‘Nightingale of Assam’ dead


Guwahati, Veteran singer and Padmashri awardee Dipali Borthakur, known as ‘Nightingale of Assam’, breathed her last at a private hospital here today following protracted illness. She was 77. Borthakur was admitted at a private hospital a few days back with respiratory problems and died at 1325 hours today, hospital sources said. She is survived by her husband Nilpawan Barua, a renowned artist himself. Borthakur was born in Sivsagar district in 1941. She recorded her first song while studying in the ninth standard and during her brief singing career of hardly 12 years, lent her voice to numerous immemorial Assamese songs. A neuron motor disease prevented her from pursuing her singing career and left her wheel-chair bound for most part of her life. She was honoured with various awards, including the ‘Padma Shri’ in 1998, ‘Silpi Bota’ in 2010 and ‘Aideu Handique Silpi Award’ in 2012. Borthakur’s death has cast a pall of gloom in the entire state, as her admirers and mourners made a beeline to the hospital and her city residence to pay their last respects. Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, his Cabinet colleagues Chandra Mohan Patowary, Dr Himanta Biswa Sharma, Atul Bora and Naba Doley, among others, have condoled the death of the singer.