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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Eminent Assamese Litterateur and Jnanpith Award Winner, Indira Goswami died in Guwahati

Eminent Assamese litterateur and Jnanpith award winner, Indira Goswami, popularly known as Mamoni Raisom Goswami passed away in Guwahati on 29 November 2011. Dr. Goswami authored several bestseller Assamese novels and short story collections in her life time. She was also instrumental in initiating peace talks between the government and insurgent United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA).

Work of Indira Goswami

Born in 1942, Goswami was encouraged by Kirti Nath Hazarika who published her first short stories in a literary journal he edited. At 20, she published her first collection of short stories Chinaki Morom.

Goswami had served as a professor of modern Indian languages at Delhi University. Classics such as The Pages Stained with Blood and The Moth Eaten Howdah of a Tusker were written during her stint in Delhi University. Goswami was an expert in Ramayani studies.

Goswami authored several award winning books which include Datal Hathir Uwe Khowa, Neelakantha Braja, Mamore Dhora Tarowal, Ahiron, Chenabor Srot, Dasarathir Khoj, Tej Aru Dhulire Dhusaritha Prishta, Udaybhanur Charitra, Chhinmastar Manuhto and her autobiography Adha Lekha Dastavej. Her treatise Ramayana from Ganga to Brahmaputra is considered a literary masterpiece.

Awards she received

She won the Sahitya Akademi Award for her powerful novel Mamare Dhara Tarowal Aru Dukhan Upanyasa in 1982 and the Jnanpith Award in 2000. She was also a recipient of the Katha Award, the Karnataka Sangha Sammam, the Manas Chatuechati Samiti Samman, the Kamal Kumari Foundation National Awards, the Sauhardya award and the Bhart Nirman award.

She was India's first Principal Prince Claus Laureate in 2008.

Indira Goswami as peace maker

Dr. Goswami in 2004 mediated between the Centre and the ULFA and succeeded in convincing both the government and the ULFA to come forward for negotiations. Her initiative led to the formation of the Peoples' Consultative Group (PCG) by the ULFA to prepare the ground for peace talks.

She  had prepared ground for talks between the two sides. She had acted as the sole mediator between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, her former colleague at Delhi University, and the ULFA leadership. She had prepared and submitted the first draft peace proposal to Singh.

Later, she had played a key role when the Sanmilta Jatiya Abhbartan, an umbrella body of civil society organisations of Assam, facilitated the resumption of dialogue between the ULFA and the Centre.

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