Assam, a state in northeastern India, has a rich history of culture, art, and literature. The land of Assam has produced many great personalities who have made significant contributions to their respective fields and left an indelible mark on society. From the legendary Lachit Borphukan, who led the Ahom army to victory against the Mughals, to Bhupen Hazarika, the multi-talented musician, composer, and filmmaker, Assam has seen an array of great personalities who have enriched the cultural landscape of India. This article aims to shed light on some of the greatest personalities of Assam, whose contributions have earned them a place in the hearts of the people of Assam and beyond.
Sankardev's teachings emphasized that all devotees were equal in the eyes of God and that there should be no discrimination based on caste. This was a revolutionary idea at the time, and it was instrumental in transforming Assamese society into a more inclusive and equitable one. Sankardev's legacy is truly remarkable, and his contributions to the cultural and religious history of India are significant. He was not just a saint or a religious figure, but also a visionary who introduced new art forms and ideas that continue to inspire and enrich the lives of people in Assam and beyond.
Jyoti Prasad was born in Dibrugarh on June 17, 1903, to Kiranmayee and Paramananda Agarwala. On the day he died, he truly left a void that will never be filled. It's unfortunate that we lost him so soon. When he was diagnosed with cancer, he was only 49 years old. His legacy, however, lives on in the hearts of every Assamese to this day. His life was brief, but he paved the way for future artists in a variety of fields such as theatre, literature, filmmaking, lyrics, music composition, and so on. He fell in love with the culture and has made significant contributions to performance art. Assam's music and film industries would not be the same without him.
Lachit Borphukan, born on 24 November 1622, is a revered figure in Assam for his bravery and leadership. His father, Momai Tamuli Borbarua, was a senior officer in the administration of Raja Pratap Singh. Lachit Borphukan's skills in humanities and military strategies were evident from a young age. He became the flag bearer of Ahom Swargadeo after completing his education. Lachit fought fiercely against the Mughals his whole life and was successful in recapturing Guwahati from them in the Battle of Saraighat in 1671. Lachit Borphukan was a great diplomat and leader who was completely adept at using weapons and horseback riding. He died of illness on 25th April 1672, almost a year after the conquest of Saraighat. Lachit Diwas is celebrated every year on 24 November in Assam to commemorate his valor and the victory of the Assamese army in the Battle of Saraighat.
Bishnu Prasad Rabha was an exceptional artist and revolutionary singer from Assam who left a lasting impact on the cultural scene of Assam. He was not just a singer, but also a poet, dancer, actor, music composer, and playwright, making him a multifaceted artist. He was born on January 31, 1909, in Dhaka, where he spent his early childhood. In addition to his artistic talents, Rabha was an active participant in the freedom struggle movement of India, earning him the nickname 'Kalaguru' or 'teacher of arts'. Rabha's father, Gopal Chandra Rabha, was a British police officer. Despite his artistic success, he dedicated his entire life to the freedom movement and became an eminent freedom fighter. Bishnu Prasad Rabha is considered the Leonardo da Vinci of Assam due to his immense contribution to the field of music and the arts.
Bhupen Hazarika was a true Renaissance man, with talents spanning various fields. He was a gifted poet, music composer, singer, actor, journalist, author, and filmmaker. Born on September 8, 1926, in Tinsukia district, Assam, he became famous for his evergreen songs and was widely known as the 'Bard of Brahmaputra'. One of his most famous songs, 'Dil Hoom Hoom Kare' from the film Rudaali, is still remembered and loved by many. Hazarika not only composed the song but also lent his soulful voice to it. Apart from his contribution to the film industry, he was also a brilliant student and served as a journalist, poet, and director. His works and talents continue to inspire and touch the hearts of people even today.
She is the recipient of numerous honorary doctorates as well as the Sahitya Akademi, Jnanpith, Padma Shri (which Mamoni Raisom Goswami declined), Asom Ratna, Katha National Award, Prince Claus Award from the Netherlands, and many more. Her power was so great that she even acted as a go-between for the ULFA and the government. Women's issues and Assamese society's political and cultural framework have been two of Goswami's key literary themes. She created one of the finest male characters Indranath in Datal Hatir Une Khowa Howda (The Moth Eaten Howdah of a Tusker).
Kanaklata Barua is also known as Shaheed and Birbala. She was born on December 22, 1924. She was an AISF leader. She was also a proponent of Indian independence. In 1942, she was assassinated during the Quit India Movement. When the imperial police shot her, she was raising the Indian national flag. When Kanaklata passed away, she was only 17 years old. At such a young age, she sacrificed her life for the country's independence.
Hema Bharali was both an Indian freedom fighter and a social leader. She is well-known for her contributions to the betterment of society. She worked tirelessly to empower women and educate them about their rights. She also worked for those who were marginalized in society. She also fought in the Sino-Indian War in 1962. In 2005, the government bestowed on her the Padma Shri, the fourth-highest civilian honor. She was also honored with the National Harmony Award. She made a significant difference in society by listening to and meeting the needs of the underprivileged.