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The Son of Assam : Renowned Literay Figure of North East Late Hari Prasad Gorkha Rai

Shri. Hari Prasad Gorkha Rai renowned literary figure of the North East  former Executive Member of General Council of Sahiya Akademi. Late  Hari Prasad Gorkha Rai (15 July 1914 - 14 November 2005) was a well-known Indian Nagaland-based Nepali language writer. He was long associated, along with other writers at the time, with two major literary organizations Pashupati Sangh (1929) and Tarun Sangh (1930) and the Axom Xahiyta Xabha.

He was a proud Gorkha and was born in the headquarters of the then Naga Hills. From the age of eight years his father started teaching him with his limited knowledge of the Ramayana and Mahabharata, and the Devanagari and Assamese scripts. The highest school education in the Naga Hills was the Kohima Govt. Middle English School. He completed it in the year 1930, securing first division with marks above 80 per cent in all subjects. Thus winning a monthly scholarship of Rs.10/- per month., he joined Jorhat Govt. High School.

He started his career as a teacher. Later he served the All India Radio at Guwahati and Cuttack as Assistant Director. He also translated Birendra Kumar Bhattacharya 1955 novel Lokraj During his service , as a Teacher, the 2nd World War broke out and he was appointed by then authorities in various capacities, such as, Community Development Officer (CDO), SDO in the Road & Bridges Department and also as, Camp Commandant in the Indo-Burma Border for Rehabilitating Burmese and other Refugees.
He attended training at Shantiniketan, Kolkata and Delhi for advanced knowledge in Sanskrit, Hindi and other Indian Languages.

He took voluntary retirement from service in 1968 and joined the Regional Political Party United Front of Nagaland (UFN) and subsequently he was nominated as official candidate for contesting the Assembly election from 9th- Kohima Town assembly Constituency in the year 1969. He was renowned literay figure, whose litarary works was appreciated nationally and internationally. He started his literary journey in the year 1931, while he was studying at Jorhat High School and his first poem was published in the school magazine name “JYOTI”.

He was a linguist par excellence as he was fluent in Assamese, Hindi, Manipuri, Bengali, Oriya, Angami besides his mother tongue (Nepali). His contributions of various Assamese literary works in famous magazines like BAHI, ABAHAN, RAMDHENU, HOUMAR JYOTI, ARUNACHAL, MANIDEEP including various periodicals and journals earned him the title “Gorkha”. He also translated many of his Assamese works into Hindi and Nepali. He also compiled Hindi, Nepali dicsnary in association with his colleagues in the year 1979 and edited dictionaries of mant other languages.

Few of his notable books in Nepali language are, “ YAHA BADNAM HUNCHOU” (Stories), “BABARI” (Poems), and “MANCHARI KO BOLI” (Poems). His Nepali literary works were published in various magazines/Periodicals/Journals like “UDAY”, “GORKHA”, , “HIMADRI”, “TARUN DIYALO”, “USHA”, “BHARATI”, HAMRO KATHA”, KATHA BHARATI”, “SUMAN, “DIYALO”, HIMALI SUSKERA”, “HAMRO ASTITVA”, “KHUDKILO”, “YUGREKA”, “HAMRO DHWANI”, “DIYO” etc.

It may be pertinent to ention here that, “Camp Uthyo” a poem and “Gorkha Ko Modal” is included in the Syllabus of West Bengal and Sikkim Board of School Education.
In 1997, he wrote a series on the topic “Nagaland- Treasure House of Languages “ for which Shri. Hari Prasad Gorkha Rai was invited for the 5th International Congress of Applied Linguistic Conference” held at Canada in 1978 to represent Nagaland. This conference was organized by the University of Montreal and Canada University jointly. But due to unavoidable circumstances, he could not attend the said conference.

AWARDS:-
1. Padma Dhungana Puruskar: 18th July 1995 confered by Sahitya Kala Niketan, Guwahati
2. Jagadambi Shree Puraskar: 2nd October 1996 by Madan Puruskar Guthi, Kathmandu, Nepal
3. Parasmani Smriti Puraskar: 26th February 2000 by Nepali Sahitya Adhyan Samiti, Darjeeling
4. Agam Smriti Puraskar: 26th April 2000 by Sikkim Nepali Bhasa Parisad, Gangtok, Sikkim
5. Phulchand Khandenwal Samhati Award: 9th May 1999 by Assam sahitya sabha, Golaghat, assam
6. Assam Nepali Sahitya Sabha Puraskar: 1st August 2005 by Assam Nepali Sahitya Sabha, Sonitpur, Assam

FELICITATION/APPRECIATION
1. Literacy Lifelong pension, Government of Assam
2. Bhasa Sangrami Pratik, Bharatiya Nepali Rashtriya Parishad, Gangtok, Sikkim
3. Sahitya Honorary Fellow of Sikkim Akademic
4. Samman Sammilan 2004

Lt. Hari Prasad Gorkha Rai was also an active social worker. He initiated to open LP. Schools in Chandmari & Aradhura, Kohima during Pre-Independence time, which are now known as Govt. ME. School Chandmari and Govt. LP. School, Aradhura. He maintained a routine of Yoga exercise, strict diet and timely rest. After living a long exemplary life of 95 years, he breathed his last on the 14th November 2005 at his birth place, Chandmari, Kohima after a prolong illness.


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