Pioneer Linguist of Assamese Language
অসমীয়া ভাষা বিজ্ঞান গবেষণাৰ বাটকটীয়া
New generation researchers may find lack of scientific approach in many of his interpretation, but it is expected that his work will definitely tinker the thought process of upcoming scholars.
এই কিতাপ অসমীয়া ভাষাৰ কোনো বিশেষ অভাৱ দুৰ কৰিবলৈ বুলি লিখা নাই। জ্যোতিষ, জ্যামিতি আদি তত্বৰ দৰে ভাষা তত্ত্ব চৰ্চ্চা কৰিও একৰকম জ্ঞান মূলক আনন্দ পোৱা যায়। এই কিতাপত লিখা কথাখিনি সেই আমোদ বিচাৰি ফুৰোঁতে কৰা চেষ্টাৰ ফল স্বৰূপ।
নতুন কথা আৱিষ্কাৰ কৰাতকৈ কোন বাটেদি অসমীয়া ভাষাৰ প্ৰত্ন তত্ত্ব যাব লাগে সেইটো উনুকিয়াই দিয়াহে এই কিতাপৰ উদ্দেশ্য। এই পুস্তিকাত তাতকৈ সৰহ কৰিব নোৱাৰি। লেখকৰ বিশ্বাস যে সেই বাটেদি যথোচিত অনুসন্ধান হলেহে এই কিতাবৰ কলেৱৰ চৰ্তুগুনে বাঢ়িব।
- Devananda Bharali, on release of his First Edition of “Moulik Bichar” Book, 1912
Devanada Bharali - A Brief Introduction
Early Days…Devananda Bharali was born on June 1883, in Sivasagar District of Assam to an educated family. His father Ishanaanda Bharali, who did BA from Kolkata was contemporary of Radhakanta Handique and Jagannath Barua. Ishananda Bharali wrote and published a book on Geography, Prakritick Bhugol in 1877. Devananda Bharali lost his father few months before his birth, and also his mother after ten month of his birth. He was brought up by his grandmother and later by paternal aunt. His grand father Paramananda Bharali was one of the very few people with knowledge of English language at that period of time. Paramananda Bharali completed entrance exam in 1850 and started teaching English language in school but later shifted job and retired as head clerk of Sivasagar Court. Devananda Bharali started his academic carrier in “Dinanath Bezbaruah Tol” in Sivasagar. He did his entrance in 1900, IA in 1902 and bachelor of Arts in 1904 from Kochbehar and then pursued Law in Kolkata. Under certain circumstances, he left LLB course and joined as Sub-Deputy Collector in 1906. Side by side, Influenced by a book on grammar which he read during his days in Kolkata, he started his research work on linguistic development of Assamese Language and published his first book, “Assamese Grammar in English” in 1907 (1) and “A Manual of Assamese Language” in 1909. In 1912, Devananda Bhrali made history by publishing the first edition of his book on linguistic science, “অসমীয়া ভাষাৰ মৌলিক বিচাৰ আৰু সাহিত্যৰ চিনাকি” (Axomiya Bhaxar Moulik Bichar aru xahityar Chinaki = An independent scrutiny of Assamese language and literature). In 1926 he took volunteer retirement from service, settled down at Jorhat and devoted his life for literary work that gave birth to a number of books and articles on linguistic study, poems, drama and novel.
Service Life…As a Sub Deputy Collector he worked in places like Nagaon, Kochbehar, Tinisukia. He used to travel to remote places along with his team to collect revenue. Such visits and interactions with people might had helped him to get a close look at various forms of Assamese and other language that spread over every nook and corner of the state. He took volunteer retirement from service in 1926 due to personal reasons and may be due to few bitter experience he had while collecting revenue from the poor people. He had shared few such stories later.
After Service life…Devananda Bharali bought a plot of land by the side of Na Ali (now Mahatma Gandhi Road) where he constructed his house in 1926 after resigning from his job as SDC. He was a shareholder of Timon Tea Estate and also hold the post of Managing Director though for very brief period. Later he divested his share of interest in the company. Once he also explored the scope for developing and marketing indigenous products. Records shows that he wrote to ministry enquiring about permission required for export of banana. He was also a recipient of literary pension during the later part of his life. His residence, along with few trees planted by him, is still there and is taken care of by his grandsons. Deavananda Bharali maintained a good health by walking regularly and keeping himself busy with household chores. Along with that, he used to read a lot and spend time in writing books and articles. He also read a number of old “Xasipat puthi” as a part of his studies on the development of Assamese language – his hobby. He published a number books and wrote articles in the then famous Assamese magazine “Alochoni”, “Usha”, “Banhi” and “Alok”. In addition to that he wrote few articles in “Assam Tribune” etc. including letter to editor. Freedom fighter Kuladhar Chaliha was one of his neighbour and closest old age friend, who used to visit him almost every day. In 1972, at the age of 89, Devananda Bharali breathed his last at Jorhat after a brief period of illness. Before his death, he completed his last book, a novel, “China Luitor Pare Pare”. Unfortunately he could not see his last creation in printed form. He left a revised manuscript (? Unfinished) of his drama “Bhimdarpa” which was lost in course of time. He had a desire to come up with a new edition of his landmark book “Axomiya Bhaxar Moulik Bichar”.
