(Last Updated on : 06-04-2013)
Post Independence Assamese literature cannot be categorized as having a single common vision or belonging to a particular school. The writers and their works during this time were influenced in a number of ways. Factors, such as, the ready availability of newly published works from around the world, the advent of technology and mass media, and the easy access to travel and study across the world all influenced writers in various ways. Ideologically, it reflects a post-Freudian, post-Marxist, post-modern world. Furthermore, recent political upheavals in the country and the state, the breakdown of public morals, and economic progress continue to affect even the present-day writers. Literature today includes a wide range of poetry, novels, short stories, dramas, and sub-genres such as folklore, science fiction, children's literature, biographies, and translations.
After the Second World War and the attainment of independence, Assamese literature has entered a new era of creativity and writers are exploiting new themes. The most recent dramas reflect the contemporary tastes and movements of the people. Dramas on classical themes suffer a temporary eclipse, and the little, if any, which is based on classical topics, is a re-interpretation of life in new light. These are, marked by symbolism. As pointed out already, patriotic fervour guided earlier dramatists in the selection of their subject-matter, and the Ahom chronicles proved a vast store-house of such patriotic material. Even so, these dramatists concentrated their art on characterisation and not, as has been the practice in the immediate present, on the propagation of political and social ideologies. The modern dramatist has employed the historical play either to preach Hindu-Muslim unity or to condemn the underhand policies of the British rulers, to extol those martyrs who fought the British, and who died for India's freedom at the hands of a perfidious and tyrannical oppressor
Poetry in Post-Independence Assamese Literature
Poetry in Assamese literature during the post-independence era deals with the changes that were being ushered in into the life of the people with the increasing trend of urbanization. Modern poetry is both symbolic and realistic and combines the beautiful imagery of Romanticism with a modern Realistic perspective. Many different forms are seen being employed in modern poetry as there is no fixed norm regarding its structure. Thus while on the one hand some poets use the traditional lyric, others are seen using blank and even free verse.
Prose in Post-Independence Assamese Literature
In the post Independent period, prose was seen evolving most prominently in the form of short stories and novels. The prose works reflect a certain responsibility in their works. They deal with the changing conditions of society in the period after independence, and the changes required for the newly emerging society in the socio-political sphere.
Drama in Post-Independence Assamese Literature
Drama during this period also shows the same emphasis on social issues and interactions as is seen in of the literary works of the time. A lot of the works during this period have been greatly influenced by the works of the Western dramatists such as George Bernard Shaw, Anton Chekhov and others. A number of dramas have also been the outcome of the revival of the classical and folk forms. However most of the dramas that have been written have continued to remain unpublished unlike in the case of poetry and prose. Most dramas appear in journals or remain unpublished, though they have been performed.
Thus Assamese literature
in the post Independence period, and especially in the twentieth century has come a long way. The study of this particular form of literature has also been well-established. There are a number of schools of thought and critical approaches which are evident in the writings of literary scholars today. Since the Jayanti era
, the works of major Assamese novelists and poets have been regularly translated into Hindi and other languages, thus ensuring a wider readership. However, as a literature of a border region of India, it is still marginalized and often plays second fiddle to Bengali literature
. Assamese literature is a product of Assamese society, and Assamese society has specific qualities that separate and distinguish it from its western neighbours. Assam has generally been freer of caste oppression, untouchablity and communalism than other parts of India. Its history, till the socio-political movement of the 1980s, has never included religious persecution or divisiveness. Its women have never been debased by a dowry system, and female infanticide is rare. Its literature reflects these liberal aspects and, as such, can take its place among major Indian literatures.