The Roopkar Awards, instituted in honor of distinguished cine-journalist and litterateur Pabitra Kumar Deka, were presented to acclaimed actor of theatre and cinema Pranjal Saikia and National Award-winning filmmaker Mridul Gupta for the years 2021 and 2022, respectively, during a ceremony held at the Pabitra Kumar Deka Archive on January 5th. These awards, given out every two years, were presented by the state's distinguished litterateur and former editor of Asomiya Pratidin, Nitya Bora.
In his keynote speech, Bora highlighted Pabitra Kumar Deka's significant and noteworthy contributions to Assamese culture and literature. He stated, "Pabitra Kumar Deka has written extensively on a diverse range of topics pertaining to cinema, and served as a source of inspiration and guidance for many young journalists interested in pursuing careers in film journalism. He was the pioneer who introduced the concept of film publicity in Assam, which greatly aided in increasing the appeal and visibility of cinema in the region. He was also an active and key organizer of a political party in Assam, known for his indelible contribution in the field of socio-political satirical writings, which remains unparalleled to this day. His unflagging enthusiasm has always been a great source of inspiration to me."
Purnima Pathak Saikia, who received the award on behalf of her husband, Pranjal Saikia, acknowledged Deka's notable contribution to the state's cultural heritage, while Mridul Gupta expressed his gratitude to the organizers for the honor. Notably, Gupta's new film, made in the Karbi language - Mirbeen, won the Best Asian Film in the Tokyo Film Awards 2023. The awardees also shared their experiences with Deka.
The event, which was ably anchored by Madhusmita Borkotoki, was a success and attended by notable figures in the film and media industry, including Hemanta Kumar Das, Jitumoni Bora, Bidyut Kumar Bhuyan, Janardan Goswami, Hemanta Debnath, Partha Pratim Borah, Emon Chaudhury, Saroj Medhi, Rana Deka, Barnali Deka Das, and Nandan Deka.