In the history of Assam and India, the year between 1909 and 1969, was revolutionary. That was indeed a global revolutionary period as both the World War was held and the entire Map of India as well as the World was changed. During this chaotic period on 31st January 1909, somewhere on Dhaka which was under Bengal Presidency that time, gave birth to ‘Bishnu Prasad Rabha’. The birth of Bishnu Rabha had a huge impact in the history of growth in Assamese literature as well as he played an active role in the struggle for Indian Independence. Simultaneously, Jyoti Prasad Agarwalla was also on his way to establish himself in the world Assamese literature. He was born in the year 1903 and died in 1951. Both of them were not only recognised in Assam or India but, they are attracting the International Communities to visit Assam and do research about their writings.
In today’s generation we celebrate ‘Rabha Divas’ which is the death anniversary of Bishnu Prasad Rabha. Death which we can relate with sorrow, sadness, tears etc. But according to Hiren Bhattacharya, ‘Death is also an art, a sculpture that is made in the heart of life without any greediness’.
Present-time parents try to educate their children in an English Medium Schools. Due to the rapid growth of English Culture in our society, our generation children’s are going away from their traditional culture. Example – like they don’t know about – what is Borgeet, Sankardeva, Madhavdeva, Jyoti Prasad Agarwalla or Bishnu Prasad Rabha. Probably after 200 years; for the future generation these peoples or traditions, might be termed with Aliens. It is quite obvious that we have to go with the flow the society is moving but, it is equally important that we must know about our culture or legends like Sankardeva , Madhavdeva or Bishnu Rabha etc. And for that, the guardians should come up with their responsibility to introduce such traditions and legends to their future generation.
Bishnu Rabha said “It will be a sin, if he doesn’t write about the deep relation of the people of his society”. That was the reason why he wrote a few poems, novels and drama which would had enhanced the reputation of our Assamese literature. But the War Communist, Police, Rebels etc costs lost of such writings. To write those masterpieces he was wandering from one place to another, also the Government was after him, as was a renowned personality by that time.
Sonpahi : During his missing period he was not alone. His comrade wife Kanaklata Rabha was also standing along with him. They studied various books and journals during those times. Amongst them; in a book ‘Chinese shakes the World’ had a story in it named ‘the golden flower’, this created a deep impact in the mind of Kanaklata. So she requested Bishnu Rabha to translate it for the people, so that they can also read and know about it. So he translated it later. The story was based on various problems faced by the society during that conflict spell.
Hiyar Pung : In this story the main character was a bodo kachari women from North-Goalpara. Her name was Sewari. The theme of the story was based on her life written in bodo kachari language. He named this story as ‘Fung Kha’ .The story ‘hiyar pung’ created a great impact not only on Kanaklata but also to the other bodo comrades. As the Bodo peoples were requesting he wrote ‘Fung Kha’ in Bodo language. Hiyar Pung is the Assamese version of this story.
Kudi Bosor Jail (20 Years in Jail): In 17 July 1950 Bishnu Rabha along with his wife was arrested by the Police at ‘Parmananda’s House’ in Fakirgram. In prison he met Gouranga, a labour working in the tea-garden. He lived in a log cabin his entire life and done nothing wrong, yet he was imprisoned for life. So based on his life Bishnu Rabha wrote the story ‘Kudi Bosor Jail’. The story somehow reflects few incidents faced by Rabha himself during his offended period.
Mamir Har: In this story Goalparia spoken language was used. The central character was a dull villager called Haren. He was from Bilasipara and was imprisoned from a long time. The reason was that he was a very simple boy.
Rabha Dev was a man for the common peoples, so all his stories resemble simplicity. Basically reading a story gives us happiness but, the above four stories by Rabha Dev is something more than that. The theme was simple, based on some real events which made it easier for the peoples of such community to understand his writings. He even said by himself that “His stories were not for the intelligent ones; because they try to find something bigger and deeper, but for the common ones who wants to read in a simple way”.
Written By : Jyotsna Rani Barman
Inspector of School (Barpeta)
Art Work By : Nalinikashya Talukdar