Although the Boros had a tradition of ballad singing in the past, this tradition is almost dead. Only the fragments or snatches of a number of ballads have been preserved. There are specimens of mythical, historical, realistic ballads in Boro. As specimens of mythical ballad or ballad of magic one may cite the examples of the Kherai songs, zaraphagla songs and songs of phuthli haba. Bhaben Narji commented that the complete history of the Boros is incorporated in the Kherai festival (and its songs). The songs and mantras chanted during Kherai worship appear to contain no story, but they contain references to the Boro gods and goddesses who occupy their worldview and mythology.
Oh Lord God Mahadeo, Oh Pagala Thakur, Brahma, Prajapati, Sanyasi Thakur, Oh you mothers and fathers, Who are here on this side ? There are Budaru Raja and Sali Lakhimi, And Ahu Lakhimi and Bura Raja Also there are Jaman jala Jakoimara, Khaloimara. And Gamari, Dhanashri and Manashri. Oh you fathers and mothers You are not deities of today You are ancient ones. I charge you, Oh fathers and mothers To keep our villagers in happiness and prosperity Keep their children safe.
The song of Zaraphagla narrates the tale of Jārā, an old man (the human incarnation of Monsing Singh) who wanders from place to place in search of his daughter in-law. It is said that the old man was advised to perform the Kherai worship to the accompaniment of the tune of flute (ciphuno), drum (kham) and cymal (zotha). As he performed the Kherai worship, his daughter in-law Monoli appeared in the guise of the Doudini, the Shamanic dancer. The song is a long one with local variations. The song is as follows:
Where have you gone? Wait, oh my daughter in-law dear For I am also going with you I saw your foot prints on the thatched wood But missed them on the sands I saw your foot prints on the Dubori wood But missed them on the sands Mongli, oh my daughter in-law dear Is it or not? Yes, mothers it is It was I who provided food to the big pig in the sty. Is it or not?
Yes, mothers it is. Mongli oh my daughter in-law dear Where have you gone? Wait, oh my daughter in-law dear. Whose ox was it that had been left? In the pig sty while providing food to the big pig? It was mine, o mothers mine The box that had been left In the pig sty while providing food to The big pig is mine. Mongli, oh my daughter in-law dear Where hast thou hidden thyself? Oh my daughter in-law dear As you went up-hill To collect the sour maitha plant Where hast thou hidden thyself? Oh my daughter in-law dear Mongli, oh my daughter in-law dear
The song, if collected and preserved accurately may enrich the ballad genre among the Boros. One may also cite examples from the songs of Phuthli Haba (doll marriage) as specimens of the ballads of magic. The songs of doll marriage among the Boros recount the tale of the marriage of Raona and Raoni, who are believed to be the first man and woman to be wedded. Following are some of the songs of doll marriage which recount the marriage of Raona and Raoni:
Debi sustains, Debi destroys One dies even in day light in his absence. Who were those that descended from heaven? Reply came: Raguni-phaguni. Debi gangkhana, Debi gangkhini, Ramchandra will descend them down with the ladder of dorbi Sister Raguni consumed twelve leaves over laid Seven leaves in one night Oh Raguni-phaguni dear What have you done? There is no light in the world of man and in the court. When the mother eats something the daughter can not sit idle. There is no land (soil) below, no umbrella above Twine sisters- thou guest to The city of the gods; How do you go there? But you can’t help going too. Raguni-phaguni sisters twine Are going They moved on the first day and the next day Whole twelve years they moved Oh sister (elder one) Raguni Which road to take? Almighty God, oh Almighty god, In the wilderness Raguni-phaguni sisters dear Guest thou to the city of the gods! Anandi guru will show the way To Raguni-phaguni. Naga Nagi sent them through the holes. Have we reached the Nether world once more? Oh sister (elder) Raguni dear? Yes Phaguni, we have reached. Naga-naga-naga-Nagi-nagi-nagi.
The ballad of doll marriage recounts the tale of Raguni-phaguni who sojourned the whole universe in search of earth at a time when the universe consisted completely of water. They were in need of earth to raise the pedestal in the place of worship.
The following ballad of doll marriage recounts the myth of Raguni-phaguni who was assisted by different varieties of fish in the water:
When God Ramchandra called in Raguni-phaguni to the bed of water. They called in magur fish, dolphin and crodolile for help. The Sol fish became the dhenki (husking pedal) of blossomed maiden. The Senar fish became the step of the blossomed maiden. The Chital fish became the door of the blossomed maiden. The Borali fish became the pillow of the blossomed maiden. The Mawa fish became the Kathi of the blossomed maiden. The Kawoi fish became the jakoi (fishing trap) of the blossomed.
Benoci fish became the comb of the blossomed maiden. The Chanda fish became the vermillion of the blossomed maiden. The puthi fish became the mirror of the blossomed maiden.>/p>
It is not difficult to trace out symbolic meanings of the fishes referred to in the song and performing respective deeds. The psychoanalytical theory will interprete the fishes and the related objects as sexual symbols. In the psychoanalytical reading, the myths, tales or ballads portray not the contention of divine beings, but the earthly strivings of male and female – the phalus and the womb.
The songs are sung by a principal singer who is accompanied by other singers who dance rhythmic dance to the accompaniment of the instruments.
Fragments of historical or legendary ballads in Boro have been preserved. Among these the ballad of Bachiram is noteworthy. This ballad is a legendary one, which depicts the heroic deeds of the legendary warrior Bachiram. The ballad recounts the conflict between the Boros and the Bhotiyas. The ballad runs thus:
Goraya dabraydõ Baciram zõhõlao Gonogar cubaya phõilaygou Akhraya bugdao baciram zõhõlao Lagama bõgdao baciram zõhõlao Gongar cubya phõilaygou.
i.e. ‘Drive fast you steed, Bachiram A hero you are, The Bhutiya soldiers are marching Tighten the rein and use you spur Drive your steed fast, Bachiram Look, here they come,
danhano chuano ada baciram cammokhano akhra barini akhra bugdao ada akhra bugdao. hazõ khoroao dauha nanonõ goraya mabar zõgdao danhano cuhano dandhano cuhano ada baciram can mõkhano thanoa thano laigõn hazo khoro ao daoha nanonõ thõia thõilaigõn hazõ khoroni gongar cubaphõr, dandano cuhano ada baciram can mõkhano.
i.e.Oh dear Bachiram Get on to the saddle (with)legs in the stirrups, Put spurs to the horse And march forward (to battle) The battle breaks with the Bhutiyas. Let (if) Bhutiya soldiers die. That’s no concern of mine. Get on to the horse back, Advance and climb the hill.
The following fragment of ballad recount the heroic exploits of Daoharam along with Bachiram. The Boro maidens who also took part in the battle urge upon the legendary heroes to fight against the enemy.