Family…Devananda Bharali’s wife was Kanchanlata Aideu, daughter of Guruprasad Duara of famous Duara family of Golaghat. They had four daughters and two sons. Amongst them, the eldest daughter Hemalata and youngest daughter Dibyaprabha followed his path and wrote numerous books in Assamese Language. Dibyaparabha was one of the few established female poet of Assam during the middle part of last century. Her published poetry collections were “Malancha”, “Arpana” “Bharat Tirtha” and “Ekadoshi (Bengali)”. Notable books of Hemalata were “Aryabartar Xoti, “Xoti Kahini”, “Alakanondar Pora Xagor Tiroloi”, “Bidexor Bate Pothe” etc. His other two daughters were Swaralata and Premalata. Preamalata was married to another legend of Assamese Literature, Ratnakanta Borkakoty (শেৱালি কবি). Devananda’s wife expired in 1951 after a short period of illness. His elder son Sachidananda Bharali worked in Indian Revenue Service and retired as IRS officer. Younger son Jashodananda Bharali was a famous academician and the founder Head of Zoology Department of Darrang College, then J B College, Jorhat and finally Guwahati University. Later he joined Secondary Education Board of Assam. Under his initiative, a new edition of ‘Moulik Bichar’ book was published in 1993. His daughter in law, Akoni Bharali (wife of Sachidananda) who had seen him very closely and supported him during his later phase of life, still lives in the same house in Jorhat and recalls various precious moments of her father in law, some of them are the main inputs for this introductory column.
Intellectual worldGlimpses to his intellectual world and literary work can be found in the few articles provided under “awards and recognition” and “books and articles” of this page. The webpage host, being decedents of Devanada Bharali, refrained from making any assessment of the value of his work here, from the fear of being emotionally biased and due to lack of adequate knowledge on his research subject. We could only feel that the words, language and even sometime the theme used in his books other than that of linguistic sciences, e.g. in drama or novel, carries his result of research work done on the various forms and elements of Assamese language. This is very prominent in his novel চিনা লুইতৰ পাৰে পাৰে (China Luitor Pare Pare) and drama শ্ৰীমন্ত শংকৰ (Srimonto Xonkor).
We observed that his contribution to the linguistic study had not been adequately referred by the next line of workers on the subject, the reason can be very well understood from the comment made by renowned grammarian Golok Chandra Goswami in the foreword of the third edition of “Moulik Bichar” published in 1993. In contrast, he and his work had been profoundly admired by the current generation of crusader for protection and upliftment of Assamese language.
Note: 1 There is references to this books in various articles published on Devananda Bharali. The book could not be located and year of publication is also uncertain. May be the referred book is “A Manual of Assamese Grammar” which was published in 1909.
List of Published Books of Devananda Bharali
|Books||Year of Publication||Comments|
|Assamese grammar in English||1902/1907
|There are references of a book of this title in many articles with two different year of publication. Copy of this book not available with us. We regret this inconvinience.|
|A manual of Assamese Grammar||1908||Printed in 1909. Available for download in this site. This may be the book referred above or it’s advanced version.|
|“অসমীয়া ভাষাৰ মৌলিক বিচাৰ আৰু সাহিত্যৰ চিনাকি” 1st adition. (Axomiya Bhaxar Moulik Bichar aru xahityar Chinaki||1912||This is the 1st edition of his book famous book “Moulik Bichar”. It was a 66 page booklet. This book is currently not available with the web host. The preface of this book is included in the third addition.|
|ভীমদৰ্প (Bhimdarpa)||1916||A drama based on Macbeth, created in a backdrop of lieutenant Vimdarpa, under Kahcari king Satrudaman. Copy not available with us. We regret this inconvinience..|
|“অসমীয়া ভাষাৰ মৌলিক বিচাৰ আৰু সাহিত্যৰ চিনাকি” Second and expanded edition. (Axomiya Bhaxar Moulik Bichar aru xahityar Chinaki||1932||Available for download (collected). This is the 2nd and expanded (302 pages) edition of the original book published in 1912.|
|আদি পুৰাণ (Adi Puran)||1940||Rythmic Poetry (Chanda kabya). Copy not available with us. We regret this inconvinience.|
|শ্ৰীমন্ত শংকৰ (Srimonto Xonkor)||1945||A drama based on Mahapurush Srimanta Sankardeva. Available for download in this site.|
|A Study of Phonology and Vocabulary of The Assamese Language||1959||The second book on linguistic science. Available for download in this site.|
|চিনা লুইতৰ পাৰে পাৰে (China Luitor Pare Pare)||1972||A novel written on a backdrop of his thought on the spread of Assamese language. Available for download in this site.|
|সত্য মুক্তাৱলী (Xotyo Muktawoli)||1972||Copy not available with us. We regret this inconvinience.|
|অসমীয়া ভাষাৰ মৌলিক বিচাৰ আৰু সাহিত্যৰ চিনাকি” Oxomiya Bhaxar MouliK Bichar, Third edition||1993||This new edition of the book was published by M/s Layers Book Stall in 1993 under the initiative of Jashodananda Bharali, son of Devananda Bharali. In this edition few typing errors had been removed and some systematic presentation of footnotes, references etc. made, without touching the text part. Reprint of the book was made in 2016 and 2018 and are available in the market. Therefore this edition of the book is not uploaded. Web host can help interested people to locate the book on request. The book is also available through e commerce site.|
Some of other literary works which are also not available currently are as given below:
- Editor of Oxom Xahitya Xobha Potrika
- Numerous poems by “Miri” pen name, mainly in the monthly journal “Alochani” and few articles on ‘Bihu’.
