Is this the best time to be an Assamese?
Perhaps so, as one after another, not one or two but half a dozen icons have captured the national imagination, giving Assam a pedestal it has longed for decades.
Never before in so many diverse fields ranging from judiciary to Sports, Cinema to environmentalist a host of icons from Assam burst into the national and international stage.
Be it Ranjan Gogoi. Rima das, Hima Das, Adil Hussain, Hriday Hazarika or Purnima Burman, all of sudden the sons and daughters of the soil are everywhere, toast of the nation.
The biggest them of is Ranjan Gogoi. No one from Assam have reached this height and that too through sheer merit . There was President Fakharuddin Ali Ahmed and Congress President Devkanta Barua who also rose to the top. But their ascend was political.
Not only Ranjan Gogoi has emerged as some sort of hero of judiciary for the common man of whole nation, but has captivated the entire Assam’s judicial fraternity as he began as a junior lawyer in 1977 and then rose to become a High Court Judge and eventually became the Chief Justice of India.
Nothing much should be said about Rima and Hima Das as both continue to rock. Rima’s film Village Rockstar was nothing sort of miracle as she was the producer, director, camera person and editor of the film which has no known cast. Today it is on way to win Oscar.
On the other side Hima has electrified not only her village, state but the whole nation with her superlative performances in the track and field. She not only won medals in the track & field all over the world, but she won the nation.
Last night she was with Sachin Tendulkar, the sporting icon of the nation, as she was conferred with yet another award.
Next is Adil Hussain, the most famous Assamese face in Bollywood. he needs no introduction. His journey from Goalpara to B.Barooah College to Oscar is also nothing sort of miracle. Adil Hussain starrer Norwegian film “What Will People Say” is the story of a Pakistani family who lives in Norway. The film has been selected as Norway’s official entry to the Oscars.
Meanwhile the newest kid on the block is Hriday Hazarika,16 year old World Champion in Shooting. India’s teenage shooters continue to shine at the world stage who won gold in the junior men’s 10m air rifle event at the ISSF World Championships in Changwon, Korea, via a nerve-wracking shoot-off.
Fortunately, he has been shielded off by the family for more concentration and in the coming year, more medals are expected from him. If all goes well, he will get more medals than Hima.
Hima is going to face very tough competition on way for Tokyo 2020 and at this moment she does not have a realistic chance to make into the Olympic cut unless she cuts off at least two seconds from her recent timing, something not very easy with just 18 months in hand.
Then there is Purnima Burman, the Hargilla Army women. Purnima Barman, who known as the force behind the ‘Hargila Army’ and for her efforts for the conservation of the Greater Adjutant Stork and its habitat, has won the Whitley Awards 2017. This award is also know as the ‘Green Oscars’.
Purnima has mobilised followers into the ‘Hargila Army’, an all-female team of conservationists dedicated to protecting the greater adjutant stork which, through this programme, are offered sustainable livelihood, training and education opportunities. The project is giving marginalized women a voice. Together they are changing local perceptions and numbers of stork nests have risen from 30 seven years ago to over 150 today.
Whatever may be the results in Oscar or in Tokyo 2020 but the fact remains the Assamese have arrived in the big stage and have been able to give an image of positivity, something every Assamese has been longing for decades.