of Rs 10,000, was instituted by the apex literary body in memory of ‘Sahitya Surjya’ Lummer Dai, a pioneer novelist and above all, a leading light in the world of Assamese literature.

N Koley was conferred with the Luminous Lummer Dai Literary Award 2020 jointly with noted educationist from Assam, Chandra Borpatra Gohain. But the award function, which is usually conducted on June 1 on late Dai’s birthday, could not materialize then due to the COVID-19-induced restrictions.

Borpatra Gohain, who started his career as school teacher in Arunachal Pradesh in 1952 and retired as Sub Area Organizer of SSB, was however presented the award last year itself when a Thongchi-led delegation visited his Guwahati residence on 29th December 2020.

Koley, an eminent author working in the Research Department, Govt of Arunachal Pradesh, has been conferred with the prestigious award for his literary work on different subjects ranging from anthropological to socio-cultural aspects of the different tribes of Arunachal Pradesh.

Koley has authored eight books, including ‘Ekante’, a collection of poems in Bengali, ‘Amlakhi Bane Basanta’, a novel in Bengali, ‘Udit Surjar Deshe’, a narrative on the potentialities of tourism in Arunachal Pradesh, an autobiography titled ‘Dr. Daying Ering: The Great Visionary’, amongst others. He also co-authored 14 other books along with other writers.

Yumlam Tana, a poet, novelist, short story writer, fine artist and cartoonist is one of the pioneers in English writing from Arunachal Pradesh.

Tana, presently serving his native district Kurung Kumey as deputy director of school education (DDSE), appeared at the horizon of Arunachal literature in 1997 with his debut comic novel ‘The Wooing Of Jiwt’ followed by another comic novel ‘The Struggle For Existence’ in 2003 thus becoming one of the first writers of comic novel in India. 

He also became one of the most acclaimed English poets from North East India with his two anthologies of poetry book, ‘The Man and the Tiger’ (1999) and ‘The Wind Also Sings’ (2015).

Apart from conferment of Lummer Dai Award, YD Thongchi was also felicitated by the APLS family for being conferred with the prestigious Padma Shri award by President Ram Nath Kovind last month.

Release of books including the one titled ‘The Monster of Golden Valley and other tales from Arunachal Pradesh’ (the translated version from the original one in Malayalam penned by Padma Shri awardee Sathyanarayan Mundayoor aka Uncle Moosa) and ‘Sanghal Samudra Xoikot’ (a travelogue) written by Assam’s noted writer Atanu Bhattacharyya marked the APLS Foundation Day celebration.

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