Two writers who started writing and established reputations quite early are Said Abdul Malik and Birendra Kumar Bhattacharya. As with his earlier short stories, Malik's novels concentrate on the relationships between men and women, on ordinary events that touch and change the lives of ordinary people, and on the universal relevance such relationships and events have. Some of these novels are Adharsheela (1966), Rajanigandhar Sokulu (1972), and Dr. Arunabhar Asampurna Jivani (1975). Certain of his novels, such as Prasin am Kankaal (1968) and Sonali Sutare Bondha (1972), look at unnatural manifestations of love and intense passion. However, his novels are not restricted to romance alone. Two novels that examine social conditions are Surujmukhir Sapna (1960) and Oghori Atmar Kahini (1969). Surujmukhir Sapna is primarily about the life of a Muslim village by the river. Through his descriptions of a simple rural people, their joys, sorrows, and hopes, Malik brings the village to life. Oghori Atmar Kahini, on the other hand, is placed in an urban setting and looks at middle-class life and problems associated with it. Malik's prose writings include two well-known biographies: Jyoti Prasad Agarwala's life, Rupotirtha Jatri, and the Assamese Vaishnava saint and reformer Sankardev's life, Dhanya Nara Tonu Bhala (1987). Among Malik's many works are Rothor Sokori Ghure (1950), Bonjui (1956), Sobighar (1958), Matir Saki (1959), and Anya Akash, Anya Tora (1962).
Birendra Kumar Bhattacharya's novels, too, display the same political concerns that his short stories exhibited. In technique, his novels are more experimental and modern than Malik's. His first novel, Rajpothe Ringiyai (1955), employs stream-of-consciousness narrative to some extent. The novel moves over the course of one day in the life of the protagonist, an important day for India-August 15, 1947, Independence Day. One can see the limitedness of Independence through the hero's eyes and ultimately the false claims of independence as the day ends with the hero's being attacked by the police. His second novel, Iyaruingom (1960), is set in the Naga Hills of the Independence era and narrates the divisions that arise out of ideological differences. One group within Naga society believes in Subash Chandra Bose's message of active, armed resistance to the British in India with the help of the Japanese army; the other group has faith in Gandhi's non-violent methods. This division echoes the kind of division seen in the rest of India. In the end, even though the first group is victorious and attempts to form an independent state in the Naga Hills, it is clear that the larger nationalistic forces will ultimately take over. Bhattacharya's novels consistently question and reveal the false assumptions on which society's definitions of freedom, nationalism, faith, and religion are based. His Mritunjoy (1970), which again is set in pre-independent India during the Quit India Movement of 1942, focuses on a Vaishnavite and a Gandhian who must turn to violence. His Pratipod (1970) uses the workers' strike of 1940 in the British-owned Assam Oil Company at Digboi as its subject and the unity displayed by the workers and the ultimate political intervention as its theme. Two recent novels that again turn to democracy and nationalism are Munisunir Pohor (1979) and Kalor Humunia (1982). Bhattacharya's novels, such as Sataghni (1968) and Kobor am Phool (1972), examine the effects of war on humanity. Other novels, such as Nastachandra (1968), Sinaki Shuti (1971), and Daini (1976), are studies of the human condition.
Homen Borgohain (1931) is another contemporary novelist whose novels examine various forms and whose subjects are often political in the manner of Bhattacharya. His first novel, Suwala (1963), is narrated in the first person and is the account of the life of its heroine, a simple village girl who comes to town in hopes of finding a better life and whom social and economic conditions push toward prostitution. Borgohain's second novel, Tantrik (1967), is an ideological novel that examines the values of mysticism as opposed to naturalism or existentialism, where plot is secondary. In both novels, we see the influence of Western philosophical schools. Borgohain's Antaraag (1986), however, is a novel that shows the relevance and applicability of these ideas to modern-day India. Borgohain's political novels include Kushilav (1970) and Timir Tortha (1975), both of which expose the corruption and decay of Indian politics both local and national. His extremely popular novels such as Halodhiya Soaiye Baudhan Khai (1973), Pitaputra (1975), and Matsyagandha (1987) take on more social concerns and depict the continuing social inequities and injustices. Navakanta Barua's novels, too, examine social conditions, but more in the manner of Malik than Bhattacharya. His two best-known novels are set in Nagaon district of Assam and have almost a historical quality. Kapili Pariya Sadhu (1926) is set around the river Kapili, and the riverbank takes on a life of its own through Barua's poetic descriptions. But his second novel, Kokadeutar Had (1954), established the poet as a novelist. The novel is the saga of two well-placed families in late eighteenth-century Nagaon. Their story of bitter rivalry, deceit, and violence is told through a present-day narrator, a grandmother reflecting on her family's past as she tells the tale to future generations. Through the rivalry of the two families and their manipulation of the lower classes, the novel touches on the continuing exploitation of one class by another. Barua usually takes figments of history and folklore and builds his novels around them. Two other such novels are Garama Kunwori (1979) and Manuh Ataibor Dwip (1981).
Lakshminandan Borah, notable as a short story writer, focuses on ordinary life, especially rural life, in his novels, which include Ganga Silonir Pakhi (1965), Nishar Purobi (1962), and Matit Meghor Sanh (1970). Borah's more socially and politically conscious novels are Fatal Bhairbi (1965), Uttar Purush (1970), and Dohon Dulori (1971). Jogesh Das (1927) looks back at World War II and the conditions it created in India in his most notable novel, Dawor Am Nai (1955). Many of Das's novels show the restrictive nature of Indian society, especially concerning women. Two of these are Jonakir Jui (1959) and Nirupai, Nirupai (1963). Debendranath Acharya (1937-81), in his novels Kalpurush (1967), Anya Jog Anya Purush (1971), and Jangam (published 1982), was the first to write in a surrealistic form. His novels explore particular events in Assam's past imaginatively, rather than historically. Assam's large aboriginal tribal society has always been a presence in its literature and folklore, though somewhat an overlooked one. But Karbi writer Rong Bong Terang's novel Rongmilir Hanhi (1981) brought Karbi society to mainstream literature. A novelist who experiments with form and subject in novels such as Madhupur (1971), Tarangini (1971), Godhuli (1981), and Anusandhan (1987) is Shilabhadra (Revatimohan Dutta Choudhuri ). Short story writer and playwright Bhabendranath Saikia's (1932) novel Antarip (1986) is extraordinarily progressive in its feminist statement, as it entertains the idea of feminine subversion in the 1930s.
Thus the post independent literature of Assam saw a lot of prose being produced and a variety of novels which are traditional and experimental, romantic and realistic. Other novelists and short story writers of the post-independent period in Assam include Chandra Prasad Saikia (1927), Medini Choudhuri (1929), Arunachali writer Lummer Dai (1940), Troilokyanath Goswami (1906-88), Sneha Devi, Hiren Gohain, and Govindaprasad Sharma, to name just a few.
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