Staff Reporter, from Abima, Madhupur, Bangladesh
Ustad Nishikanto Maji, former school teacher, a prominent writer and Cultural activist, is no more. He breathed his last on 30 April at his village home Kakraguni, Madhupur, Tangail at 10:00am. He was 87. Ustad Nishikanto had been sick for long due to old age.
Ustad Nishikanto was born in 1930. He was son of late Jodunath Sangma and Chanmoni Maji. He went to Beduriya elementary school. On completion grade 5 he studied at Gabtoli High School. He completed 8 grade and started his teaching career. He got married to Irin Sangma in 1953. Nishikanto Maji was called ‘Ustad’ by his community for his invaluable knowledge on cultural instruments, language and history of the Garos. He used to teach young people Ajia, Rere, Serenjing and instrumental music arranging seminars in 1980’s.
Ustad Nishikanto was called to teaching profession by catholic church in 1968 and served a elementary teacher and catechist for a 3 decades.
Ustad Nishikanto Maji could produce hundreds of birds and animal sounds using his hands and mouth. Bangladesh Television called him to perform in 1988.
He was also a listed performer at Bangladesh Radio Salgittal Program, a special program for the Garos. He perform as a listed singer in the Bangladesh Radio 1992-1995.
Ustad Nishikanto composed hundreds of Lyrics, Agya, Rere, Serenjing in Garo Abeng language. He also composed and directed his playwrights Diggi-Bandi, Noan-Nosan, Analong-Gonalong in 1980’s.
Ustad Nishikanto Maji was awarded by Abuma Garo Youth Association (AGYA) in 2009 for his tremendous contribution towards Garo community, culture and literature.
He also awarded a special honor by Catholic Church in 2011 and 2014 for his dedicated service to the church and society.