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Sunday, January 29, 2023

Assamese Mahanayak Nipon Goswami Reigned In Jollywood

His love for Assam is reflected in the major part of his life spent in Assamese films despite his connections with Bollywood. He like Bhupen Hazarika took upon himself the godfather role of introducing Assam to the whole of India. His films despite the commercial flavour never missed out on the social message. The long race that the octogenarian Nipon Goswami began as Child Artist in 1957 with Piyoli Phukan directed by Phani Sarma finally came to a glorious close as the evergreen Matinee idol reigning the stardom of Jollywood in Assam nay in India with Lankakanda released in 2022 directed by Rajani Sarma, In the world of Assamese Entertainment Industry, his name represents one of the most glorious eras of Assamese cinema.

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By: Dr. Ratan Bhattacharjee

He is the first formally trained actor in the Assamese Film Industry and is credited with acting in the highest number of Assamese films, serials, stage shows, and television serials. He has spent more than 50 years in this industry. He did nearly 46 films in Jollywood and Bollywood including the blockbusters like Mukuta Maanab aru Daanab, Sandhyarag, Ajoli Nabou, Apraupa, and Ghar Sangsar and Shakuntala aru Sankar, Joseph Ali and Bhabendranath Saikia’s Kaal Sandhya. ‘Kakaideuta  Nati aru Hati was his most popular film. It was released during the peak period of Assam Agitation in 1983. He played the Grandfather while Assam Chief Minister shared the screen by playing the role of the grandson. Born in Tezpur to an actor father and a singer mother, Goswami made his acting debut as a child actor in the Assamese film Piyoli Phukan. He graduated from the prestigious Film and Television Institute of India alongside prominent film industry veterans as a contemporary of Subhas Ghai, Navin Nischol, and Shatrughan Sinha.

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Despite his Bollywood connection, he was more committed to the Assamese film industry and he was the ‘Polestar’ of Assamese cinema with his role in nearly fifty films and captivated the hearts of the audience since the 1960s. In Bollywood he was a co-actor in Do Bhai, a Jeetandra – starter, and Do-Anjane starred Amitabh Bachchan. He had acted in seven Hindi films including Kalpana Lajmi’s Daman, and Rajkumar Kohli’s Virodhi among others. He completed his primary education at Kolibri LP School. His parents were part of the entertainment industry. The film was a passion for him and this actor with an inherent talent for acting; it was not a money-making business or a profession for gaining name and fame. In his personal life, he was a simple and jolly gentleman with a versatile intellectual ability. Once anyone meets him is unable to forget him as a man. This might have enabled him for creating magic for the audience. He passionately played his role and the diversity is outstanding.

His love for Assam is reflected in the major part of his life spent in Assamese films despite his connections with Bollywood. He like Bhupen Hazarika took upon himself the godfather role of introducing Assam to the whole of India. His films despite the commercial flavour never missed out on the social message. The long race that the octogenarian Nipon Goswami began as Child Artist in 1957 with Piyoli Phukan directed by Phani Sarma finally came to a glorious close as the evergreen Matinee idol reigning the stardom of Jollywood in Assam nay in India with Lankakanda released in 2022 directed by Rajani Sarma, In the world of Assamese Entertainment Industry, his name represents one of the most glorious eras of Assamese cinema.

Goswami was also actively associated with the state’s unique mobile theatre and had over the years been a part of Abraham, Kohinoor, Hangul, and Shakuntala theatre companies. He also acted in a few television serials including Ritu Aahe Ritu Jaai. Even the State Chief Minister recalled with reverence “his sensitive portrayal of different roles in several Assamese movies” which “will forever be etched in the minds of the people and his contribution to the film industry will be remembered forever”. Goswami lost his wife Ranjita Goswami around one and half years back. She was the pillar of strength and support for him. His son Siddhartha Goswami is a software engineer by profession and lives in Mumbai. But he is deeply interested in films and might soon take up a few films offers. He performed very well in Mission China and has kept the family’s legacy in acting alive. His wife, Kinkini, is also an artist and is into acting.

Pioli Phukan, his debut film was a black & white Assamese language film directed by Phani Sarma and released in 1955. The film is based on the life and struggle of a historical character of Assam, Piyoli Phukan, son of Badan Borphukan, who revolted against British rule. He was sentenced to death and hanged in 1830 at Jorhat. The film was produced by Gama Prasad Agarwalla under the banner of Rupjyoti Productions, Tezpur, Assam. Tezpur, Assam. Music was composed by Bhupen Hazarika. Pioli Phukan is the first Assamese film, which got national recognition. The film was honoured with the Certificate of Merit in State Awards. However, between 1935 and 1970 a total of 62 films were produced. Some of his known work can be seen in films like Dr. Bezbaruah (1970), Shakuntala Aru Sankar Joseph Ali (1984), Hiya Diya Niya (2000), Antaheen Jatra (2004), Borolar Ghor (2012) and Gaane Ki Aane (2016). Apart from his work, he was equally comfortable with films outside the Assamese film industry and has been a part of Hindi films like Do Bhai (1968), Jaggu (1975), Do Anjane, Kaal Sandhya (1991), Daman (2001) and Purab Ki Awaz (2017). His 2017 release includes the film Sesh Angika. Directed by Pronoy Phukan, the movie along with Nipon Goswami stars Jayanta Bhagabati and Nayan Nilim in important roles. His 2019 release includes Seema – The Untold Story. After Sangram, Goswami worked in Dr. Bezbaruah directed by Brazen Baruah, which was a record-creating movie. That movie was the turning point in his career and there has been no looking back since then. Nipon Goswami has acted in more than 8 Bollywood films to date. His latest film released was 18.11 – A Code of Secrecy directed by Mohibul Haque.

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People around him be they a co-actor or his audience, everyone developed a relationship of the heart with him Nipon Goswami reigned the Stardom without ever making people feel this great fact. He was an evergreen hero whose absence is felt after his death and the great loss for the Assamese film as he held the umbrella for it. Watching his films we recall the words of Jean Cocteau “A film is a petrified fountain of thought”. No art passes our conscience as a film does and artists like Nipon Goswami knew best how to use the medium for uplifting society by enriching its intellectual consciousness. (The author is a senior academician and trilingual columnist)

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The Hills Timeshttps://www.thehillstimes.in/
The Hills Times, a largely circulated English daily published from Diphu and printed in Guwahati, having vast readership in hills districts of Assam, and neighbouring Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.
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