GUWAHATI, Aug 8 - On the death anniversary of the founder editor of Gariyoshi magazine, Chandra Prasad Saikia, on Saturday, critics and writers came together to discuss the trends of contemporary Assamese short story writing at a function organised at the auditorium of the Vivekananda Kendra by the Chandra Prasad Saikia Smriticharan Divas Udjapan Samiti.
Presiding over the session, editor of Gariyoshi, Dr Lakshmi Nandan Bora recalled the work culture and ideals of Chandra Prasad Saikia and described him as an institution that enriched the state.
“He was a multifaceted personality and was highly successful as a journalist. As an editor, he was a motivating factor for the upcoming writers,” Dr Bora said.
Participating in the discussion, Jayanta Madhav Borah dwelt at length on the genesis and growth of Assamese short story writing and observed that Assamese magazines have always been playing an important role in promoting this genre.
He, however, candidly pointed out that the genre is facing challenges in the present times. “If we analyse the present-day creations of some writers, we find that they have failed to touch the heart of the common readers,” said Borah, adding that for penning a good short story a writer must work hard on his theme, language and style.
Another participant, Diganta Oja, while observing on the shortcomings of the new writers, said that an imitative tendency, dependence on sensationalism and bombastic language, and an alienation from the burning issues of society have made an impact on the quality of short stories that are being written nowadays.
On the other hand, Arindam Borkataki, reposing faith in the ability of the new writers, expressed the hope that their creations will appeal to the readers. He said that the new writers have been striving to capture the problems of the state and that their creations reflect the transitions sweeping over the state since the 1990s.
In his observer’s speech, Phanindra Kumar Dev Choudhury said that it was time to ponder on the challenges that the genre of short story is facing. He further said that the new writers must be given the freedom for experimentation and making mistakes so that they can come up with some remarkable creations. He also mentioned that readers can improve the genre by insisting on the writers to come up with short stories that have more appeal.
The welcome address was delivered by Ankur Deka, convenor of the Samiti.
Earlier, floral tributes were offered at the portrait of Chandra Prasad Saikia by the guests.