Dimbeswar Neog (1899-1966 )
Dimbeswar Neog was an eminent writer and a critic of Assamese literature. He was one of the pioneers of Assamese literature and language and authored many books.
Life of Dimbeswar Neog:
Dimbeswar Neog was born in the year 1899 in the small village of Kamarfadia in Sibsagar to Manik Chandra Neog and Chandra Prabha. He was the eldest child in the family. He did his early education in Kamarfadia Primary school in the year 1909 and after his matriculation; he joined Cotton College in Guwahati. He completed his Bachelor’s degree in the year 1924 and his Maters degree in English, though he could not complete his Master’s degree then. He then took his Master’s degree in Assamese from Calcutta University in the year 1940. During his days at Cotton College, he came in contact with poets like Chandra Kumar Agarwalla. He was also close to personalities like Chandradhar Baruah, Mitradev Mahanta, Bani Kanta Kakoti and Suniti Kumar Chatterjee. He married Ajaleetora, the daughter of writer and Dibrugarh district judge Benudhar Rajkhowa in the year 1930. The couple had seven children. Dimbeswar Neog passed away in Assam Medical College on 12th November, 1966 after a brief period of illness.
Literary Career of Dimbeswar Neog:
Dimbeswar Neog started his career as a teacher. After completing his studies he got appointment as a teacher in Sibsagar Government School on 29th April, 1925. Though, he termed his teaching life as ill luck, he worked as a teacher for 32 years and retired as the principal of a school in Jorhat in the year 1957.
Dimbeswar Neog was the president of 32nd session of the Asom Sahitya Sabha in Nalbari in the year 1965. He was also selected to be the General Secretary of Assam Chatra Sanmelan and remained in that post from the year 1921 to 1924. During this period, he edited the mouthpiece of Chatra Sanmelan ‘Janmabhumi’ and ‘Milan’.
Dimbeswar Neog started his literary career while he was a school student. He went on to pen many books and melodious songs. His popular poetry books include ‘Malika’, ‘Sofura’, ‘Thupitora’, ‘Matali Indradhenu’, ‘Mukuta’, ‘Manuha’, ‘Meghadoot’, ‘Asoma’, ‘Bichitra’, ‘Suwanee’ and ‘Bhogjora’ among others. Dimbeswar Neog also wrote many books while he was working as a teacher. His books include ‘Swdhidan’, ‘Marur Nijara’, ‘Saundarya Sadhaka’, ‘Prathama Prayasa’, ‘Banhir Amiya’ and ‘Omar Darsan’ among others. Dimbeswar Neog also wrote folklore and had a deep knowledge on the field. His folklore writing became a path finder to many Assamese writers. Dimbeswar Neog has 14 books on folk literature to his credit. He also wrote and published one novel titled ‘Gaone-Nagare’ which was a social novel published in the year 1960. His written dramas include ‘Sisuleela’, ‘Kundila Nagara’, ‘Kamrupa’ and a story book named ‘Deepawali’.
However, Dimbeswar Neog’s greatest contribution is considered in the field of Assamese literature, history of literature, Sankardeva and Vaishnavism. Dimbeswar Neog was also a linguist and wrote many books. His books ‘Assamiya Bhasa Aru Lipir Kahini, ‘Sudh Assamiya’, ‘Assamiya Bhasatatvar Natun Bisar’ show his deep study of the Assamese language. Dimbeswar Neog was also a scholar of Assamese Vaishnavism. He always wanted to give a new dimension to the Sankardeva’s religion of devotion. He emphasized on the establishment and development of a new creed of 'eka-sarana-dharma' through his book 'Mahapurusiasm-a Universal Religion’. He also highlighted the main principles of religion, devotion, Mahapurusiya dharma propounded by Sankardeva in his most significant book ‘Yuga-Nayaka Sankardeva’. Dimbeswar Neog was also known as the ‘Indradhenu poet’. His authored 100books of different fields like story, verses, novel, drama, history of literature, criticism and folk literature. Neog is best known as a critic of Assamese literature. According to Sahitya Akademi, Neog’s two works on Assamese literature ‘made significant contribution to the development of critical assessment in Assamese literature on an academic plane’. Dimbeswar Neog’s approach to literary criticism has been however criticized as being not ‘entirely free of personal prejudice’ and ‘occasionally vitiated by his biased analyses.
Dimbeswar Neog was also a historian. He had traced the full history of the Assamese language in his remarkable book ‘New light on history of Assamese literature’.