Sabitri Borgohain
 
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Sabitri Borgohain

An open minded, confident lady from "Kaliabor" area who was never hesitated to bring out the mistakes community or her family members, friends & relatives she was equally vocal about the good deeds of everybody & their delicacies.

Because of her bold & truthful nature everybody thought twice before talking to her.

Sabitri Gogoi (after marriage Borgohain) was born in 1927 in a historical place named "Kaliabor" in Nagaon district. Her father Late Ratikanta Gogoi was chief of During was chief of during Satra & Mother did not go to School, still she was an expert weaver, who was expert in house hold activities & lived an exception life following all the traditional values.

Sabitri passed from "Hatbar Primary School" and because of her father’s persistence went to "Kunwaratal Ballav Bhai Patel Middle School, "though her mother was not very interested in reading her mother wanted her to learn all he hold activities & get married to a good family. Sabitri completed her schooling as her father was for "Girl’s Educational "system.

During her middle school examination "Non Corporation Movement" started all over India. Japan and British fought. Gandhi called each Indian to join the Movement. Realizing the aim of the agitation scarification the compare & embracing the hard life.

Sjta Sabitri wanted to study further, but at the time when the country was facing the crisis and the thought of having Independence from British made her decide to flow with fellow Indian. At that time it was not possible to get any stationery, or boots, as even the most needed salt in household was missing. Many people were in jail & there was threat to life for the people in their houses. You never know when British Military bullet will be in your chest, lathi charge, the heavy military boots on your back or what kind of punishment was in store you never knew.

One cannot hope to have the full meal from plate. Sjta Sabitri Gogoi had to leave her school education due to the extremely difficult circumstances. Her dreams for higher education faded away with time.

It is not that men become educated simply by going to school or college. To be real human being this greatest living creature, need childhood friends and social environment along with school education. Sjta Sabitri gained lot of experience from her social surrounding. Many learned people used to visit her freedom fighter father. They would stay for few days & discuss on various subjects out of which spiritual discussions got priority. Sabitri would listen to them with utmost sincerely & concentration. She could remember the songs of "Bhawana" and shlokas just by listening when her father teaches the songs to the actors of "Bhawana".

Late Bhogeswar Bora of ‘Ram Tamuli Suk’ used to express literature by talking to people.

Sabitri Gogoi used to accompany her father to Namghar from the age of 10 years would sit in the Namghar once a goat was disturbing by coming to the door again and against while her father was discussing Nath some Sabitri had to chase away the goat every time and goat tired of it. So she said, ‘This goat needs to be sacrificed during ceremony’. Her father got very angry at her comment told her not to enter Namghar again and not even accept anything offered in Namghar. But this order did not last for long.

This way Sabitri Gogoi gained deep knowledge about literature, spiritually etc. Thus the seeding sprouted during the childhood kept on growing with her studies and inquisitive of course no one can ever cress all the secondary of knowledge had mind.

People of Kaliabor took part in independence struggle of India. At that time Kaliabor congress committee had about 40 members. The secretary of ‘Jakhalabandha congress committee’ was late Sashikanta Bargohain. Altogether 208 people of Kaliabor to go to jail during the struggle in 1943. Sashikanta Borgohain was one of them. Borgohain was arrested by Military from Shankar Mandir of Sotia and he was in jorhat jail till the last day of imprisonment. Once Sashikanta Bargohain came out of jail late Ratikanta Gogoi decided to fix his daughter’s marriage with this brave man in the month June 1943. He worked in Pratapgarh tea garden for sometime, but independent minded Bargohain had difference of opinions with the British and left for home to serve the society.

Sabitri Bargohain wished to continue her school education after marriage. On those days a daughter-in-law of a well known family can’t think of moving around independently and going to school. So she had to forget her wishes with disappointment. Fortunately, she had the satisfaction of giving good education to her sons and daughters. Her elder Brother Shri Deben Gogoi used to bring higher educational books for Sabitri.

During independent Movement of India, many ladies associations have come up, one of them was "Hatbor Mahila Prathamic" organized by Sjta Sabitri Bargohain. She was also the secretary of Jakhalabandha Mahila Samiti from 1960 for 10 years. Punya Khound was the President during that period. They joined with congress in the Non corporation movement, language movement, Jail Bharo Movement, Save the Identity Movement etc. to raise voice for the country and gained experience.

