Noted Assamese poet Nilmani Phookan, who was awarded with the highest literary honour 'Jnanpith Award' in December, last year, received the award at a function at Rabindra Bhawan in Guwahati on Monday.
This is the third time that someone from Assam has received the Jnanpith Award.
The Chief Minister of Assam, Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma presented the award to the renowned poet.
Notably, the awards were presented for the first time in Assam.
The award has been conferred to the author for his lifetime contribution in literature. Birendra Kumar Bhattacharyya and Mamoni Raisom Goswami had won the award before him.
Taking to Twitter, CM Sarma shared a moment from the event. He wrote, "Sharing a memorable moment from this evening’s Jnanpith Award, 2021 distribution ceremony where Kabya Rishi Nilmani Phookan recites a few thought-provoking lines from one of his creations."
Jnanpith Award is the oldest and the highest Indian literary award presented annually by the Bharatiya Jnanpith to an author for their "outstanding contribution towards literature". Instituted in 1961, the award is bestowed only on Indian writers writing in Indian languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India and English with no posthumous conferral.
Nilmani Phookan is an Indian poet in Assamese language and an academic. His work, replete with symbolism, is inspired by French symbolism and is representative of the genre in Assamese poetry. His notable works include Surya Henu Nami Ahe Ei Nodiyedi, Gulapi Jamur Lagna, and Kobita.
He was awarded the 1981 Sahitya Akademi Award in Assamese for his poetry collection, Kavita (Kobita). He was awarded the Padma Shri by Government of India in 1990 and received the Sahitya Akademi Fellowship, the highest literary honor in India, given by Sahitya Akademi, India's National Academy of Letters in 2002.