STAFF Reporter GUWAHATI, Feb 23 – A three-volume Birinchi Kumar Barua Rachanawali – a collection of different works of the litterateur – was formally released at a function held here on Sunday.
(From left ) Dr Lakshmi Nandan Bora, Homen Borgohain, Justice Dr Mukundakam Sharma and Dr Nagen Saikia releasing the Birinchi Kumar Barua Rachanawali in three volumes, in Guwahati on Sunday. – UB Photos
Author and journalist Homen Borgohain, Justice (retd) Dr Mukundakam Sharma, and litterateur Lakshmi Nandan Bora released the first, second and third volumes of the Rachanawali respectively.
The Rachanawali has been published under the aegis of the Dr Birinchi Kumar Barua Memorial Trust.
Borgohain, in his address, termed Barua an ‘immortal’ who stood out for his unwavering commitment to the pursuit of excellence in intellectual spheres, creating in the process literary gems that remained a benchmark in Assamese literature.
“Barua is a shining example of excellence in intellectual pursuit. His novel Jivanar Batat written under the pseudonym Bina Barua is the greatest Assamese novel of all time. Unfortunately, we do not have anyone who can be termed a true successor to Barua’s legacy. There will be only a few immortals in the spheres of Assamese literature and culture, and Barua is definitely one of them,” he said.
Regretting that the contemporary Assamese society was suffering from a serious erosion of values and ideals as also a conspicuous lack of intellectual discourse and pursuits, Borgohain said the colleges and universities were no longer centres of literary and cultural quest.
“The contrast between the universities of today and those of earlier days could not have been more striking. The tradition of engagement with knowledge and creativity has been replaced by shallow indulgences like holding of beauty pageants and superficial activities and talking,” he said.
Justice Dr Mukundakam Sharma gave an account of the life and works of Barua, saying that he excelled in many literary genres, besides having been a pioneer in many. “He was also a scholar who mastered the Pali language and was able to throw light on unknown facets of history and culture. In fact, there should be more research on Pali in ancient Assam so that we can learn new things about our past history and heritage,” he added.
Dr Lakshmi Nandan Bora in his address, said that Barua was not just a writer of the highest order but was also an accomplished researcher who devoted his entire life to serious research.
Recollecting that Barua’s magnum opus Jivanar Batat ‘changed the course of my life’, Dr Bora said the other acclaimed novel of Barua – Seuji Patar Kahini written on the life of the tea-tribe community in Assam – was also a masterpiece and in fact was a greater literary creation than Two Leaves and a Bud by Mulk Raj Anand.
Earlier, litterateur Dr Nagen Saikia who presided over the function termed Barua a personality with a rare blend of creativity and erudition, and said that he strove to give a pride of place to Assamese language, literature and culture.
Later, a book – My Days at St. Edmund’s School written by Birinchi Barua’s son Boijayanta (Raj) Barua, was released.