Phõi õi Boro phicaphõr nõn’ncõrõ phõi dapha nanonõ thanoni dahal thungri lananõi bikha phordannanõi ducmõn phõrkhou hõcõdini ada baciram zõhõlao nonolay goraya dabray lan’dõ, akhra bugdao nanõi nõn’o hõcõ lanodõ, nayhor honõi nayhor ducmonphralay haylado huilado phoilaygou thoya thõilay gõn ducnõna derha laygõn zõno Boro phora dagi ada baciram zõhõlao dagi nõnoõ zõhõlaoni phica, birni phica non’lay uthri hagõn. ada daoharam zoholao nonobõ daoga lanodõ.
i.e. Come, oh you sons of Boros Come you out, sword and shield in hand Let us go and rout the enemy; Brother Bachiram, ride forward Pursue the enemy hard. See there he comes in all strength Let the fight be in cave. Kill the soldiers of the enemy We the Boros will win the game. Fear not, Bachiram, fear not; You are born of heroic lions, Victory will surely be yours. And you, brother Daoharam, Go you forth on the elephant’s back, Sword in hand to meet the foes on the way.
These specimen fragments of ballads may be variants of the same text or disconnected part of the same text. Some authors and folklorists have identified these fragments of legendary ballads as ballads of hero worship. N.C. Sarma has identified the ballad of Baobuli as a legendary ballad. In this ballad the god of wind is invoked to spread the fire in order to burn the forest (and make the soil, ready for cultivation).
There are fragments of ballads recounting the heroic exploits of Gambari Cikhla and Birgochri Cikhla who fought heroic battles against the Moghul invaders.
The ballad of Gambari Cikhla is as follows : Foreign forces have come To invade other’s country Don’t be afraid oh soldiers; We have Gambari Cikhla among us We shall never be defeated by them.
The following fragment of ballad has been reported to have been collected from North Kamrup. This fragment of ballad recounts the heroic battle which Cheobar Zoholao fought against the Bhotiyas :
The Bhotiyas are coming out One after another To kill the hero, cheobar. With the help of the British army Cheobar is marching ahead. To shoot the Bhutiya chuba one after another.
The ballad of Amla-Ciba may be identified as a historical ballad. It recounts the pathetic death of Amlaciba who died by police firing during the roman script movement in 1974. Amla Ram Boro and Siba Ram Boro of Barpeta road area were the first martyrs of the scripts movement. The fragment of the ballad is as follows :
Alas : Amla and Ciba have lost their lives In the movement for roman script And kept their names And kept their name Along with the race in the world Dying the death of martyrs.
No specimens of realistic and satirical ballad in Boro have so far been recorded and preserved. There remains much to be done in this still unexplored area of Boro folk lore. Most of the fragments of ballads which have been recorded and published too are not adequate and fairly complete.
Like other genres of Boro folk songs the love lyrics current in this language is also worth mentioning.
The love lyrics set in an idyllic setting embody the youthful passions and yearning of the singers. The singers may be illiterate or uneducated; but they may be regarded as natural poets in their own right. In a calm natural setting beset with flowers and birds, the singer poet sings:
The gentle breeze is blowing; As the bright full moon, The gay flowers bloom; The dancing butterfly dallies forth And sucks the honey-sweet, How sweet is the fragrance, How bright is the day; The cuckoo sings; The song overflows the country round; How fine is the day;
The objects of Nature like the blooming flowers provide objective co-relative for the expression of the love-laden heart of the singers;
Oh, flower, oh flower, Fully blossomed flower Alone you bloom, alone fade, Our years too, Have arrived in full youth; They are also withering in loneliness.
The love-laden girl projects her songs and sorrows through those of a thirsty bird. She symbolizes her own unquenched thirst of love through the bird:
Why do you weep, oh thirsty bird, Why do you weep to the sky? What is your grief? Is there no end to it? The bird shakes its wings and weeps, It weeps to the sky. The heavy showers and resultant floods Will not quench her thirst?
Boro damsels sing the following song while they go to a nearby wood or field to collect vegetable and express their deep anguish in not being disposed of in marriage:
After we have collected vegetables Let us go friend, to the house Of our beloved one Our parents do not dispose of us in marriage. Neither can we say to our brothers. The years have elapsed bit by bit. Our youth will not wait for us.
A maidservant, who falls in love with a servant working in the same house, expresses her heart felt yearning in simple and pictorial language:
The leaves of the akchi tree Are large and wide. I can hardly check myself From wanting to hear My dear Lengra’s voice. The akchi leaves are about to fall off My mind in a like manner Wants to fly towards My dear Lengra.
A young lover waxes eloquent on the charm and beauty of the beloved through the following song:
On the rainy day of Bohag Frogs croak Oh, dear mine Your contracted waist, Finely small, Can be clasped in a palm. You are exquisitely handsome.
The following love lyric expresses the young lover’s appreciation of the beauty of his beloved’s hair:
In a corner of the orchard, There is the slanting Maitha tree, Oh, you darling, The bunch of your locks, Bound behind, like a don Is round and lovely.
The damsel too does not lag behind in the appreciation of the beauty of the your man she loved. She sings.
In a corner of the orchard. The betel creeper wildly grows, Although you are black There is loveliness on your face.
She does not, however, forget to lay down terms and conditions, which the young lover must fulfill in order to secure her love. She assures him of her love; but she wants him to bring her some presents or gifts in token of love :
The Bih langani shrub grows On the other side of the pool. If you want to take me into your home, You must give me a necklace of gold.
She demands the finest of dress from the young man in love. She demands the traditional dress Dokhonathaoci from him:
There is khaliha fish in the Bil (pool) If you want to have me You must give me A greenish-yellow dokhona I searched in the whole country But oh beloved, I found none As fine as you are.
She enjoins him to buy ornaments like bracelet, necklace etc. and oil from the market and keep these ready for her:
You are the only man I shall marry Oh dear, Buy oil, bracelet and yellow garland From the market and keep these ready.
There are occasions in which the damsel takes the initiative and bids the young man to come to their house and stay as their son-in-law (ghar-jowi):
Oh dear, if you love me, Come over to our house And stay on as the son in law. My parents could not get A bridegroom for me. I had no luck; I do not know weaving. Neither are you educated. Come over to our house to stay as my groom. If you do not, I myself will go to yours. Oh you my darling from the southern village, Send me the word.
In the following love lyric the maiden bids her young bethrothed to take her away so that they can live happily together somewhere away from the cruel clutch of the parents:
On the bamboo tree sits the yellow bird. Come dear, and take The yellow cloth woven with my hands. The centiped chela stays on house tops. I find, dear, a garland of kerchiefs Round your neck The wood-cutter has bamboo pan of salt. Take me away, this day, towards the north The wood-cutter, Lead me away Along this way From this spot.
