“The Centenarian Culture”
P.K. Baruah 9401201068 (m)
It was in the year 1899- just 115 years agos some farsighted cultured youths of Sivasagar town came forward to give birth to an organization what is now called as “Sivasagar Natya Samaj”. Sivasagar Natya Mandir is the building of Sivasagar Natya Samaj. Among hundreds of people whose sweats and toil has made Natya Mandir what it is today, I would like to mention the names of a few whose contribution towards formation of this great organization of the N.E. India cannot be and should not be forgotten. First of all I would like to mention the names of a few persons whose contribution towards formation of this organization ios simply superb. These great souls are (all late) Radhika pd. Baruah, Bhabani Pd. Baruah AND Tarini Prasad Baruah. These three highly cultured brothers spared no pain in establishing this towering Natya Mandir. In the course of its glorious existence of more than hundreds years-many such good souls contributed lot for its development and growth. Some great personalities like FormerChief Minister of Assam Late Bimala Prasad Chaliha, Former M.L.C. Late Bhuban Chandra Gogoi, former M.P. Prafulla Chandra Barooah, former minister Puspa Dhar Chaliha, former president of Assam Sahitya Sabha Late Padmadhar Chaliha and M.P. Late Parag Chaliha and personalities like Sahaja Nanda Bharali, Phatik Chaliha, Lakshmi Bhusan Baruah, Dr. Asanullah, Tara Prasad Chaliha, Siva Prasad Baruah, Amrit Lal Gohain, Govind Chandra Baruah, Haresh Rajkhowa, Phunu Baruah, Harindra Nath Bhagawati, Ganesh Changkakoty, Sudhir Baruah, Kamakhya Prasad Baruah, Bhupendra Nath Ghosh, Girija Prasad Baruah and many others contributed throughout the long period of 115 years of existence. These people are no more in this world but they should be remembered with respect for their noble deed. Frankly speaking these people laid a red carpet at Sivasagar for drama and culture by forming such a great organization.
Since 1899- the inception of Sivasagar Natya Samaj- the building of the Natya Mandir has changed thrice and the present one being fourth which was inaugurated in October 1996 with conriibutions from public, members central and state government, ONGCL etc. The present building was renovated under the astute leadership of Late Parag Chaliha at a cost of nearly 1 crore. It is not only a theatre hall but a cultural complex having an auditorium of nearly 1000 capacity, an art gallerydepicting Assamese rural life, 5 green rooms 5 guest rooms, a modern stage, a library, two conference rooms and lobbies.
This one hundred and fifteen years old organization has been a premier cultural organization of the N.E. India which has been dedicatedly working for the growth, promotion and publicity of Assamese culture and drama. This historic cultural organization crossed its 100th years of glorious existence in 1999 and the occasion was celebrated in a grand manner with a year long programme. The closing ceremony was celebrated with a week long programme of drama, cultural functions, symposium on drama, cultural procession, public meetings and felicitations etc.
Sivasagar Natya Samaj stages full length drama regularly, holds rural one act play competition in every alternate year in order to bring out the rural drama talents. Another fascinating programme undertaken by the samaj is the “Moumel” a childrens programme which is held once in every month for the physical and also held development of the children. Drama and dance worshops are also held time to time. The samaj participates in all India drama and cultural events and also invites dramatic and other cultural troops for performance at Natya Mandir.
Presently Natya Mandir is the only big auditorium in Sivasagar where over and above cultural functions, all sorts of meetings etc. are held and hence it is one of the most public utility building of Sivasagar.