Veteran journalist and author Sumar Sing Sawian passed away at the age of 85 at his residence in Umroi Labansaro in Ri Bhoi district.
Sawian was the first Khasi to join mainstream journalism. He was appointed as the Chief Bureau – Northeast of the Press Trust of India (PTI) in the early 1990s. He later joined the English daily Apphira published by Ri Khasi Press in the early 2000s and took over the role of Editor-in-Chief from renowned writer, Kynpham Sing Nongkynrih.
He was also known for translating noble laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s composition “Geetanjali” into Khasi and wrote many books about the indigenous Khasi faith and culture of the Hynñiewtrep community of Meghalaya
As an elder of the Seng Khasi Seng Kmie, Sawian was instrumental for holding the annual pilgrimage to Lum Sohpet Bneng peak called “Ka Kiew Pyneh Rngiew”.
He also pioneered traditional archery by holding competition through the Apphira Archery Committee.
Sawian was also associated with All India Radio, Shillong and Doordarshan Kendra, Shillong and received numerous awards on journalism and for social service.
He was conferred the Meghalaya Day Award – U Tirot Sing Award for Arts and Literature in 2017.
The Shillong Press Club (SPC) members held a condolence meet today and recollected their fond memories of Sawian and described him as a pioneer of modern journalism in Meghalaya, a mentor, a friend and a Wikipedia. “If you want to know anything about the Khasi indigenous faith, their culture and tradition – he was the go-to person. As an active member of the Seng Khasi, Bah Su was a source of inspiration, not only for the aspiring journalists but aspiring Khasi writers,” SPC president David Laitphlang said.
The Meghalaya Editors’ and Publishers’ Association (MEPA) and the Seng Khasi Kmie have also condoled the demise of Sawian.
The last rites and rituals will be performed at his residence at 1.30 pm tomorrow and his mortal remains will be brought to Shillong and be cremated at Jaiaw Cremation Ground.
Leave a Reply