Mamoni Raisom Goswami

Mamoni Raisom Goswami (1942-2011) was an Assamese editor, poet, professor, scholar and writer. Her original name was Indira Goswami and she was born on 14 November 1942. She was better known by her pen name Mamoni Raisom Goswami and was lovingly and popularly referred to as Mamoni Baideo. 

The most important aspects of the writings of Goswami have been on the focus on women and the cultural and political construct of the Assamese society.

Life of Mamoni Raisom Goswami

Mamoni Roisom Goswami

Indira Goswami was born at Guwahati in Assam. She was born to Umakanta Goswami and Ambaika Devi. Goswami was a patient of depression since her childhood. Goswami studied at Latashil Primary School. 

She completed Intermediate Arts from Handique Girls College. She completed her graduation from Cotton College in Assamese literature. She did her Post Graduation in Assamese literature from Gauhati University. 

She was married to Madhaven Raisom Ayengar. After the sudden death of her husband in a car accident in the Kashmir region of India she slipped into depression and became addicted to heavy doses of sleeping pills. 

Goswami took to writing to live a better life. According to her other than writing she would not have survived. She had worked in Sainik School, Goalpara.

At Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh she pursued research work. Her experiences as a widow and researcher are mentioned in her novel “The Blue Necked Braja”. The novel is about the exploitation of the ‘Radhaswamis’ of Vrindavan who faced sexual exploitation. 

She later joined the Delhi University as a lecturer. The phase in the Delhi University was the golden period of Goswami’s life. During her stay in the University she wrote most of her greatest works. 

She wrote several short stories and two classics during this time. Goswami passed away on 29 November, 2011. She was reported to have multiple organ failure.

Literary Works of Mamoni Raisom Goswami

Indira Goswami is a celebrated writer of contemporary Indian literature. Several of the works of the celebrated writer have been translated into English from Assamese. Notable among them are “The Moth Eaten Howdah of the Tusker”, “Pages Stained with Blood”, “The Man from Chinnamasta”.

Raisom published her first collection of short stories “Chinaki Morom” when she was a student. Her experiences in Kashmir and Madhya Pradesh are used in her novels “Ahiron” and “The Chehnab’s Curent”.

In her novel “The Blue Necked Braja” the exploitation of the 'Radhaswamis' of Vrindavan who faced sexual exploitation are mentioned. The novel exposed the uglier face of Vrindavan. The conservative sections of society have criticised the novel.

It is a classic in modern literature. It is autobiographical in character. She is also the author of “Pages strained with blood” “Dwarka and his gun”, “The Journey”, “Pain and Flesh” etc. The film “Adajya” is based on the novel of Goswami. It won international awards. “Words from the Mist” is a film made on the life of Goswami.

Awards and Honour of Mamoni Raisom Goswami

  • 1982 – Sahitya Akademi Award (for Mamore Dhora Tarowal)
  • 1989 – Bharat Nirman Award
  • 1992 – Sauhardya Award of Uttar Pradesh Hindi Sansthan of Government of India.
  • 1993 – Katha National Award for Literature
  • 1996 – Kamal Kumari Foundation National Award in 1996
  • 2000 – Jnanpith Award
  • 2002 – D Litt Degree from Rabindra Bharati University, West Bengal
  • 2002 – Mahiyoshi Jaymati Award with a citation in gold by Ahom Court of Assam
  • 2002 – Padma Shri (She refused to accept)
  • 2007 – D Litt Degree from Rajiv Gandhi University Arunachal Pradesh
  • 2008 – D Litt Degree from Indira Gandhi National Open University
  • 2008 – Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar Gold Plate from Asiatic Society
  • 2008 – Principal Laureate Prince Claus Award[26]
  • 2009 – Krishnakanta Handique Award, Asom Sahitya Sabha
  • Awarded the Ambassador for Peace from the Inter Religious and International Federation for World Peace
  • The International Tulsi Award from Florida International University for her book, Ramayana From Ganga To Brahmaputra
  • Asom Ratna – the highest civilian award in the State of Assam, India

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