GOALPARA, Jan 22 � �Such is the value of cultural doyen Jyotiprasad Agarwala�s contributions that his remarkable personality continues to illuminate the Assamese society and his stellar contributions as a writer, dramatist, filmmaker, patriot and humanist continue to have a significant influence in the making of a greater Assamese society, which can never be ignored or forgotten in the modern times,� said former principal of Cotton College, Prof Udayaditya Bharali, in his keynote address at a programme organised by New Goalpara Kala Kristi Sangha here on the occasion of Silpi Divas recently.
Prof Bharali spoke on the relevance of Jyotiprasad�s creative works in today�s Assam and shed light on the Rupkonwar�s life, home environment and his family that got completely integrated with the Assamese social and cultural life.
He also pointed out that the process of cultural fusion, along with his strong sense of regionalism, are adequately reflected in his music as the Rupkonwar tried to infuse some kind of standardization and modernity into Assamese folk songs which, at that time, had been facing the onslaught of Hindustani music. Also, even though he was influenced by western culture while learning filmmaking in Berlin, he chose to make the first Assamese film, Joymoti, on a woman protagonist.
Bharali recalled that the Rupkonwar, as a freedom fighter deeply influenced by the teachings and ideas of Mahatma Gandhi, got actively involved in the Non-cooperation Movement at the age of 17 years and with a deep sense of commitment, inspired the masses with his writings and songs having patriotic and nationalist fervour.
In his later years, however, Bharali said the Rupkonwar�s creative works were greatly influenced by Leftist ideology. He was a humanist to the core and his works emerged from the love he had for the people and society. Bharali opined that environment also played a catalytic role as the Rupkonwar was a product of the first part of the 19th century like his contemporaries Bishnu Rabha and Phani Sarma, which eventually came to be described as the golden era of Assamese culture as great things and ideas were either created or accomplished during that period.
Earlier, Prof Ranjit Choudhury, while stating the objectives of the meeting, observed how the ideas and works of Jyotiprasad would influence different communities in Assam to live peacefully and harmoniously and would eventually have a bearing on the present and future of a greater Assamese society.
Among others, former principal of BN College, Dhubri, Dr Ahiszuddin Sheikh, who presided over the open session, former professor of Goalpara College, Uttam Sharma, and the president of New Goalpara Kala Kristi Sangha, Khirod Kalita, also spoke.
An art competition was held and the members of the Sangha presented a chorus at the beginning of the open session.