However, there are also occasions in which the young man takes the initiative and bids his sweet heart to elope with him:
Oh you dear, Your face is tender As of a pup Come dear, let us flee Across the low field.
But very often it is seen that the maiden suggests to her lover that he should go to her parents’ place and seek her hands in marriage:
The Poma tree stands In a corner of the orchard, The marriage between yourself and me May yet take place. Talk to my parents and plead.
The following song embodies the same spirit and sentiment. Here the maiden pleads for the arrangement of a formal or ceremonial marriage:
The Garden of Moron Sahib, the Rupsi Zamidar Tea Garden of Moron Sahib, the Rupsi Zamidar If you love me whole heartedly If you love me from the core of your heart Come to my parents’ place With bunches of areca nut and bundles of betel leaf Planting four plantain plants
You come along with a pair of Bairathi (bride’s maid)
Keeping God as witness And take me away in pomp and gaiety Oh god of my heart, oh my dear of the Dabri village
But the course of true love does never run smooth. The yearnings and aspirations of the lover and the beloved are hardly fulfilled. Their mutual love and yearning give way to disappointment and agony. The forlorn maiden sings:
There sings the Keteki bird- Her pangs of separation, In the first quarter of night Her song raises echoes in me. And I inwardly burn In my own separation; I feel helpless and lost.
With the help of apt imagery drawn from Nature, the maiden expresses her feelings of agony and sorrow resulting from unrequited love :
What pensive song Does the bird sing on the tree? Oh bird, are you also weighed down By pain of heart like me? Union is ensured to the bird But sorrow and pain Are my lot I see you, oh my love, in dreams, But on waking, I find you not.
The love-laden maiden expresses her pang and heart felt sorrow in simple and pictorial language. She sings:
Oh dear brother For being unable to attain your love I feel an acute pain in my heart Which you can measure either in Boro terms or in Assamese terms.
The following song also manifests the pangs of unrequited love:
Oh dear, brother The pang of not having you And mother’s scolding Have caused a flood of tears roll down from my eyes Had we been able to marry you We would have served you fried Magur fish Jellied with onion and coriander Oh dear, (brother) If we have you not, We will jump into The Brahma-putra and drown.
Sometimes the pang or agony is due to the intentional or unintentional neglect of the young lover who for some reason or other try to avoid her. The following:
There grows the taro On the Marshy plot. By the side of the village, Malandubi You did see me, And yet you would not accost me, But would stealthily Go your way. Oh, why is that so?
Notwithstanding the pang and disappointment resulting from unrequited love, youthful love and yearning go hand in hand with optimism. The spring of love will go dry in the absence of optimism. All know that optimism is the positive quality of life to keep the machine of life oiled. Life will come to a stand still without it. A maiden sings the following song giving vent to her optimism in love:
I think of you Even while I am engaged In washing plates, and in taking bath, Oh Rabindra You who are educated, And live on the other side of the pool Continue to occupy my mind.
The young lover nourishes the same spirit of optimism in love. The loving picture of his beloved comes to his mind as soon as he hears the sound of the loom and the shuttle:
I do remember you When I hear the sound of the loom I do think that you have come When I hear the sound of the shuttle Oh dear Minisri Near the flower and areca nut garden Your youth has come to the brim.
A damsel working as a maidservant in the rich family sings the following song requesting her beloved not to make haste:
Oh hear, Let the torrential rain of this year Not come so early, Do not sell the custrated pig so early Oh dear Do not bring any new maidservant for this year Oh dear, As soon as my weaving of the dokhona is over And as the owner let’s me free I will reach you in the dusk When the new moon appears in the sky.
The young lover assures his sweet heart of love and confidence. She forbids her to worry about the doubt and anxiety that afflict other pairs of lovers:
Oh dear, do not worry Determined I am To marry you. Have no doubts.
He assures her that she is the only girl he is going to marry:
The hololokha vegetable Grows on the hill. (so you grow in my heart) You are the only maiden Who happens to be the mate of my life.
The following song embodies the same spirit of love and confidence:
The bitter creeper (udaci) From the corner of the homestead, O my elder one, Don’t be sad Do not worry about me. The bosom of the bholuka bamboo I will be the only one To join in family life.
The maiden boldly asserts herself and vouchsafes her loyalty in a befitting manner:
The trunk of the Lapha plant Of the village Thaktara Oh dear In truth I say I will never forget you.
The following song sung by a maiden manifests the jubiliant mood of love and yearning:
Oh brother dear, you show off on the pucca road You walk along the pucca road, You walk along, Oh dear with a red and smiling face From which village you come I know not Oh dear of the shape of the kusia fish. No matter if you possess no land No matter if you possess no cow The ordinary service (employment)is enough It is enough that we have you Oh dear, with a red and smiling face From which village you come Oh dear of the shape of the kusia fish We will stop weaving We will stop sweeping When we see you come.
The young lover bids his beloved to assert herself boldly and come to his parents’ house to ask their blessing:
Oh dear mine, nilaji of the corner of the garden If you have chosen me Do not be ashamed to come and Fall postrate at the feet of my parents Oh dear mine, dark complexioned Damsel of the village kathalbari.
The maiden responds to his appeal and enjoins him to talk the initiative:
Shoot of the bamboo forest Oh dear mine Come with bunches of areca nut and betel leaf To our doorstep (to marry me) Your elder brother will be My revered brother.
Sometimes a maiden is seen pleading her parents to give her away in marriage. She has come of age and she can wait no more. She sings the following song pleading her parents to give her away in marriage:
A bird or a sow I am not, That I may be detained at home In a cage or sty. Ceaseless and boundless blows the breeze. Scattering flowers on the earth. Breeze can not be prevented From blowing Those who should be kept back, Then you detain, not others. I am reared up by you I have attained the age When I can be a mother. I can not be kept at home Like birds or pigs. But should be given away in marriage.
She has chosen her life partner. So she would not go to some one else. She would like to be married to a prosperous lad, who owns horses, elephants, granaries and cowsheds. She pleads before her parents:
Oh revered father, Do not give me away in marriage To a youth of non-descript family. Be guided by the foot prints Of horses and elephants. Do not follow the foot marks Of dogs and crows. I will not Go to these inconsequential nasty houses. Be guided by granaries and cowsheds, Wherever these be Thither shall I go, father dear.
The social fabric of the Boros is a democratic one where the young boys and girls may choose their life partners. A girl may deliberately free herself from the clutch of her parents and enter the house of the young man she has chosen. The following song depicts the picture of such a maiden in Boro society:
The leaves of the shrub kachali Are making a noise in the wind. Like wise the leaves of the peepul Are playing cymbals in the breeze. The girl of red skirt (dokhona) Has entered into the main house of this family, Ah! Into the main house She has herself come.
