The wonderful seven sister states in India have the rich culture, which has always produced brilliant writers. The literature in their books speaks volumes about land, people, lives, culture, and customs to familiarize everyone with the history of the places. Literature has stayed an integral part in the diverse and vibrant cultures of the states, where luscious verdant nature always brings poetic imagination. The sons and daughters of the soil have composed immortal pieces in prose and poetry, which have stayed magnum opuses in the history of Indian literature. Their writing gives valuable glimpses of cataclysmic times that shaped the destiny of the nation. The vivid description of traditions, lives, social customs, and superstitions in the milieu of the contemporary times in the writing of the masters simply makes the books unputdownable. The north-east in India has produced finest writing in English as well as regional languages, which leaves indelible impression in the minds of the readers. The writing in regional languages takes the booklovers in a ride of rich imagination about the primitive lives in the pristine land of the seven sister states. The numbers of regional writers has continued to grow, who have continued to contribute to the wealth of heritage by consistently composing creative pieces.
Let’s know about some of the writers from the immaculate land of north-east, who have brought considerable fame for their states.
The place Nampong at Tirap district in Arunachal Pradesh has forever felt proud about its daughter of the soil, Rita Chowdhury. The acclaimed poet, novelist, and winner of Sahitya Academy award is a distinguished figure in the Indian literary world. Her first contribution to the Assamese literature came in the year 1981 with her first novel ‘Abirata Jatra’. As a successful litterateur, she successively penned down her different works, which are literally milestones in Assamese literature. She is the only novelist, whose works are favorites of all generations. Her novel “Makam” brings back the memories of harrowing time of Indo-Chinese war in 1962, when the Chinese people, living in Assam, were targeted and persecuted by the Indian government. Resulting in unjust deportation of more than 1500 Chinese people, who were living in Assam for decades as laborers in tea plantations, the novel created an uproar with its publication in the year 2010.
Popular everywhere as Mamoni Baideo, the celebrated contemporary Indian writer Indira Goswami has the most illustrious career in writing that has spanned over many decades. As the recipient of Sahitya Academy Award and Jnanpith Award, her writing focused on the cultural, Political and feminine issues in the contemporary society of Assam. Her path-breaking work in Assamese language “ Dontal Hatir Ooyen Khowa Howdah (The moth eaten Howdah of a Tusker)” has so far stayed one of the master pieces of Indian literature. The novel became the national award winning movie- Adajya. Set in the social milieu of Palashbari of Kamrup, the plot in her novel revolves around the female protagonist- Giribaala. Being a Brahmin widow, her life is held in the upheavals from traditionalism and surges of liberalism. The novel is a classic that effectively brings alive the picture of transition. This work has been adapted innumerably in various television serials. Other than this novel, her other books include Nilkanthi Braja, Tej Aru Dhulire Dhusarit Pristha, Chinavar Shrot, and other works.
Birendra Kumar Bhattacharya
As the first recipient of Jnanpith Award, Dr Birendra Kumar Bhattacharya is a legendary figure of Assamese literature. “Mrityunjaya”-the classic in Assamese literature by the author, set in the background of turbulent time of Quit India movement, made him a prominent figure in Indian literature. Making use of his sheer imagination, he brought alive the incident of train derailment that was staged by the revolutionaries in Assam. In the year 1942, the train carrying hundreds of British soldiers was derailed from its track and as a consequence, majority of the soldiers, travelling was killed. Unraveling this true incident as the plot of the novel, Birendra Kumar Bhattacharya gives a masterly handling with the adept description of characters and natural beauty.
M. K Binodini Devi
A member of the royal family from Manipur and a litterateur, Princess M.K. Binodini Devi is an iconic figure in Indian literature. Her master-piece “Boro sahib Ongbi sanatombi” holds a really lofty place in Manipuri literature. Being the only royal woman in Manipur to bridge the gap between ancient royalty and modern art, her master strokes in writing came alive in her essays, short-stories, plays, acclaimed screenplays, lyrics, and ballet scripts. Her work “ Boro Sahib Ongbi sanatombi” holds the readership spell-bound with the masterly portrayal of the true life-story of a princess, who was the daughter of Maharaja Surchandra Singh. Her screen-plays became award-winning movies.
Lil Bahadur Chetri
“Brahmaputrako Chheu Chha” and “ Basain” are two most popular novels in Nepali language by Lil Bahadur Chetri from Assam. Both the books explore the sufferings of poor and downtrodden by the upper classes in the state. As an author with flair in writing in Nepali and English languages, his other classics include Arpita, Assam Ma Nepali Bhasako Sharogharo, Dobato, Tindasak Bis Abibhyakti and collection of short stories and essays. For his contribution to the literary world, the author was given Sahitya Academy Award.