DIBRUGARH, May 20 – Mahapurush Srimanta Sankardev, a contemporary of Leonardo da Vinci of Europe and his disciple Madhavdev, although are lesser known figures outside Assam, their contribution towards social reformation, enrichment of Assamese literature in the medieval period and at the same time, spread of Vishnavite religious thoughts under the light of Eka Sarana Naam Dharma are unparalleled among the Indian Vaishnavite scholars and saints.
This fact has worked as the main driving force for Devi Prasad Bagrodia of Jyotinagar here, who has been on a silent movement for several years now, in the quest for spread of Assamese literature and culture at the national front, for translating Srimanta Sankardev’s Gunamala into Hindi. He also produced an audio version of the Hindi Gunamala that has been uploaded on YouTube by local social activist Nabajyoti Borkakoty for further circulation. The Gunamala in Hindi can be accessed on YouTube by just typing ‘Gunamala in Hindi’ in the search engine Google.
Bagrodia, a man of versatile character is popularly known as a tea planter. Recently, he completed translating the borgeets, the lyrical creations of both Srimanta Sankardev and Madhavdev, into Hindi. He has translated all the 34 borgeets of Sankardev and 153 of Madhavdev. The Hindi translation of the borgeets will formally be released under the banner of the Asom Kala Sattra on June 14, the birth anniversary of Madhavdev.
“Translation of the borgeets into Hindi is exceptional and we are hopeful these will have nationwide takers,” Madhav Krishna Das, a renowned Assamese folk artiste and one of the publishers of the 250-plus page book on borgeets told The Assam Tribune.
The complete translation of the borgeets took eighteen months for Bagrodia. He had started the translation works in the mid-2012. He said borgeets can be easily sung in Hindi and other north Indian languages.
Asked how he has been managing his writings alongside his tea business, the 74-year-old said he loves writing and therefore, gets into it whenever he is not into business-related works. “Writing or translating gives me an experience of contentment. I simply love writing and feel comfortable about it. Sometimes I even start writing in between my office works,” he told this correspondent.
It needs to be recalled that Devi Prasad Bagrodia had previously translated the complete works of Jyotiprasad Agarwala into Hindi in the form of two books – Jyoti Sudha in 1991 and Jyoti Prabha in 1995. The latter was released by Dr Shankar Dayal Sharma, the then Vice President of India. It is gathered that all these works showcasing the Assamese literature and culture have been received well by the scholars at the national level.
Devi Prasad Bagrodia is the second son of Shew Bhagovan Bagrodia of Tengakhat. He was born on November 8, 1939 and groomed in a total Assamese rural set-up in a village of Tengakhat. Bagrodia finished matriculation from Tengakhat HE School in Assamese medium. He studied ISc and then studied up to BA at DHS Kanoi College here. He had begun writing for his first book Jyoti Sudha in 1987. Today, Bagrodia’s literary works include the Hindi translation of Dr Nagen Saikia’s Mit-Bhash, Chah Gachar Kalam, Sukhor Prithivi, Mirabai, Agastha Yatra, etc.
Bagrodia is now permanently settled at Jyotinagar in this tea city. He is a recipient of the Central Hindi Directorate’s award of ‘Translator of remarkable standard’ in 1999 under the Union Ministry of HRD, ‘Fulchand Khandelwar Samhati Award’ in 2002 and ‘Meera Samman’ by the Meera Smruti Sansthan of Chittorgarh, Rajasthan in 2011 and a few others. He has also been honoured for his works by several non-governmental organisations, literary bodies and student bodies. Bagrodia is also an active member of the Asam Sahitya Sabha.