School Inspector late Cheman Singh Ingti appointed Sabitri Gogoi as teacher in "Sak Muthi Girl’s School" once she completed M.E. After one and half years she got married and that is the end of the girlhood and working life. The new daughter-in-law as not expected to go out and work, especially during Independence movement. She had to become a housewife to make her in-laws and husband happy. She made sure to keep in touch with the learned people, read voraciously and would not miss any chance to attend academic meetings, discussions etc. That’s why she is respected as an ideal woman in the society.

Gesture of Respect shown to her from different places:

People from different parts of Assam and different organizations invited Savitri Borgohain to learn from her vast experience by honoring her hard work. She has presided over many meetings, such as Mahila Abhibachan in Nagaon in 1985, Kabi sanmilan in Kanpur by Assam Sahitya Sabha, in 1987 at Hojai Kabi Sanmilan by ‘Sadou Axom Lekhika Samaroh Samiti and many other ‘Kabi Sanmilan’ at programme of ‘Axom Sahitya Sabha’ Srimati Borgohain is still associated with many organizations of Assam other than some organizations of Kaliabor. She was the working member of "Sadou Axom Lekhika Samaroh Samiti" and brought glory to Kaliabor with her precious advice. It was her sincere effort that helped Kalibor Samiti to come up.

Kaliabor Lekhika Samaroh Samiti started on 25/02/1989 and she was the Secretary that organization. Her exemplary service made all the lady members hope for her return as Vice- President.

Sjta Borgohain started her literary her literary career from her school days. She wrote a touching poem named "Banai" when her younger sister died. When she was is school her elder brother Deben Gogoi and Ex- President of Axom Sahitya Sabha Sjt. Mahim Bora were in High School. They published a hand written named "Malaya" from the school. Sabitri Gogoi was a student of Kunwari Tol Ballav Patel School and her poem "Axom Bandana" was published in that Magazine. After marriage along with her household problems she wrote a novel named "Aparajita" which is still not published. Many other stories, poems are still not published. Her writings are in ‘Nilachal’, ‘Ganatantra’, ‘Mahatantra’, ‘Mahajati’, stories in, ‘Anupam’ Poem in ‘Savenir" of Sadou Axom Lekhika Samaroh Samiti at 10th annual conference. Her published books are-"Time Stops in the River of Heart" a collection of 26 poems written on the background of Assam Agitation and a novel named "Hriday Saswat Nadi". She expressed the agony of agitation time the misrule, fearful life spent by people of Assam in that time and she shows respect to the family of Martyars by saying- "My bouquet of flowers without fragrance is a tribute to the heart broken family of Martyars, mothers who lost their sons, widows who lost their beloved with weeping heart, let it bring light to the lifeless eyes"…. The poetess expressed in her poetry love for the country, social awareness and minute feelings. In her poem "No need of dust from the moon" she wrote:

"For the human race on

We need forgiveness, Broad mindedness and mercy

Food and clothes are missing…. Struggling

The world needs to raise a voice against

Crime, hatred and jealousy

To stop racial discrimination

Inheritance of your sweet mother tongue by birth only,

The love of people can save the human race,

We need only forgiveness, mercy and patience….

 

In the poem "Fire in the Eyes" hotness compared the glorious past of motherland and present state of motherland… expressed her concern with regret. In another poem "Akouga" she was worried over loosing our cultural heritage and appealed to fellow countrymen to get back our heritage.

This is my country

My birth place and mother….

This is a land of slave people

No fear and laziness, no sign of jealousy

Fear growing golden harvest

People full of love and life yet strong

Enough to chase away the enemies

And bring independence to the motherland.

What happened? How it happened?

Everything seeking like fairy tale…

Harassed people screaming looking for their

Existence their skeleton shivers with the gift of fortune….

 

In the poem "Akouga" she expressed her emotions as follows:

Oh! People of Assam, why have you lost the courage of Lachit?

To have the meal at peace after chasing away the enemies…

Where have you lost the swords and the dress of warrior?

