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
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
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
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
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
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
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
In the poem "Akouga" she expressed her emotions as
Oh! People of Assam, why have you lost the courage of
To have the meal at peace after chasing away the
Where have you lost the swords and the dress of
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
Sadhini explained in her novel why her marriage was
delayed and the position of women in the society who go out to work for
"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
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.