Ananda Chandra Barua (1907 – 1983 )
Ananda Chandra Barua is a renowned poet and novelist from Assam. He is known for the numerous poems he wrote in Assamese literature. He is popularly known as ‘Bokul Bonor Kobi’. Barua showed his talent in his creations and publishing and was one of the celebrated writers in Assam.
Life of Ananda Chandra Barua:
Ananda Chandra Barua was born on 31st December 1907 in Khumtai Tea Estate in Upper Assam. His father was late Premdhar Barua and mother Late Indrani Devi. He was born to a family having eight children of whom he was the fourth. Ananda Chandra Barua started his schooling in Dhekiakhowa and as a bright student. He then went to study in Government Boys’ High school in Jorhat wherefrom he passed his matriculation in 1926. He then went to study at Banaras Hindu University, though he couldn’t complete his study there.
Ananda Chandra Barua received several scholarships during his primary studies. When he was a student of high school, the interest of literature developed in his mind and he started to contribute his writings to the hand written school magazine named ‘Jeuti’. It was during that time, he came into contact with the great poet ‘Papori Kobi’ Ganesh Gogoi. The friendship between these two poets brought intensive development and a mark in Assamese literature.
During his days in Banaras Hindu University, Ananda Chandra Barua along with the students of Assam who were studying there brought out a handwritten journal named ‘Jahnavi’. It was in this periodical that Ananda Chandra Barua contributed greatly his writings. It was during his time in Banaras, on a visit to Assam, that Ananda Chandra Barua married Promila Devi, daughter of Padmanath Bezbaruah and a descendant of the great poet Rasaraj Lakshminath Bezbaruah. Ananda Chandra Barua died at the age of 76 in the year 1983.
Literary Career of Ananda Chandra Barua
Ananda Chandra Barua initially started his career as a journalist. He at first served as an editor in a newspaper called Asomiya. This newspaper was published by Chandra Kumar Agarwala in Guwahati. After a successful stint of publications of the newspaper for around two years, Ananda Chandra Barua decided to return to Jorhat to work there. He then joined the School Inspector Office in the year 1932 and served there temporarily for a year. In the next year, he joined Senarian High School in Tinsukia as an assistant teacher. However, in the year 1934, he again returned to Jorhat to work as a journalist. He joined Shiva Prasad Barua’s weekly ‘Batori’ as a sub editor and earned around a hundred rupees per month. During that time, the editor of this weekly was Bagmibor Late Nilomoni Phukan. Ananda Chandra Barua later became a school teacher in Dikom Tea Estate in the year 1942. After a year, during the World War II, Ananda Chandra Barua left home for Karachi to join the Indian Air Force. In the year 1947, he eventually returned to Jorhat and joined his last job as an accountant in Industrial Training Institute and served there well till his retirement on 31st December 1968.
Ananda Chandra Barua wrote many poems, dramas, prose, novels and various periodicals. During the years 1930 to 1982, Ananda Chandra Barua published a total of nineteen books which include collection of poems like ‘Porag’ (1930), ‘Ranjan Rashmi’ (1934), ‘Paporir Porimal’ (1969), ‘Bokul Bonor Kabita’ (1976) and ‘Sei Nimati Puware Pora’ (1982); dramas like ‘Bijoya’ (1932), ‘Bisorjan’ (1933), ‘Nal Damayanty’ (1934), ‘Komota Kuwari’(1940), ‘Kopoi Kuwari’ (Children’s drama) and ‘Nilanjan’; translated works like ‘Hafizor Sur’ (1923), ‘’Meghdoot Purbarnegh’ (1940), ‘Asiar Jyoti’ (1960), ‘Soviet Kobita’ (1968), ‘Kumar Sambhav’ (1969) and ‘Ethan’; sonnets like ‘Pushpak’ (1934) and a biography titled ‘Pondit Modon Mohan Malaviyar Jiboni’.
Apart from these, there are also completed yet unpublished works of Ananda Chandra Barua. Some of them include children’s drama like Panchami, Tejimola and Phulora; translated plays like Sahjahanor Ontim and Bonik Bondhu; dramas like Sitaharan, Mrigamaya and Agnigarh. There are also novels titled Asomiya Deka, Amar Sahitya (for public education) and Banipath (for school curriculum).
Ananda Chandra Barua has also acted in a number of plays and films. He played pivotal roles in dramas like Sahjahan and Chanakya. He played the character of Laksman in Mitradev Mahanta’s 'Boidehi Biyug'. He also portrayed other characters as Sokuni in Ganesh Gogoi’s play titled 'Sokunir Pratisudh' and as the old maulovi in Phani Sharma’s 'Siraj'. In the films 'Ganga Silonir Pakhi' by Padum Baruah, Ananda Chandra Barua captured the hearts of the audiences by his stunning performance. He was also an integral part of the Jorhat Theatre. He has acted as well as staged in a number of plays.
Ananda Chandra Barua was a good worker and a philanthropist too. He had good organizational capabilities and the power to involve people for the benefit of any team. It was through his relentless efforts that organization like Bani Sanmelan was established in the year 1930, though it faded with time until it came to an end. He was also involved with another literary organization named Chintamoni Chakra which was established on 16th July, 1948. Ananda Chandra Barua was the president of this organization and it was held once in a month to discuss various topics. Ananda Chandra Barua was also associated with the Assam Sahitya Sabha from the year 1948 till his death. He was also not only a member of the executive but also the president of the Kavi Sanmelan. In the year 1969, he was the president of the Barpeta session of the annual Assam Sahitya Sabha. Apart from these, Ananda Chandra Barua was also a member of organizations like Assam Pratijugita Samiti, Assam Natya Sanmelan and Jorhat Sangeet Bidyala among others. He was also an active member of some Governmental organizations.
Awards and Recognitions of Ananda Chandra Barua:
Ananda Chandra Barua won the prestigious Sahitya Academy Award in the year 1977 for his book ‘Bokul Bonor Kobita. He also received the Padma Shri award from the Indian Government on 21st April 1970.