It was our long cherished dream to make videos about some significant events in Assam history, shedding light on its rich tangible cultural heritage and attempt to chronicle the lives of figures who played a definitive role. We begin our journey with a series on some eminent figures of undivided Assam. At a time when there is a dearth of visionary leaders, we look back and try to reinstate few remarkable individuals who have faded from public memory. The aim is not to hero worship them, but to activate memories that we have forgotten and to remind ourselves what Confucius said centuries ago - 'Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.'
৷৷ Legends of Assam : Episode 2 - Anundoram Borooah's 'Lost Library' II
"Calcutta, 1916. Two friends came out of their Mess at 43, Amherst Street and walked towards 'Boi Para' or the Colony of Books at College Street. Much like today, College Street was known for its pavement book stalls - which sold rare book titles. The two friends visited a stall and started flipping through the books and magazines. One of them noticed a book which changed their lives forever."
The first episode of 'Legends of Assam' is about the tragic fate of Anundoram Borooah's library. Anundoram turned into an enigma for generations of Assamese students studying in erstwhile Calcutta and elsewhere. And yet, he was an idol for many. Hailing from North Guwahati, Anundoram sailed to England in the late 1860s and became the fifth Indian to qualify for Indian Civil Service. He was the first graduate and also the first Barrister from the region. Not many people are aware that he was the first Indian to be appointed as a District Magistrate, and rose to become a Sanskrit scholar of international repute - all in a lifespan of only thirty nine years. He was extremely popular at Noakhali, Bengal which later earned notoriety due to the riots in 1947. The people named a school and a market after him. Anundoram died a bachelor and left behind his library - an invaluable treasure - which he referred to as - 'the darling of my life demanding from me my best energy and attention.'
Our tribute to a scholar par excellence.
৷৷ Legends of Assam : Episode 1 - Tarun Ram Phookun II
Our next pick for the series is Deshabhakta Tarun Ram Phukan - a dynamic Barrister and one of the foremost leaders in Assam's struggle for independence. Eighty years after his death, people still utter- 'Phukan thou should be living at this hour. Assam hath need of thee.'