175+ Years of Media in Assam
On the occasion of the completion of 175+ years of Media in Assam, a new edition of the book titled as “THE WHOLE WORLD KIN: A Pioneer Experience Among Remote Tribes, and Other Labours of Nathan Brown”, written by Elizabeth W. Brown was inaugurated, along with the digital version of “Orunodoi” by Prof. (Dr.) Sanjay Dwivedi, Director General, Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) at Hotel Landmark, Guwahati, on Friday, 23 September 2022, an initiative by Mahabahu (www.mahabahu.com) in association with the Multicultural Educational Development Trust.
At the very onset, while emphasizing on the importance of the event, the editor of Mahabahu, Anjan Sarma reflected that in 2020-2021, while working on the book titled “175 Years of Media in Assam and Beyond”, he perceived how, almost 180 years ago, amidst the tidal surge of the mighty Brahmaputra, Nathan Brown accompanied by his wife, carried a printing machine, sailed against the seismic torrents towards Sadiya, and wondered how extraordinary the journey was!
The thought of that breath taking voyage exhilarated him, and he was determined to revisit the waves with a new edition of the book written by Nathan Brown’s wife “The WHOLE WORLD KIN: A pioneer Experience Among Remote Tribes, and Other Labors of Nathan Brown”, as the original book is rare to get hold of.
He illuminated, how after the tremendous efforts in obtaining the book, Sri Haren Mahanta (husband of Late Meghali Mahanta), his sons and family, in the memory of the deceased Late Meghali Barman Mahanta (birth 27/04/1977 – death 19/10/2020) extended their priceless efforts not only in the completion of this book by Mahabahu, but also fervently aided in the release of the digital version of ORUNODOI.
The book was inaugurated by the Director General of Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), Prof. (Dr.) Sanjay Dwivedi. Besides this book, the digital version of ORUNODOI, an initiative by Mahabahu was inaugurated by the eminent journalist Sri Prasanta Rajguru.
The event was graced by Dr. Makhanlal Das, Pastor, Gauhati Baptist Church, who critically discussed on the golden era, when the missionaries contributed immensely on the development of Assam and the Assamese.
He asserted how the Baptist could have spread Christianity in their own language, but rather they uplifted the Assamese language, and ushered in new dimension to it. As the Assamese language is gradually endangering, the Pastor said that a new agitation is the need of the hour for its preservation.
In the event, Kumar Deepak Das appreciated this initiative by Mahabahu by elucidating its previous works in a commendable manner. Prominent Advocate, Satyen Sarma unravelled the bold adventures undertaken by Nathan Brown, and emphasized on the importance of such revolution in the field of literature too.
Eminent Writer, Rezaul Karim extensively discussed on the field of media in Assam, the situation now, and the role of Mahabahu in it. Prominent Journalist, Amal Goswami emphasized on the significance of the revolutionary books as these, and stressed on the importance of the translation of such books into native languages.
Prominent Poet, Sri Bedabrata Deva Mishra, in his speech stated that the Assamese reached a blind alley, andat a stage where the Assamese race is being defamed in its own land. Hence, by working relentlessly as Mahabahu, the backbone of Assam can be strengthened.
The Chief Guest of the event, Prof. Sanjay Dwivedi shared his experience of the time – in January 2021, when he had arrived inAssam to launch the book “175 Years of Media in Assam and Beyond” containing 1200 pages, published by Mahabahu, under the editorship of Anjan Sarma, and gave an extensive analysis of the sheer importance of mother tongue in the restoration of ethnic races.
Besides, he also expressed his warm emotions upon holding the book, “THE WHOLE WORLD KIN: A Pioneer Experience Among Remote Tribes, and Other Labors of Nathan Brown” consisting of 600 pages. Amidst the ongoing occasion, Anjan Sarma offered Prof. Sanjay Dwivedi a proposal that if a ‘Handbook for the journalists/Media’, portraying their selfless works and myriad experiences is ever to be published, under the guidance of Prof. Dwivedi, Mahabahu will be privileged to embark on that journey by publishing it.
Prof. Dwivedi manifested signs of interest, shared that he would deeply contemplate on this proposal by Anjan Sarma, and also invited Mahabahu in the premise of IIMC, New Delhi to organise such remarkable events in the institution as well. Prof. Dwivedi reiterated that any language which is acquired devoid of a teacher is the mother tongue, because it’s mother’s language, a language of the heart. He, once again, conveyed his thankfulness towards Mahabahu, and admired the works encompassing it.
Sri. Prasanta Rajguru vehemently proclaimed that Mahabahu, under the leadership and guidance of Anjan Sarma, distant from the mainstream limelight, has been working relentlessly and selflessly for the holistic development in the field of literature. He also commended the marvellous works of Anjan Sarma, such as his translations of Amanatullah Khan’s “History of Kochbihar (Kochbiharer Itihaax)”, Kanak Lal Barua’s “Early History of Kamrup (Prachin Kamrupor Itihaax) ”, “Paromanobik Xomoy’, “ Asom Andolonor Asampurna Itihaax” ( Incomplete History of Assam Movement) etc., and professed that the society will be grateful for his rich contributions perpetually.
Sri. Rajguru said, “We are proud of being a language-driven state”. With these emerging technologies in this dynamic age, the love and interest for the Assamese language, culture, literature by the Assamese expatriates exhibit a sign of hope.
By digitalising ORUNODOI, Mahabahu has set a watershed moment in immortalising the language and its entire race. He wished for more such remarkable works by Mahabahu in the future too.
In the midst of the event, Sri Hemen Das portrayed his earlier experiences while working on the book concerning 175 years of media in Assam, during the lockdown.
The presence of such prominent dignitaries across various fields, such as Anuj Kumar Paliwal, Sanjeev Sarma, Monikangkan Barooah, Dr Nayanjit Deka, Dhananjoy Sarma, Bipul Rabha, Rudreswar Sarma, Hitendra Nath Neog, Mrinal Hazarika, Manik Talukdar, Jayanta Deka, Tonoy Chakroborty, Tanuja Barkakati, Dibakar Talukdar, Jagadish Das, Ramkrishna Sarma, Bijoy Choudhury, Surjya Borthakur, Barsha Sarma, Apurba Kumar Khound, Kalyan Basumatary, Imon Sarma, ….. adorned the occasion, made the event of media in 175+ years a highly successful one.
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