GUWAHATI, Jan 2 - Unlike the Assamese writers of the 19th and early 20th century, who could energise a crestfallen and ill-organised Assamese community into a dynamic and cohesive social entity, the modern Assamese writers � whether in the field of prose or poetry � have failed to infuse new vision and enthusiasm in the present-day Assamese community, which has resulted in the present-day confusion, violence and corruption in the State.
This observation was made by senior journalist DN Chakravartty while releasing a book of short story by Dr Asamee Gogoi at the ongoing Guwahati Book Fair at the AEI ground, Chandmari.
Chakravartty dwelt on the growth and development of the Assamese short story, which had its fountain spring in the folktales handed down over the centuries and which was given a new meaning and status by great writers like Sahityarathi Lakshminath Bezbaroa and the succeeding band of eminent short story writers.
Chakravartty said every Assamese journal, right from Arunodoi, Jonaki, Usha, Bijulee and Banhi to the most influential Ramdhenu and Awahan, produced generations of Assamese writers in different branches and that tradition is being continued by influential journals like Prantik and Gariyoshi, besides the Sunday editions of current Assamese dailies and their Bihu and Puja editions.
Referring to the changes in the Assamese society, Chakravartty said that while the Saraighat bridge on the Brahmaputra and the introduction of night bus services transformed the slowness of the Assamese society into a dynamic one, new factors like circulation of daily newspapers through night transportation throughout the State, wide circulation of mobile cell phones and the widespread use of satellite communication, had transformed the Assamese society beyond recognition.
He also mentioned that while an average Assamese could speak 40 words per minute in the 19th and early 20th centuries, an educated Assamese now speaks around a hundred words normally per minute, while the speed of a select few goes beyond 120 words per minute.
Dr Paramananda Rajbongshi, while addressing the meeting, referred to the contributions made by great Assamese writers like Padmanath Gohain Baruah and Sarat Chandra Goswami in the establishment of the Asam Sahitya Sabha.
Ramesh Chand Jain, Secretary, Education Department, also spoke on the occasion.