Nagaland : Padma Shri – Dr Temsula Ao Passes Away; PM Modi Condoles Demise 

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Posted in Featured, Nagaland, Northeast
NET Web Desk


The distinguished litterateur and former chairperson of Nagaland Women Commission – Dr Temsula Ao has passed away at Eden Medical Centre in Dimapur on Sunday night. She was 80-years-old.

She is survived by one son, two daughters and grandchildren.

Born on October 25, 1945, Ao was conferred with the Padma Shri – the highest civilian award of the nation in 2007.

According to sources, the funeral service will take place on October 10 (Monday) at 1 PM at the family residence in Lengrijan Dimapur.

The spouse of former legislator – late Assamwati Longkumer and mother of incumbent Director General of Police (DGP) Nagaland – TJ Longkumer, late Temsula also served as director of North East Zone Cultural Centre.

She was also the recipient of the Meghalaya Governor’s Gold Medal in 2009 and Sahitya Akademi Award.

Fondly remembered as one of the major literary voices in English to emerge from Northeast India; Ao’s works have been translated into German, French, Assamese, Bengali and Hindi.

A renowned short story writer and ethnographer – Late Temsula also served as a professor of English at North Eastern Hill University (NEHU) and was a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Minnesota, USA (1985–86).

So far, the litterateur has published five poetic works, one themed on Henry James Quest for an Ideal Heroine, a book on Ao-Naga Oral Tradition and two short story collections – ‘These Hills Called Home : Stories from the War Zone’ and ‘Laburnum for my Head’. Her second book of short stories ‘Tombstone in My Garden’ was published in 2022.

She also has an entry on Folklore of Nagaland in the Greenwood Encyclopedia of World Folklore and Folk Life, Westport Connecticut.

Taking to Twitter, PM Modi has also condoled the demise of the distinguished litterateur. “Saddened by the passing away of Dr. Temsüla Ao, who played a pivotal role in popularising the wonderful Naga culture through her literary works. Her efforts in the fields of education and culture were noteworthy. Condolences to her family and friends. May her soul rest in peace.” – he wrote.

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