Chandra Prabha Saikiani
 
Home  
Ajali Tora Neog  
Ambika Goswami  
Amiya Chakraborty  
Amrit Priya Devi  
Annada Devi Barkataky  
Anu Baruah  
Anuradha Das  
Aroti Saikia  
Bani Pathak  
Bimal Bhagawati  
Bishnu Priya Devi  
Bishnu Priya Dutta Barua  
Braja Bala Devi  
Chandrabala Baruah  
Chandrawati Devi Kotoky  
Chandra Prabha Saikiani  
Dharmalata Baruah  
Divya Prabha Bharali  
Eliza Whitney Brown  
Fatema Khatun  
Gyana Bala Barua  
Heera Prabha Baruah  
Hemalata Baruah  
Hema Prabha Hazarika  
Hema Prabha Saikia  
Hema Prabha Das  
Hema Prabha Goswami  
Hemalata Dutta  
Hemnalini Goswami  
Himala Boruani  
Hiranyamoyi Devi  
Hirawati Gohain Barua  
Jumuneshwari Khatonier  
Kabya Bharati Dharmeshwari Devi Baruani  
Kamalalaya Kakoty  
Kamalini Borbora  
Kanaklata Chaliha  
Khirada Kumari Baruah  
Krishna Priya Hazarika  
Kunjalata Devi  
Malabika Goswami  
Manorama Bhattacherjee  
Mini Amonz  
Nalini Bala Devi  
Neelima Dutta  
Nikunjalata Chaliha  
Nirupama Baruah  
Nirupama Kotoky  
Nirupama Phukan  
Padmakumari Borgohain  
Padmapriya  
Padmawati Devi Phukanani  
Phuleswari Dutta  
Pranita Devi  
Pratibha Devi  
Rajbala Das  
Raseswari Khatonier  
Sabitri Borgohain  
Saradabala Das  
Sarojbala Dutta  
Saruj Kumari Padmapati  
Shashi Prabha Dutta  
Shudha Baruah  
Sneh Devi  
Snehalata Devi  
Soshme Nurjahan Begum  
Soujanyamayee Bhattachryya  
Suprabha Devi  
Suprabha Goswami  
Suprova Dutta  
Swarnalata Barua  
Tarini Devi  
Trailokeswari Devi Baruani  
Usha Bhattacharyee  
Usha Barthakur  
Umeshari Goswami  
Puspalata Das  
Xhirada Neog  
Basundhara Saikia  
 Champa Kalita  
 Nirupama Hagzer  
 Manikee Bordoloi  
 Hemalata Borah  
 Uma Baruah  
 Hareswaree Hajowaree  
 Suchibrata Raychaudhuri  
Runu Baruah  
 Doli Talukdar  
 Nirmal Prava Bordoloi  
 Nirupama Borgohain  
 Lakhya Hira Das  
 Hironmoyi Devi  
 Nilima Baruah  
 Shakina Khatun  
 Devika Saikia  
 Swarna Goswami  
 Anima Dutta  
 Annada Saikia  
 Phuleswari Pegu  
 Shovaneswari Devi Goswami  
   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

CHANDRAPRABHA SAIKIANI

(1901-1972)

The leader of women’s liberation movement Chandraprabha Saikiani was in real sense a rebellious flame of fire. She is known as the 'Agni Kanya’. Her life was full of ups and downs. She had to fight against society’s injustice towards the women in social, political and economic aspects. She had motherly compassion towards the down-trodden sections of the society. The leader of the women’s liberation movement, Chandraprabha Saikiani was a social worker, literature and a fearless freedom fighter. She played a revolutionary role in many activities related to social reforms.

Chandraprabha was born on 16"‘March, 1901 in remote Daisingari village of Kamrup district. Her father’s name was Ratiram and the name of her mother was Gangapriya. Their title was Majumdar. Both of them were religious minded persons. Honesty and attitude of fearlessness were the characteristic features of Chandraprabha.

