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Assam theatre personality Ratan Lahkar dies at 77

Ratan Lahkar was the founder-producer of Kohinoor Theatre, Assam's leading mobile theatre company.

Written by Samudra Gupta Kashyap | Guwahati | Published: January 29, 2017 6:31:46 pm
RATAN LAHKAR  KAHINOOR THEATER FASTIVAL AT IGNC IN NEW DELH *** Local Caption ***  RATAN LAHKAR   KAHINOOR THEATER FASTIVAL AT IGNC IN NEW DELH EXPRESS  PHOTO BY AMIT MEHRA  21 APRIL 2010 Lahkar contributed immensely towards shaping the mobile theatre industry, said Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal. Seen here is Lahkar at the Kohinoor Theatre Festival at IGNCA, Delhi, in 2010. (Express Photo by Amit Mehra) 

Leading Assamese theatre personality, founder-producer of Kohinoor Theatre – a leading mobile theatre company of the state – passed away here on Sunday afternoon following protracted illness. He was 77.

Born in 1940 in village Rampur near Pathshala, about 120km from Guwahati, Lahkar had first appeared on the stage when he was just nine years old, and took to theatre as his profession, founding Kohinoor Theatre in 1976. Known for the ground-breaking changes in mobile theatre by introducing innovative measures in terms of technique, acting, presentation and direction, Lahkar had also tried his luck, though unsuccessfully, in electoral politics by contesting as an independent candidate for the Patacharkuchi LAC in the 2006 election.

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One of the leading groups among the 40-odd mobile theatre companies in Assam, Lahkar’s Kohinoor Theatre also holds the distinction of being the only one to have performed in the national capital in 2010 at the invitation of the National School of Drama.

Condoling his death, Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal said Lahkar’s innovative ideas and experiments had taken the mobile theatre industry to new heights. “Lahkar was a producer, director, playwright and actor whose Kohinoor Theatre, over the decades, contributed immensely towards shaping the mobile theatre industry into a huge sector that provides employment to several thousand people apart from taking entertainment to every nook and corner of the state. His death has caused irreparable loss to the state’s cultural scene, especially in the field of mobile theatre,” Sonowal said.

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