Noted Assamese poet Nilmani Phukan won the 56th Jnanpith Award and Konkani short story writer and novelist Damodar Mauzo won the 57th Jnanpith Award for their contribution to Indian literature on Tuesday.
Phukan is the most revered name in Assamese poetry. Phukan has been described as a "sage-like presence" in Assamese literature.
His canvas is vast, his imagination mythopoeic, his voice bardic, his concerns ranging from the political to the cosmic, from the contemporary to the primeval.
The landscapes he evokes are epic and elemental: he speaks of fire and water, planet and star, forest and desert, man and rock, time and space, war and peace, life and death. And yet, one finds not merely a sage's reflective detachment here, but urgency as well as anguish and a deep sense of loss.
He has written thirteen volumes of poetry. Some of his immortal creations include Surya Heno Nami Ahe El Nadiyedi, Manas-Pratima and Phuli Thaka Suryamukhi Phultor Phale.
Moreover, Padma Shri Phukan was conferred with Sahitya Akademi Award in 1981. Assam Valley Literary Award (1997), Sahitya Akademi Fellowship (2002) and many more. His works have been translated into many Indian and foreign languages.
Meanwhile, Damodar Mauzo is the most prolific contemporary Konkani writer and has been writing for more than the last fifty years and has footprints in many genres that include short stories, novels, criticism and children literature. However, short stories remained his forte and love.
The themes of Mauzo's stories are bold and many are women-centric; his narratives are unconventional and even philosophical at times.
He speaks about human relations, social change, male chauvinism, caste, religion and other facets of humanity in his creations. Although his creations are mostly set in Konkani frames, the ideas gained him Pan-Indian appreciation.
Damodar Mauzo has penned six short story collections, four novels, two biographical sketches besides literature for children.
His works have been translated into many Indian and foreign languages. Some of his important creations include Angvaan, Khilli, Karmelin, Sood, Goembab and Tsunami Simon.
He is the recipient of many coveted awards that include the Sahitya Akademi Award, Goa Kala Academy Literary Award, Konkani Basha Mandal Literary Award and many more, Damodar Mauzo remains a doyen of Konkani literature even today. (ANI)