By Our Reporter
SHILLONG: The 72nd Death Anniversary of the legendary Khasi poet, U Soso Tham, was observed with solemnity in the city here on Tuesday.
Separate functions were held in memory of the poet in different places where the statue of the legend was erected-Sohra, where the two life-size statues of U Soso Tham were erected recently, State Central Library premises and NEHU campus (Khasi department).
Sohra being the birth-place of the legendary poet on Tuesday observed his death anniversary by paying floral tribute to the poet at Cherra Teacher’s Training Centre, Nongsawlia and at the premises of the office of Syiem of Sohra at Upper Sohra where sculptures of U Soso Tham were recently installed.
Present at the occasion were Sohra MLA Dr PW Khongjee, SDO Sohra, Syiem of Hima Sohra, magistrates besides others. The floral tribute was followed by a cleaning drive in and around Sohra area mainly the tourist spots.
In another occasion, the KSU central body, FKJGP and family members of the poet paid floral tribute to the poet at U Soso Tham Auditorium.
U Soso Tham was born in 1873 in Sohra. He was the first poet to initiate secular literature with diction, both singular and genuine and also the first person to make use of Khasi idioms in a form taken mainly from English poetry.
He is basically remembered for his beautiful poems. His Ka Duitara Kshiar (The Golden Harp, 1925) – a compilation of poems, is one of the most distinguished works. He is widely regarded as the greatest icon in the literary history of Meghalaya.
Meanwhile, the KSU Mawlai Circle also paid floral tribute to the poet at NEHU campus (Khasi Department) where the bust of the poet was erected in 2007 by the union. Members of the different units observed a two-minute silence as a mark of respect to the legendary poet.
Addressing the gathering, president of the KSU Mawlai circle Donboklang Kharlyngdoh rued the fact that instead of commemorating the death-anniversary of the legendary poet, most of the Dorbar Shnong are all out, taking advantage of this state holiday and conducted cleaning drives.
“It is sad to witness that this day is being compared to a day of a sweeper. Instead of organising something worthwhile like quiz or debate or a discussion, we however, see cleaning drives being conducted everywhere which only implies that people don’t care much about this day”, Kharlyngdoh said.
KSU NEHU unit president Robert Kharjarin echoed the same points stating that it’s not only the language that keeps the identity of a community alive but a part of history which explains the true the identity, lifestyle and culture of a community also contribute to the growth and progress of a community.
Further calling upon the youth to follow the footsteps of the Khasi peot, KSU Environment secretary Joe Marbaniang said “U Soso Tham had dedicated his whole life for bringing light to the indigenous community in the form of his poetries and writings and it is our duty to follow his footsteps and leave something worthwhile for our future generations”.
Meanwhile, the Department of Arts and Culture organised a function to commemorate the poet’s death anniversary at U Soso Tham Auditorium on Tuesday from 11 am onwards.