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‘Govt should promote works of Soso Tham’

SHILLONG: Promotion of the works of Khasi litterateur U Babu Soso Tham in collaboration with his relatives and family members should be accorded top priority by the Department of Arts and Culture, said R.G. Lyngdoh, Vice Chancellor, MLCU, on Friday while speaking at a solemn function to mark the 75th death anniversary of the renowned poet.
Lyngdoh urged M. War, Director of Arts and Culture, to set up a project with the assistance of the poet’s family members to fulfill their long cherished dream of transforming the poet’s home at Saitsohpen into a heritage site, drawing reference to a news item on The Shillong Times on Friday.
Lyngdoh viewed that observance of his death anniversary was not enough as it was necessary to highlight the bard’s teachings on a regular basis.
“Soso Tham’s works needs to be understood and his teachings emulated so that as a community we will not remain stagnant,” Lyngdoh said.
“Youths today lack role models and Soso Tham can fill the gap by becoming their role model. He was a man not overly obsessed with his roots as he was an open minded poet as evident in his poems,” he added.
Lauding Soso Tham’s literary prowess, Lyngdoh said, “He was a man who was bigger than normal, his works has made him 10 feet tall and bigger than life, for he wrote   with passion. If we are to preserve culture and environment then the best thing to do is to go back to his writings.”
Lyngdoh also pointed out that through his writings he documented Khasi legends and traditional beliefs. Taking cognizance of the growing unrest in the State, Lyngdoh said an initiative to document the indigenous customary laws and practices in the State, which may have been misinterpreted, should be done.
Jeane S. Dkhar from, Dept. of Hindi, Lady Keane College, gave a thematic presentation of Soso Tham’s works and recited a few lines of some of his famous poems in Hindi.
M. War, Director, Arts & Culture, in her speech said, “We are yet to do justice to all his works.”
She recalled late Dr. Bhupen Hazarika, a prominent Assamese musician who viewed Soso Tham as a man who took poetry writing to new heights and made tremendous contribution to advance the Khasi literature.
Desmond Sun, noted Khasi singer, enthralled the audience with his soulful renditions.
Prior to the official programme, students from different schools, NGOs, family members of Tham and other dignitaries paid floral tributes to the poet.

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