- পাতনি, চন্দ্ৰকান্ত অভিধান, (Foreword of Chandrakanta Abhidhan, 30 pages) (1933)
Felicitations, News Article on Devananda Bharali
In 1984, “Axomiya Bhaxa Bingyan Samiti” Celebrated 100th birth anniversary of Devananda Bharali in great way at various places in Assam. The souvenir published contains a number of valuable article on him and his contributions. In addition to that, he had been felicitated at different times by various organization including Axom Xahitya Xobha. Below is a list of such recognitions as well as news item published on such occasions (for view & download)Falicitation by Xahitya Xabha 1955.pdf Reference in Asiatic_Society Journal by EA Gait 1935 Abhinandan by Jorhat Congress Committee 1959 Abhinandan By Xahitya Xobha 1965 News on Falicitation published in Oxom Batori 1965 News on Falicitation published in Oxom Batori 1965_1 Write up on Devananda Bharali by Hariprasad Neog Letter requesting for photograph to keep in national library Kolkata Xatabarxiki samaranika 1984 Communication about literary pension Xotobarxiki celebration leflate 1984
Books and Articles written by Devananda Bharali
Reader can read the following books and articles written by Devananda Bharali here. If any student and research Scholar need a copy of the document, please call / write to us.
Books:A Manual of assamese Grammar Axomiya Bhaxar Moulik Bichar Srimanto Shankor A Study of the Phonology and Vocabulary of the Assamese language China luitor pare pare
Articles:Article on indian idependence 1951 Letter to the editor 1954 Psycology of Education_article Assam tribune 1959 Modvagabot Gita_article 1 in Alok Modvagabot Gita_article 2 in Alok Modvagabot Gita_article 3 in Alok Modvagabot Gita_article 4 in Alok Modvagabot Gita_article 5 in Alok
Documents on/about Devananda Bharali
Reader can read and download the following documents on/about Devananda Bharali hereFamily Tree of Devananda Bharali Devananda Bharali Handwriting_explanation of Geeta Letter from Ministry of foreign trade_on export of banana Envolope_letter from ministry Share certificate of Bharali Brothers
Readers can find more information about Devananda Bharali in the following links:
এই ঘৰতেই যোৱা শতিকাত অসমীয়া ভাষা বিজ্ঞান সাধনাৰ প্ৰদীপ উদ্ভাষিত হৈছিল।
During last few decades, research scholars and students of modern Indian language, Assamese language in particular, continuously approached us seeking insight of the literary work carried out by Devananda Bharali, our grandfather. They have been showing keen interest to know about his personal and public life, education, service etc. So far we had been trying to help them with the limited resources (hardcopies of books, articles) that were available with us. Later a new edition of the book “Axomiya Bhaxar Moulik Bichar” was published under the great initiative of his son Jasodananda Bharali in 1993.
Of late, a research scholar of Assamese Language from Dibrugarh University shared with us the troubles he faced in locating the works of Devananda Bharali’s and also family members (us) to get few first-hand information. This incident prompted us to come up with this webpage in order to preserve the work of Devananda Bharali in digital form and make them easily accessible for all. At present we are sharing the information and literatures which are currently available with us. At the same time search for his lost literary works will be continued and will be uploaded if found.
Our sincere appeal to all readers that if anybody has in their possession the missing literary work, article, etc. by Devanada Bharali or any on article, news etc. on him or know their location, kindly contact us at the e mail / phone number given below. We will arrange to collect just a copy of the same at our cost to publish in this page with due acknowledgement to the contributor.
We request our all readers and well wishers to share their views on this webpage with us for further improvement.
Phone: +91 8800960303
Kuladhar Chaliha Path