Chandraprabha completed her primary education in 1911 and received a silver medal for her extraordinary talents. In those days there were no girls’ schools for higher education. Therefore she had to admit herself in a boys’ M.V. School at Kaithalmari. The school was situated far away from her village. Chandraprabha and her younger sister Rajaniprabha had to cross a small stream on their way to the school. But destiny helped Chandraprabha. The school inspector Nilkanta Baruah one day came to inspect the school. When he came to know about the talents of the two sisters, he granted them scholarships to study in Nagaon Mission School. Chandraprabha's rebellion started in this school.

A girl from a very poor Hindu family of a distant village was also a student of that school. The school superintendent asked the girl to convert her religion. The girl did not agree to convert herself to Christianity. As a result she was compelled to stay in a go down as a punishment. Chandraprabha could not tolerate this injustice. With full support of her classmates Chandraprabha protested the injustice done to that poor girl. The superintendent Miss Long had to reinstate the girl in the hostel.

At a very early age Chandraprabha set up a school at a place named Akaya near her village. Later on she became the Headmistress of an M.V. School at Tezpur.

In 1918, the meeting of Assam Chhatra Sammilan was held in Tezpur. During that period the status of women in the male- dominated society was very low. In that meeting Chandraprabha demanded with a strong voice for prohibition of opium. That was her first speech in a public meeting and incidentally that was also the first public speech delivered by a woman in the male- dominated society.

Chandraprabha's married life was not a long one. She was married to renowned litterateur Dandi Nath Kalita through Gandharva procedure. As that was an inter caste marriage the leaders of the society protested. In spite of their hue and cry, Chandraprabha remained unmoved and wrote about that event in an Assamese newspaper published during that period. As a result of the protest from the society Kalita had to leave Chandraprabha and married another girl. After that Chandraprabha went away with her child Atul. She changed her title to Saikiani. Such was her fearless mindset.

In 1925, the conference of the Asom Sahitya Sabha was held in Nagaon under the Presidentship of Upanyas Samrat Rajanikanta Bordoloi. Chandraprabha was sitting on the dias with other dignitaries. The women present in the conference were sitting with veils on the other side of the bamboo curtain so that the males could not see them. Chandraprabha felt that the women were sitting in the manner as if some animals had been kept inside the cage. When she stood up to deliver her lecture she roared like a lioness and called the women to come forward protesting this injustice. Her call was so much touching that all the women present in the meeting immediately responded to her call and by breaking the bamboo curtain came to the open ground.

In 1926, the Asom Pradeshik Mahila Samiti was formed with the pioneering efforts of Chandraprabha Saikiani. As a founder secretary she had to work hard for the newly born Samiti. She started visiting villages and set up branches. Under her strong leadership a few enthusiastic women with leadership qualities came out from the four boundaries of house and took the responsibilities to nurture the organization as their own child.

At present the Asom Pradeshik Mahila Samiti is a well organized organization with a large number of branches scattered in urban and rural areas. The democratic organization, holding its head high with pride has been rendering immense services to the society. In this context the pioneering efforts of Chandraprabha Saikiani to establish the organization must be remembered. She showed the path to the women of then Assam under the British rule, by appearing like a polar star in the horizon of the chained, dependent, neglected women’s society. She discharged her duties quite efficiently as the secretary of the Samiti till 1963 and after that she was installed in the chair of the president. In 1969, she took retirement from the post of Presidentship on health ground. However she engaged herself in various activities of the Samiti till her death as an advisor.

Perhaps Chandraprabha was the first Assamese woman who used bicycle as conveyance in those days. It was really unimaginable that Chandraprabha during those days riding on her bicycle went from one village to another village, rendering welfare see/nes to the community.