Sometimes a youth is seen wooing a girl outside his endogamous groups. The following song reflects it:
Look, dear sewari Of the village Moinaguri. Look there on the tree The dove is shaking its wings and cooing. Oh my darling, If you marry in caste You will be doing me harm. In the floods of Bohag, The fishes have come in pairs Following the course of the clouds above Don’t take unkindly to me, For, I you love. Although born widely apart We two may yet unite. It is the way of the world That sometimes worthies Get united even if not alike.
There are love lyrics too, expressing the sad lot of a married woman in Boro society. A woman sings the song expressing her cursed lot in being neglected by her husband:
Oh, my husband If you love me not, Why your parents Here me brought? If you do not love me, You can still leave me Tearing a betel leaf. Between us twain. Oh hard is my lot Let my parents take me back Even now. What shall I do now? My work, my very presence here Is tolerated not, Cursed is my lot.M
The following love lyric is sung by a maiden while bidding passionate farewell to the young man who is going away to accept a job:
Oh dear Berlang When you go away from here To accept the job and serve there, Do you take me with you?
The young man replies that he must take her leave and join the service. He assures her that he will come back –
Ro, agõi athinoao zotha Khoroao thophi eb ob homnanõi Phoiphin gõn ano agõi Phoiphin gõn ano Wait darling mine; With hat on and in shoes, I will come to you In will come to you In a firm gait.
A young man forbids his beloved to weep and asks her to be prepared for the formal marriage:
inzur kheblu kheblu manõ gabdõno agõi manõ gabdõno basõri phanodõno goy zora zora phathoi zora zora bairathi zora nainõ thanobõla daphirai agõi bacori phangdano nõnoni nõmphaya nõnobu nõmaya lourou gonoce phaga dõnoce horphagõn oi agoi Gunokhi pharani bacõri phanodano. Why do you weep oh my Bacori dear Sacratching the wall Refuse not when my parents Come to see you with pairs of betel leaf Areca nut and bairathi. Oh my Bacori dear, Your father and mother Will send you off along with A stick and a rope Oh my Bacori dear Of Gunkhi para.
The love lyrics among the Boros thus embody the youthful passions and yearnings of the young man and woman in love. These are rich in poetic and lyrical quality. The singers are natural poets capable of drawing apt similes and metaphors from Nature- beset with flowers and songs in an idyllic setting.
The oral literature of the Boros is rich in respect of gotho unduhõgra and gotho burkhaigra methay, i.e. lullabies and nursery rhymes. Lullabies and nursery rhymes are songs sung to pacify a crying baby or to amuse the infants and children. The dictionary meaning of the term ‘lullaby’ is a song to lull children to sleep’ or “a cradle song”. The parents and the grand parents of the child sing lullabies like the following to lull the child to sleep:
Come down, oh moon Come down to us Or else send a banana Or two, Oh moon, come down to us.
There are some more lullables which center round the moon. Or these may be regarded as variants of the same song.
Following are some of the other lullabies sung in order to lull the child to sleep:
(a) Oh kite, oh kite, hearken I say Take you the affected eye Of this child. And give him your good eye I blow at his eye I blow off all deseases With may breath. Look these, over these The kite has flown away. (b) Oh cowherd, oh cowherd, What do you seek? I want a broken needle, What will you do with it? I shall sew a bag What will you do with the bag? A red buffalo will it. What will you do with the red buffalo? It will be taken to Goalpara and beheaded.
The maid servant or grand parents who take care of the child in his or her absence sings the following nursery rhyme to pacify the weeping child and try to lull him or her to sleep:
The bird baglorit cries an odd manner sounding geb geb so my son cries, his face becomes ugly and flat.
The following nursery rhyme among the Boros reveal how at one time the Boro-childern were afraid of a Hãrcã (Non-Boro people):
Oh crane oh crane Your wings are tender and soft. You take a dip in water And vanish in fear of Hãrcã boy. Oh my child, unless you keep quite, The Harca will snatch you away.
The following rhyme is sung to pacify a child crying:
Wood pecker and parrot of the tree stamp There is none to fondle or soothe Our darling, Even when he weeps disconsolate And there is none. To look after him. Even when he dances squatting.
The elderly woman taking care of the child who has a cut or injury in his or her finger sings the following rhyme:
‘Haldono’ ‘Maldano’ are the charms The charms I say The fish ‘seng’ Has got wings I am the Kaviraj I spit on the cut and cure.
The following nursery rhyme is an example of impressive folk imagination and inventiveness. This is a bit long and replete with series of endless interrogation marks. The rhyme which is parallel in Assamese language is as follows:
Oh Ahu paddy seedling, why don’t you grow? How can I when the cow tramples on me? Oh cow, why do you trample on Ahu? Why shall not I, since the cowherd does not tend me? Oh cowherd, why don’t you tend the cow? How can I, since I have no whip? Why art thou not, Oh whip, why art thou not? Why should I be, since umbrella is not here? Why art thou not, oh umbrella is not here? What for, should I be here, since rain won’t come? Why dost thou not come oh rain? Why shall I, since frogs won’t croak? Why dost thou not croak oh frog? How can I, when the snake will bite? Why shall I not, when the king commands? O king, why do you give the command? I have not given the command. But he is himself so much angry.
The above rhyme sounds like a tale in which one question leads on to the other and so on in an endless chain. An eminent folklorist like P. Goswami has found parallels of this type of rhyme in Bengali, Oriya and the tribal languages of Middle India. Lullabies and Nursery rhymes are characterized by fine delicacy and exuberance of imaginative fancy. There are references to some animals, birds and the moon in the lullabies and nursery rhymes to suit the infant psychology. The lullabies and songs appear to contain the story element; but eventually there is none.
Songs Associated With Festivals and Public Celebration
Baicagu is the greatest seasonal festival of the Boros. This is a seasonal as well as an agricultural festival like the Bihu. Baicagu is a spring time festival or the festival celebrated to usher the new year. This is clear from the word ‘Baicagu’ itself. The word has been derived from Baicõ (year or age) and agu (start), The word Baicagu is also used for the Assamese month of Bohag. But the word can’t be used after Kati and Magh. So B. Dutta correctly comments that Kati Bihu and Magh Bihu donot constitute one cycle with Baicagu in Boro society. But these three festivals are closely interlinked together. The Baicagu festival is marked by merry-making feasting, singing and dancing besides the accompanying rituals. Whereas, Mago-Domachi and Katigaca are seasonal festivals which are marked by rituals and merry-making only. These two festivals donot generally provide occasion for singing and dancing. The Boros celebrate the Baicagu festival, the festival of the new year at the advent of spring, in the most musical and rhythmic manner. The Baicagu festival starts on the last day of the month of chaitra and continues for seven consecutive days. The Boros observe rituals like cleansing the house, offering worship before the Siju plant, offering prayer to the deceased person, bathing the cattle in the nearby pond or rivers etc. The first day of the Baicagu is called Mocouni Baicagu. On that day all cattle are decorated with garlands and dotted spots and taken to the nearest pond or river for bathing. The cowherds and young ones sing songs like:
Eat gourd, eat brinjal Grow up year to year To spite your mother and your father You will be large bullocks Do not be short statured like your mother Be large like your bull father Like the frog in the corner of the garden May you be sleek and long.