You lost your sweet soft voice

Oh! People of Assam, think carefully

Sing the glory of Assam and retain your self respect… sing the glory….

Like this poetry book, her novel "Hriday Saswat Nadi" illustrates the time of Independence struggle of India and situation in Kaliabor and all over Assam. With this she represents the women power and she love for the country. She also explains the position of women in the society. In the field of education girls have of women in the society. In the field of education girls have excelled in spite of not getting any encouragement from guardian and also in order field of work. She expressed beautifully through her lady character "Sadhini" in her novel. "Sadhanis father is never tired of her brother’ repeating in the same class." (Page 5) His young son is sitting at home while he is plaguing the field at the old age, so that son does not miss his studies in school.

Daughter Sadhani is brilliant by nature, she stands first in the class inspire of her hard work of her hard work in harvesting field, still her father is not happy with his daughter’s performance.

For a woman even her family can be enemy at times, it is expressed in the novel. Sadhini passed Metric in 1st division…. But her mother herself was against her daughter’s further education ‘You don’t have to study further’. "Sadhani is further education ‘you don’t have to study further. "Sadhani is adamant, she will definitely study further".

Sadhini explained in her novel why her marriage was delayed and the position of women in the society who go out to work for the community.

"I would have got married, but no groom was available for me. I move around from one village to another for the work of the congress committee and also another big reason is cast difference, how much can hear from people".

Sadhini was taken aback when her unemployed brothers go with the proposal of her marriage, as she is the earning member of the family. What is wrong with them? The house is already poverty stricken, brothers are also not earning, she wonders how they get the responsibility of her not earning, and she wonders how they get the responsibility of her guardian? Does that mean even if a girl is well educated and self sufficient….. Still she is not given the same status in the society. We can’t let happen…. She will not get sold like liquid. What will you call women revolution by warning modern clothes with a vanity bag in hand going for shopping and moving around? Is that what you call women revolution (Nari Mukti), "or celebrating women’s year and selling young girls in villages and towns or controlled by police or military… will you call it "Nari Mukti "? Till the women does not earn dignity, purity, honesty and courage…. she will be submerged in darkness. (Page 14)

"When will people, society does not shape people, you don’t get your agriculture & handicrafts. We have to concentrate on our agricultural & handicrafts. We cannot depend on others especially on Bombay mill for clothes. Our people should be ready to do all small and big jobs keeping in mind the dignity of labour.

Agricultural is our bread and butter but we hesitate to give due respect to the farmers. We don’t encourage or respect the weaving lady. Sadhini expressed in her book how a lady can decided about her marriage, get educated inspire of all the family restrictions from parents and brothers, could take the ability of a lady to a new height. On 3/ 12/1986 she wrote a poem dedicated to martyrs of literature

"Those who tried to stop

The flow of the river

Received the gift

Of blood stained shirt and left…."

On 24/ 2/1986 she wrote an article in the "Mahajati" on "Women, Past and Problems" Praising a women for her good qualities from historic ages and drawing the picture of woman’s status in society. Regarding the entrance to the "Kirtan Ghar" of Barpeta- she said "Assamese women should not go to a place where they are not respected, if a place of worship is imputed by the entrance of mother in the same place where sons meditate…. Mothers should boycott those places.

Those sons should not long for mothers when they are in trouble."

She wrote in "Mahajati" on 25/5/1988- ‘President problems of Assam and foreigners, unemployment, lack of dignity of labour by women and how to address those problems- these advices show the vast experience of the writer.

If we look back at the literary collection of Sabitri Borgohain, it reflects the rich Assamese fragrance, beautiful explanation and deserves praises from all the readers.

Her poetry collections are good for recitation. A simple concept can be conceptualized beautifully by her. Her published and unpublished novels are based on village life and pasteurized the village perfectly. She could have contributed much more if she wrote continuously.

Other than writing, even at this age she is busy cultivating vegetables and fruits at her leisure time. She has knowledge about Ayurveda also and she sings at "Jokhalabandha Nrisimha Debalaya" with courage in her heart but dressed casually, extremely busy in social work, she still looks like a young lady. We pray for this mother’s long life, so that she can be an example for the upcoming young women of the country and leave a rich heritage for Assamese Literature.

 

 
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