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Orunodoi founder Dr Nathan Brown remembered

By Staff Correspondent

DIBRUGARH, June 22 - Dr Nathan Brown, the American Baptist missionary who was instrumental in bringing out the first Assamese newspaper Orunodoi in 1846 and editing it for nine long years, was remembered today by the fraternity of DHSK Commerce College here at the initiative of its Assamese department.

The Baptist missionary who also compiled the second Assamese grammar, Grammatical Notices of Assamese Language, was reverentially remembered for his pioneering contribution to the development of Assamese language and literature.

The Assamese department, in association with the Internal Quality Assurance Cell (IQAC) of the commerce college, organised the event on the occasion of Dr Brown�s 210th birth anniversary.

Delivering the talk on the �Role of Nathan Brown and his associates in the development of Assamese language,� Dr Arpana Konwar, professor, Assamese department, Dibrugarh University, said that the people of the State ought to pay respect to great personalities like Dr Brown who, apart from his religious activities, tried to give the people of Assam a new lease of life with regard to their language and literature and promote a scientific attitude.

�By bringing out Orunodoi, Brown and his associates made an immense contribution towards restoring the status of official language for Assamese, which was replaced by Bengali by the then British rulers during 1836-1872,� she said.

Dr Konwar gave a detailed account of the activities of Dr Brown and his close aides. She also appreciated the initiative taken by the Department of Assamese of DHSK Commerce College to remember the great missionary who sacrificed a lot for the betterment of the greater Assamese nation.

It may be mentioned here that Dr Brown contributed a lot towards publishing the works of many contemporary Assamese intellectuals, which included Asom Buranji (History of Assam) in 1844 written by Kashinath Tamuly Phukon, Mathematics (two volumes, 1845) by Bokul Kayastha and Chutia Buranji (1850). He also played a key role in the Assamese translation of the New Testament of the Bible by Atmaram Sharma.

The programme was presided over by Dr KM Bhagawati, principal of DHSK Commerce College. Earlier, Nabajyoti Dutta, HoD, Assamese, and the chief organiser, stated the aims and objectives behind remembering the great missionary.

Floral tributes were also paid on Dr Brown�s portrait during the function which concluded with the singing of O mor aponar desh. Dr Tanka Prasad Upadhyaya, coordinator, IQAC, offered the vote of thanks.

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