The cowherds strike the backs of their cattle with the branches of Dighalati plant and sing:
Dighiliti mõcouni muli Dudal zagõn zay khukhuli Dighiliti laothi khri khri ganthi zõnoni mõcoua zagõn balad zathi.
The whip of the Dighalati plant is a medicine for cattle. The strokes of Dighalati will make the cattle yield more milk. Every he-calf will grow to a mighty bull. All cattle will grow big and tall.
The cowherds throw pieces of gourd, brinjal and turmeric towards the cattle being bathed in the pond or river. Then the cattle are left free in the grazing field. In the evening the cowsheds are cleaned and surrogated by smoke. The cattle are tied with new ropes. Along with these cattle rites some other rites relating to men are also observed. The Ojã chants mantras for the well-being of the people and keeping the people free from any desease. This is known as ‘lama Danthenai’ (side tracking the way). On the day of the Mocouni Baicagu people put on new dresses. The damsels present colourful phalli (scarf) to their beloved ones.
The second day of the Baicagu is the first day of the New Year. On that day every member of the family takes bath and offers prayer to Bathou brai and remember the deceased members of the family, to whom food items, cakes etc. are offered. In a festive mood the young boys and girls sing Baicagu songs to welcome the new year:
Oh mother dear, Baicagu has come It is the Boicagu The old year has departed Oh mother, our Boicagu has come. The new wind of the new year Has brought new life and hope. Rivers and lakes Trees and creepers Birds and beasts All life is dancing with joy, Let us come out too, Young and old Men and women Boys and girls Let us congregate and rejoice.
The young boys play on musical instruments like gongona (harp), zabkhreno, bingi, thorka kham, ciphuno, zotha and cerenda and sing melodious songs like:
Come, oh friends to celebrate the new year To the tune of the flute And dance with knots on the waist To the beating of the drums Dance rhythmic dances To the sound of the cymbals Dance jumping and running Dance learning your body both ways To the tune of the Serenda.
The young boys express their feelings of pure joy and mirth through the Baicagu songs. They invite the maidens to dance:
Oh Bibari Mõnbari, my dear sister in-law Come let us dance in a row, If you don’t come If nothing I get from you I will not shoot down Either the pea-cock or the deer But shall kill instead your own hen. Come dear Bibari Manbari Let us dance in rows There is joy of the new year. Unless you come Unless you give me something I shall take in neither you nor her But shall carry your pig instead.
There is an undercurrent of love and youthful frivolity in their appeal to the maidens. It must be mentioned here that the Baicagu songs are mostly songs of love and a yearning. What P. Goswami says about Bihu songs are also equally true to Boicagu songs. Bihu songs, he says, are love songs and these are, perhaps the most ancient springs of love-literature. The language of Baicagu songs are simple; but surged with purely youthful emotions and vivacity. These are rich in poetic quality.
These songs are always accompanied with rhythmic dances of the traditional type, which are not the direct manifestation of the sexual instinct as the Bihu songs very often are. But it must be admitted that Baicagu songs are also embodiments of youthful love and yearning. The maiden lays bare-her heart when she sings:
Take me home, oh brother, take me home. If you take me not, I will keep on sighing And painting like anything. Oh brother Cayaram mandar flower, take this scarf soaked With sighs of mine on the occasion of the Baicagu; Oh, cayaram, mandar flower.
In some Baicagu songs the young boy confides his heartfelt love infront of the girl:
Boy : hazo khoroni holo lokha ano zõno raizã zagona nõno lokha.
The girl readily accepts it and asks the boy to keep some gifts ready:
Bones lying in the hay field No beautiful youth comes to take me away. Come and take me away, oh brother Cathiram gazola Swiftly take me away like the eagle. A maiden sings the following song pleading with her lover: The dove is cooing, Oh, dear, I too shall go with you. The crow is cawing, Oh dear, I too shall fly with you. The horse neighs. Oh handsome youth Untie the knot of your phalli Be frank with me, And speak out your mind.
There are occasions when the maiden suggests her beloved to meet her parents and seek her hand in marriage:
Oh, dear, if you love me, Come over to our house And stay on as the son in law. My parents could not get A bridegroom for me. I had no luck I do not know weaving Neither are you educated. Come over to our house to stay as my groom If you donot, I myself will go to yours. Oh you my darling from the southern village Send me the word. In some occasions the young boy is also seen wooing a girl outside his endogamous group: Look, dear Sewari Of the village Moinaguri Look, there on the tree The dove is shaking its wings and cooing. Oh my darling. If you marry in caste You will be doing me harm. In the floods of Bohag The fishes have come in pairs Following the course of clouds above: Don’t take unkindly to me; For I you love. Although born widely apart, We two may yet unite. It is the way of the world That sometimes worthies Get united even if not alike.
In Baicagu songs like the following the mutual doubts and anxieties of lovers are allayed by mutual assurances:
Oh dear, do not worry, Determined am I To marry you. Have no doubts. The maiden assures her loyalty and love to the lover: The trunk of the lapha plant Of the village thank thara. Oh dear, Intruth I say I will never for sake you.
In the following Baicagu song the singer who happens to be a poor youth regrets his inability to pay for the girl of his choice. He is unable to pay the bride price which is most essential in a traditional Boro marriage. So he sings the following song regretting his inability;
Why are you so costly dear? A big amount is required. To pay for you. But being poor Where the money shall I get?
There are also occasions when the young boy sings songs ridiculing the habit of taking bride price.
Baicagu songs sometimes take the form of joking and ridiculous song. On the occasion of the Baicagu the mother-in-law and son in-law take part in fasting and merrymaking. They sing humorous and light songs like: SON-IN-LAW : MOTHER, MOTHER
YOUR DAUGHTER DOES NOT KNOW HOW TO PREPARE JELLY OF ROASTED FISH.
MOTHER-IN-LAW: THE BLAME HAS COME ON MY DAUGHTER, HAS it? You are a good son in law indeed, You yourself do not know How to bring fish home Or to eat the same Son-in-law: Mother, mother Your daughter does not know How to prepare jelly Of pepper. Mother-in-law: The blame then falls. On my daughter, is it? You are good son in law indeed You yourself do not know
How to cultivate pepper. You are ignorant of all works.
The mother-in-law ridicules the son-in-law who takes liquor and takes part in singing and merrymaking in the company of the womenfolk:
The climbing fish kawai Of the full pool Our son in law would accost us Whenever he sees us Oh, he accosts us. The son-in-law replies in the same jocular and light tone.
