GUWAHATI, Nov 29 – The Assamese literary world deeply mourned the death of one of its iconic figures, Dr Mamoni Raisom Goswami. Not only did she enrich Assamese literature with some great creations, she worked heart and soul to popularize Assamese literature in the outside world. Talking to The Assam Tribune, president of the Asam Sahitya Sabha Rong Bong Terang said that Mamoni Raisom Goswami’s death is an irreparable loss to the Assamese literature. “It is a great loss for the Asam Sahitya Sabha and the Assamese literature. It would take us considerable time to come to terms with the deaths of Dr Mamoni Raisom Goswami and Dr Bhupen Hazarika, the literary and cultural icons of Assam,” said Terang.
At a condolence meet organized at Bhagawati Prasad Baruah Bhaban here, tributes were paid to Dr Goswami by eminent litterateurs and office-bearers of the Sabha. Presiding over the meeting, eminent writer Jatindra Kumar Borgohain spoke about the life and philosophy of Dr Goswami.
“Not just the Assamese literary world, but the Indian and international literature also lost an exceptional scholar and a great storyteller. Wherever I go outside Assam, people ask me about Indira Goswami. She was the face of Assamese literature to the outside world,” said eminent writer and former Asam Sahitya Sabha president Lakshmi Nandan Bora.
“She received the Jnanpith Award due to her creative literature, which was enriched with thematic variety. Be it the story of the widows of Vrindaban or the victims of the 1984 riots, she could send the message very effectively through her powerful writing.
“An eminent Ramayani scholar, she represented India in many international seminars and workshops on Ramayana. When she was teaching in the Delhi University, she played a prominent role in popularizing Assamese literature in India,” said Bora.
In the words of the former president of Asam Sahitya Sabha and prominent writer Dr Birendranath Dutta, both Bhupen Hazarika and Mamoni Raisom Goswami won the hearts of the people. “It is unfortunate that both the great personalities left us within a short span of less than a month. The Assamese society has received two great shocks which would definitely affect us for a very long time,” he said.
“Now, it is our responsibility to preserve the contributions of both the great souls and learn from their work,” he added.
“Other than being a celebrated writer, she was a great woman, who was not at all affected by her name, fame and popularity. So far as I know her, she never discriminated between people due to their status in the society,” said Kanaksen Deka, noted litterateur and another former president of Asam Sahitya Sabha.
“A woman of great courage, she was never bogged down by the hardships that she faced in her life. Her creations were so genuine and powerful, because her literature was based on her own experience,” Deka added.
“Deeply moved by the violence in the State, Mamoni Raisom Goswami sincerely worked towards establishing peace in Assam. A peaceful and united Assam would be a befitting tribute to the great soul,” Deka mentioned.
In the words of noted scholar and another former president of the State’s apex literary body Dr Nagen Saikia, the Assamese society today lost a very sensitive writer who was free from all prejudices. With a very strong storyline, her novels spoke about the problems of the deprived, poor, oppressed and helpless common people.
“The boldness with which she spoke about her own life, is rare in Assamese literature,” added Saikia.