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Mizo poet immortalised
Aizawl, Aug 18 (agencies):
Published on 19 Aug. 2008 12:34 AM IST
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Most celebrated Mizo poet Rokunga has been immortalised with a life-size statue, 48 years after his death, at the City Park in the heart of the state capital. Just as Nobel Laurette Rabindranath Tagore is revered by the country and Bengal, Rokunga rules the hearts of the people of this Northeastern state for his rich contribution to Mizo literature. Unveiling the statue on Independence Day, Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga said, "Rokunga will live on as long as Mizos live on this earth. "With his songs, Rokunga kindles the true spirit of patriotism in the hearts of the Mizos. He makes us proud of Mizoram and to be Mizos," he said. Born in 1914, Rokunga composed about 120 patriotic and devotional songs which live on to be Mizos' most cherished heritage. According to Mizo literature critic F Vanlalrochana, the entire collection of songs and poems of Rokunga can be summarised with an immortal line of Rabindranath Tagore - "Into that heaven of freedom, my father, let my country (read Mizoram) awake." Sponsored by the Aizawl Development Authority, the bronze statue has been made by Kolkata-based sculptor Gautam Das Boro at the cost of Rs 12.66 lakh. Rokunga, posthumously awarded 'Mizos' Poet of the Century' in 2000, is the first Mizo to be immortalised with a life-size statue. It is the third life-size statue in Aizawl and the entire state, preceded by those of Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru.

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