Hymns and Prayer Songs :
The Boro-Kacharis, who believe in many gods and goddesses observe varieties of rituals. These rites and rituals are mostly connected with their religion. Their religion centers round the worship of Bathou brai or cibrai. Bathou is the chief among the gods and goddesses worshipped by the Boros. Bathou is the trinity in one. He is the creator, sustainer and destroyer. The religious minded Boros worship Bathou brai during the Kherai worship or festival. The Boros have a myth recounting the origin of Kherai. Along with the usual rites and rituals many prayers are sung during the Kherai along with dances and musical instruments. The Kherai worship is observed for the welfare of both private and public life and for the good harvest of crops. Kherai worship is of four different kinds which are held in different sessions of the year, Darchan Kherai, performed during the first week of the month of kati (September-October). It is also known as the Lakhi Kherai or cali Kherai.
a) Umrao Kherai, held during the month of Ashar (June-July) after the Amuthichuwa (ambubashi). This type is of Kherai is held for the well being of summer crops.
b) Phalo Kherai, held during the month of Megha (January). Especially on the day of Maghi Purnima.
c) Nowaoni Kherai, performed by each individual household for the well being of the family members.
Many gods and goddesses are usually worshipped during the Kherai worship. Bathou brai is the god in chief among Boro pantheon. Sidney Endle rightly observes, “of these household gods by far the most important is the first mentioned, i.e. Bathou, who is pre-eminently the guardian of the family interests and family honour.” Aileno,Agrono Khoila, Karzi, Razkhandra, cong Raja, Alai Khunogri, Bhandari, Builliburi, Laokhar Gocai, Nowab Badcah are other gods and goddesses worshipped during the Kherai worship. These gods and goddesses are offered different kinds of sacrifices including pig, goat, fowl, flower, country beer etc. A Siju tree (Euphorbia Splendens) is planted in the middle of the temporary altar which is surrounded by a round fencing of split bamboo. An earthen lamp is lighted under the Siju tree. Five shares of areca nuts and betel leaves, green bananas and other sacred things put on five plantation leaflets are placed under the siju tree. An egg and a piece of stone are placed in front of the Bathou altar. A Deori and a Doudini perform as the custodian of the Kherai worship under the guidance of an Oza. The festival continues for three days and nights. In the past, however, Kherai worship continued for seven days and nights. During those days and nights Kherai dances are preformed to propitiate bathou brai and other gods and goddesses. Dudini performs most of the essential rites during the Kherai worship with the help of Oja and gidal. Musical instruments like flutes, drum, cymbals are used in the Kherai worship and dance. The Oza chants the mantra at the time of the Kherai worship for the well being of the people:
Oh God, our father Protect your ignorant Boro children. You are the creator, preserver and destroyer. All in one, you are peer less. The altar of Bathou has five bamboo rings The Siju plant has five edges: So the Boros have five principles. We plant the Siju on the altar. And light the oil flame, And worship you whilst Drums and flutes and cymbals play. Oh father, be merciful.
The whole hearted devotion and religious belief of the Boros are manifested through the prayer :
Oh Khuria Borai Oh high Huria Borai In the heaven there is the god of religion. In the nether world there is the Tulsi god. There is none else to worship for thee, Oh father. You are the Nobag, Lord of the here worlds. Bathou is said to have five rings of bamboo The plant Siju of the cactus family Is said to possess five edges. Man has five essential things likewise. We are sinners, You are the forgiver, father.
Oh father Nobag Raja You are the creator You are the destroyer You are the custodian of deseases and Ailments in heaven, earth and nether world Cure the desease of heaven in heaven itself Cure the desease of nether in nether itself Remove the causes of our headache and drive away west word Drive away Eastward; Drive away southward and Northward. You must cure the deseases of the world, Oh father Old Bathou Moharaja You must keep our life going in peace With daily toil and crops and cattle And people in happiness.
The prayer songs are sometimes in the form of short hymns springing out of the sincerest heart of the devotees:
O Lord, the creator We bend on knees, And pray to thee, With a lamp lighted Thou dost love us And dost shower boon on us.
The Doudini plays the most important role in the Kherai worship. She is charmed by the mantra (incantation) of the Oja whereupon she falls into a trance and converts into a spiritual being like the deities. Now she can tell the tales of the gods and goddesses in their voices. She moves round the Bathou followed by the devotees and sprinkles holy water and dances Kherai dances to the accompaniment of the beating of Kham (drum), flute and cymbals. The Doudini demonstrates different dances to propitiate the gods and goddesses. She imitates the nature of gods and goddesses through these dances. She dances as many as eighteen kinds of dances like Bathou gidino nai, Chotraoli, Khopri chipnai, Khoizoma phonai, gandola bonnai, chagolao bonõi, Muphur gelenai, Não bonai, Khamao Barkhonai, Daothoi longanai, Mocha Khaori mocanai, Maozi mengbrang gelenai etc. It is significant that these dance forms have sprung from the Kherai worship. Hence these are known as Kherai dances. These dances are full of deep philosophical and religious significance.
During the intervals of her shamanistic dances or at the end of the dance, the Doudini speaks in the voice of the gods and goddesses. After the dance is over, she tells the fortune of the worshippers and the people of the locality, the good and bad days to come and failure or prosperity of crops and the duties and responsibilities of the people to save them from impending danger. As the Doudini is regarded as the via media of gods and goddesses, prayers are offered to the gods and goddesses through her with the following incantation:
O mother, thou art the goddess of omniscience. Bathou has five rings, And the Siju plan has five edges. We think that we have offered pigeon and chicken, And also areca-nut and betel leaf with some spices To Bura Bathou and also other gods and goddesses. O mother, thou art the goddess of omniscience. We think that the gold lamp is lit, And the leaves are placed in rows With the powder of rice on them. On the earth raised in a line. Men are born in generations; A disciple is born after a preceptor dies. O Bura bathou, Nobagraja, Rangrasi, Barigongtham, Mithideka, Mathadonga, Moitha haji and you, the omniscient goddess! The east is the origin of the sun; The king is the owner of the land. We are the doers of the wrong, And you are the fountain of mercy, So, do have mercy upon us.
In response to this incantation the voice of the goddess speaks through the Doudini and she assures the people to protect:
Oh you sons of Boros Living in the city of Nounagar Listen to me; Fear not, sons, fear not at all. In will protect you all Within my embrance. Cranes have not yet turned black, Crows have not yet turned white. The waves of the main Have never gone counter to their wont. Truth abides Oh sons, truth abides even now. Dangers from the east, if there be, Why, push them away further east; Of the west, further west. And so with those from north and south. If you be arrogant, And unwise like the dog and the pig, I will set the tigers on you. Take heed, oh sons of the Boros of Naunagar And be careful.
