Achyut Lahkar, doyen of Assam’s mobile theatre movement, and noted playwright and actor, passed away in his hometown Pathsala, about 100km from Guwahati, following a protracted illness. He was 85. Born in 1931, Lahkar, a theatre enthusiast from his childhood days, founded Nataraj Theatre, the first mobile theatre company of Assam in 1963, which — over the past five decades — gave the mobile theatre movement the shape of a successful entertainment industry, and that too in a state where film-making continues to be a difficult proposition.
Lahkar had not only pioneered mobile theatre in Assam, but also worked hard to give it the dimension of a booming entertainment industry that provides employment to hundreds of actors, technicians, musicians and other people. On his death Assam has lost a towering theatre personality.