Chandraprabha met Mahatma Gandhi in 1921 at Tezpur. She was highly impressed by the personality of this great man of India and as a result she joined the non-cooperation movement led by Gandhiji. After the formation of Asom Pradeshik Mahila Samiti in 1926, under the leadership of Chandraprabha Saikiani, the Samiti started giving attention to the myriad problems of women and took part in the various works of social reforms of Gandhiji like abolition of child marriage, untouchables, etc. Chandraprabha resigned from the service to play active role in India’s freedom movement. In response to Gandhiji’s call for non-use of foreign clothes, Chandraprabha started wearing Khaddar.

Towards the end of 1929, the civil disobedience movement was started under the leadership of Gandhiji.Chandraprabha joined the movement and involved herself in various activities entrusted to her. She was arrested in 1930 and imprisoned for one and a half years. Chandraprabha Saikiani delivered her first political lecture at Nabin Chandra Bordoloi Hall in 1930. However after completing nine months in jail she got ' released order according to the ‘Aarvvin pact’. The last phase of the India’s freedom movement was the famous 1942 movement. She took part in that movement and got imprisonment for three months.

While remaining outside, Chandraprobha collected contributions from the public and helped the families of the freedom leaders who remained in jail. Taking permission from the jail authority she provided the prisoners necessary items like soaps, mosquito nets, bottles of hair oil etc.

On the eighth day of Gandhiji’s assassination in 1948, the door of Haigriv Madhav temple at Hajo was opened for all without any discrimination of caste, creed and religion. This remarkable event was possible only due to the efforts made by the Asom Pradeshik Mahila Samiti under the leadership of Chandraprabha Saikiani. This was one of the noteworthy works of Chandraprabha.

During those days there was large scale migration from East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). Chandraprabha predicted that one day the identity of Assamese people will be in danger. She also played active role in language movement and proved once again her patriotism.

Chandraprabha was a versatile writer. Whenever she found time in her busy schedule she concentrated on writing something - it could be a poem, an article or a short story. Her novel ‘Pitri- Bhitha' was written before independence. This novel was highly appreciated by the readers. Dandi Nath Kalita’s novel ‘Sadnana' depicted the injustice of the society. Had she been concentrated only on literature, Assamese literature would have been enriched with her noteworthy literary contributions. Her pen also had great strength like Anurupa Devi and Ashapurna Devi of West Bengal. As she was actively associated with social and political activities, she had very little time for literary works.

Apart from ‘Pitri-Bhitha’ she wrote three other books for class room teaching.

In 1969, she published Mahatma Gandhi’s prayer messages. She translated them into Assamese. They were divided into three parts. In the preface she wrote that she was thankful to God that she could offer the translation works to the readers on the 2""of October which happened to be the Birthday of Mahatma Gandhi.

It is known that several books, written by Chandraprabha remained unpublished. Out of these unpublished books ‘Eri aha Dinbor’ and ‘Aparajita’ need special mention. She was the editor of the monthly magazine ‘Abhijatri’. However the publication of that magazine was closed after some time. Till her death, she regularly wrote articles in Assamese newspapers - like Dainik Asom, Asam Bani, Natun Asomya, Asom Batori, Nilachal etc. With sincere efforts she prepared a book entitled ‘Asom Pradeshik Mahila Samitir Etibritta’ (History of Asom PradeshikMahila Samiti). She discussed in that book the history of the Samiti in detail.

In recognition to her social and political activities, she as conferred the Padmashree award by the Govt. of India. But it was a matter of regret that she could not attend the award giving ceremony, because a few days before, on March 16, 1972, this dynamic lady breathed her last.

Chandraprabha Saikiani was leading a life of sacrifice and struggle. She not only eradicated the ‘Parda Pratha’ but also fought against child marriage, prostitution and raised her voice in favour of higher education for women. She opened an orphanage through the Asom Pradeshik Mahila Samiti and this orphanage has still been providing shelter and job opportunities to the destitute. Chandraprabha tried her best to give the women their proper status.

The lady, shined with her inner light, is no more with us; but her tremendous mental strength; quality of fearlessness, patriotism and selfless services for society will remain forever as sources of inspiration.

 

 
Copyright ©SM Computer Consultants Pvt. Ltd, Guwahati, India '1998-2016'