The devotees recite the following incantation invoking the goddess Ceres: (Mainao)
Ayo Mainao Bima dinoi lai lanodini Cõrano ni mandirao Nõno baidi onculi mainao Goilia zõñ ha be cono carao O loi ma ece mõzano, zono thi mathi Mini khoirõ zõno ni bakhriao thaphoid Acu maini Mainao bima Ma ece joñthab mathab. Minikhoire zõno ni bakhriyao Phoibaide phoibaide zõno ni bakhriyao. i.e. Oh mother ceres; We are ushering you in To the temple of light. There is no other loving ceres Of your like in the universe. In bright and dazzling colours The mother has come smiling to our granary. Mother ceres of the winter crops Mother ceres of the summer crops In what dazzling clours Has come smiling to our grancary…
As already mentioned above, some 18 (eighteen) dance forms have emanated from the dance of the Doudini during the Kherai worship. With all these dance forms some deeply philosophical and devotional incantation are tuned together. Some of the prayers are not directly devotional or religious; but these have relevance to the mythological gods and goddesses of the Boros. For example, chatraoli dance (and sits song) is the demonstration of the different mudras or movements of the goddess of war (Ranchandi).
Songs of the Garza worship:
The Garza worship is another religious worship and ritual of the Boros. Garza is held in order to expel the evil gods from the locality where the worship is held. The harmful gods and goddesses who may create deadly diseases are expelled publicly during the Garza worship. It is also the ritualistic ceremony to purify the people after the seasonal festivals like Baicagu. The Boros believe, as Kameswar Brahma says “That at the annual festivals the participants of the village become impure due to free mixing with each other, eating, merry-making, walking, dinking rice-beer. So in order to purify themselves, they perform the Garza worship at the village”. There are different gods and goddesses namely Lakhi Garza, Acu Garza, cew Garza, Tulcino Mulcino Garza, Dura Marai garza, Garza, cindur Garza, Borai raja Garza, Othoro chanti Garza and the likeworshipped during the Garza festival. . The Boros generally perform Garza twice a year. The first Garza is held during the months of Jeth-Ashar. The second one is performed during Kati-Aghon. They follow some rituals during the Garza worship. The oza chants the followingmantra :
Oh you fathers and mothers, Who of you are here? Budaru garzah, ahu Lakshmi, Sali Lakshmi Burha rajah, damon burhi, jakoimara Khaloimara, gambari dhanashri and manasri are here. Here are their companions too; Here one Ranapagal, Ranapagli, Dhula Baja ….. Ye are not deities of today. Ye are eternal ones. Ye shall have to pay attention to all. Ye shall protect all From all dangers and deseases. Take ye you swards and shields And cut to pieces all dangers.
During the Garja worship the Oza chants the following mantra (incantation) to propitiate different Garza gods and goddesses for the expulsion of evil:
Aham de: god of truth In heaven lies the Bathou brai In Kailash lies cibbrai Along with cib brui Speak out O fathers and mothers Who are there on this side. O father and mothers Come you all Mainao garza acu Garza Gao Garza There are still groups of people numberless We worship cibrai Garza. Gao Garza There are still groups of people numbers We worship cibrai Garza.
At the end of the Garza worship a raft of plantain trunk is made. On the raft are placed the offerings to the Garza gods. The following mantra is chanted at that moment:
Oh you fathers and mothers, Who of you are here? Budaru garzah, ahu Lakshmim Sali lakshmi Burha rajah, Zomon Burhi, Zakoimara Khaloimaram, Gambari, Dhanshri and Manashri are here. Hence are their companions too; Here, are ranpagala, Rampagali, Dhula Baja And Bina Baja and Baghiraja are here. I charge the fathers and mothers. All the villagers here. Both rich and poor, have subscribed Have offered ye their gifts. Ye are not deities of today Ye are eternal ones. Ye shall have to pay attention to all Ye shall protect all From all dangers and deseases.
The history of Boro novel started from the 60's of the last century. So, in comparison to other types of literary genres its beginning was very late. In this regard the first and the foremost novel to mention is Zuzaini or (the fire of husk, 1962) by Chittaranjan Muchahary. He is the first novelist and highest contributor of novels in the field of Boro literature. His first novel is a social novel having love affair as its central theme. In this novel there is a picturisation of love affair of a boy of rich family with a girl of poor family
The history of Boro novel started from the 60's of the last century. In this regard the first and foremost novel to mention is “Zuzaini or” (the fire of husk, 1962). The hero of this novel cheats the poor girl and marries a girl from rich family which is intolerable to the girl of the poor family who at the end becomes mad and the novel ends in tragedy. Beside this novel Muchahary has contribution of more than 20 novels in Boro literature. Those novels include —Bikhaya gaow khugaya geoa(mind says but the mouth does not open,1972), Girls'hostel(part-1,1981 and part-2,1982),Phulmati(the name of a girl), Ang nenanwi thagwn(I will wait for you), Bilwgw(friend), Ziuni lamayao(in the way of life), Onthaini mwdwi(the tear of stone), Callgirl, Ang Nilimamwn(I was Nilima), Sarmistha, Sujata, Mwdwi(the tear), Bonoshri, Golab bibarni su(the thorn of rose), Habani astham(the marriage ring), Nwng angni I nwngni(you are mine I am yours),Undaha (repentance) and others. It is worth to mention here that all of his novels are mainly based on love affairs and most of these have their tragic endings. Separation between the heroes and the heroines are also a special feature of his novels. In comparison to heroes, the heroines face a lot of problems in his novels. His plot construction is almost same in all the novels except for some minute changes. So his novels are not heart striking and can't give any message to the society except sex enjoyment and romantic feeling to the upcoming youth generation. On the other hand his novels had no deep observations to the problems faced by society. Hence its admitted that his novels were written merely with the commercial motive.
Novel is considered a new genre when compared with the other genres of literature. Inspite of it, the novel is outnumbering the number of dramas and criticism. On the other hand it is also noteworthy that the plots of maximum number of novels are based on love theme and all of them are the social novels. Historical, psychological and the stream of consciousness novels are still not available in this language. The only detective novel in this language is Bishni Lwithw (the ocean of poision, 1981) written by Zaraphagla. One more novel composed by him is Ishadi (hints). Another remarkable name as a novelist is Manaranjan Lahary. He has three novels to his credit. They are—Kharlung (the unsteadiness, 1976), Hayna muli (the medicine of love, 1985) and Rebeka (1999). His novels are also mostly based on romance and have a high sex appeal. The other contributors and their creations in this genre are- Khaphalni bwswn (the advice of luck, 1972) by Ramchandra Basumatary, Phwimal (failure,1974) by Rajendra Nath Brahma,Hangma(1976) by Kamakhya Brahma Narzary, Bwiswni dengkhw (the voice of age,1977) by Nabin Wary, Zwumwnni borosa (the dreams of youth age,1978) by Bireswar Basumatary, Debojit, Malina arw Ang…(Devajit, Malina and Me…,1978) by Navin Malla Boro, Dwithun (whirlpool,1980) by Budhadev Basumatary, Anorni ziu dinga (the life boat of Anor,1981) by Hangma, Khaphal (the luck,1983) by Rudhir Kumar Brahma, Malati (the name of a girl), and Hinzao gwdan (the bride,1984) by Samjeet Kumar Brahma, Phaguni (the name of a girl,1984) by Kanteswar Brahma, Phakhon phwisali(1985) by Habila Basumatary, Bangring (the earthquake,1985) by Bishnujyoti Kachari, Indumatini mwdwi (the tear of Indumati,1987) by Phungroze and Gwrbwni radai (the negotiation of heart,1996) by Meena Kherkhatary are mentionable in this regard. It is worth to mention here that she is considered as the first woman novelist in Boro literature. This is an autobiographical novel based on true incident that happened in the novelists life when she fall in love with a boy. This love story is told in subjective method in the novel. Maniram Mochari, the ex-president of the Bodo Sahitya Sabha wrote one novel namely “Sase laokharni mizing” (the dream of a cowherd, 1997) with a very simple and straight forward plot. The novel Ziu gagolangnay san (the passing days of life, 1995) was written by Dhireswar Boro Narzee. Basically he is a lyricist and he has written this novel in first person. Autographical element is available in this novel. Other novelists who contributed a lot to the genre of novel in Boro literature are—Borad (the luck) by Maneswar Narzary, Ziuni dwithun (the wave of life, 2001) by Hemanta Muchahary, Bithorai (the bud, 1998) by Durjay Kumar Brahma, Bigray arw Dwisray (Bigray and Dwisray, 1992) by Thiren Boro, Orgeng (the volcano) by Bishtiram Wary, Banglangshi and Phagla Gourang (the mad Gourang river) by Ramnath Brahma, Horwi maruao (by that side of life) and Gwswm phwisali (the black curtain,2002) by Aran Raza, Kalyani nwng angni (Kalyani you are mine) and Forester by Ratneswar Brahma, Gwthar thulungsi, 1997) by Magesh Narza Boro, Bwlw na giyan (whether force or virtue) by Paniram Daimary, Khwina Khuber by Gopinath Muchahary, Zariminni phwisali (the curtain of history) by Zwngsar, Zwngthi olongbar (the light polestar) by Banzar Daimary, Manzulani siddaonay thwi (the gushing out blood of Manjula) by Dwimalu Boro Narzary, Zwu phagla (the drunkard, 2002) by Amarjyoti Lahary, Balonda (2002) by Manoj Kumar Boro and Gongse Okhrangni Singao (under one sky) by Reeta Boro and Abwuni gami (grandpa's village, 2003) by Madhu Ram Boro and others are worth to mention here.
The other notable names in the history of Boro novel are Dharanidhar Wary, Nandeswar Daimary and Katindra Swargiary. Dharanidhar Wary's only novel "Mwihur" (the hunting, 1980) is the first regional social novel and it is considered as the novel of highest quality in Boro language till date. He took the plot of his novel from the adjoining villages of Manas Tiger Reserve Forest. In this novel he included the socio-economic, cultural and educational aspects of the Boros. Through the medium of the novel he also expressed his dis-satisfaction on tribal belts and blocks and various government policies. The food hunting habit of the Boros, residing nearby the protected forest area and their troubles are also highly reflected in this novel. But the novelist had a lot of scope to make the novel more interesting one. This novel is highly acclaimed and appreciated.
Like Dharanidhar Wary, Nandeswar daimary has one novel to his credit. His novel Manjubala Devi (1980) depicts the love between a high caste Brahmin girl and a Boro Christian youth. The couple decide to register their marriage as parents stand against them and as girl becomes pregnant. After marriage the boy takes his wife to his home. On the first night the girl enquires about the real identity of her father-in-law from her maid servant and discovers that her husband is none other than her elder brother. She commits suicide at the end of the novel.
Mention is also made about the upcoming novelist Katindra Swargiary. He has contributed three novels to Boro literature namely Zarwuli (the name of a woman, 1999), Khwmsiniphrai swrangthing (from dark to light, 2002) and Sanmwkhangari lamazwng (toward's sun, 2002).In his novels he has reflected the problems faced by the people during their movement for a separate state of Bodoland and its aftermath. The misunderstanding and the ethnic clash among the people living within the proposed Bodoland area is the main theme of his novels. Though the plot of his novels was interesting and strong, his idea of expression, characterisation and development of plot are very weak and static. For this the novelist has to keep a keen observation on various problems and prospects of the society and to learn the technique of fiction from the writers of other developed literature.
It is also worth to mention here that besides the self composed novels there are also the translated novels from various Indian and foreign languages. They include Bapukan (a children novel, 1986) by Renu Boro, translated from the original Assamese Bapukan of Lakshminath Phukan, Ziuni belasiyao (in the last moment of life) by Uthrisar Khungur Basumatary and taken from Homen Borgohain's original Assamese Ostorag, Zwngni buhum (our world, 2003, a children novel) by Swarna Prabha Chainary and taken from Sashi Sarma's original Assamese Amar Prithvi. The only novel translated from the Bengali language is Thwizwng bungphabnay udang bwthwr (raktakta basanta) by Hareswar Basumatary published in the year 1984. The other two novels translated from the English language are—Bwrai mansi arw lwithw (the old man and the sea) taken from Ernest Hemmingway's original creation translated by Dr. Anil Boro. The other one is Etoa Mundaya daohayao derhabay (Etoa Munda won the battle) taken from Mahasweta Devi's English version translated by Swarna Prabha Chainary. This is a children novel.
Thus it is assumed that the Boro novels have to go a long way to attain its actual goal. The persons involved in writing novels are to study more and more number of novels from other developed languages and to learn different techniques of writing novel. They also have to keep a keen observation on every problem of the society as well as the surrounding world and have to try to cross the barrier from social novel to other types of novel. Adoption of new techniques of novel and their intention to study is also a must in this regard.
The tradition of drama in Boro literature started since the 20's of the last century. Before the introduction of modern stage drama, there was the tradition of Jatragan (a kind of Boro folk-drama), which was performed in the open air. It is assumed that the one act play “Nalabuha” written by Satish Chandra Basumatary introduced the tradition of open theatre among the Boros and it was firstly performed in the meeting of the Boro Chatra Sanmilan in the year 1919. This was a turning point in the field of Boro culture. Thus the Jatragan has a lot of contributions to the development of Boro dramas. As per the information available, Hamphe of Manindra Wary is considered as the first drama of Boro literature. After that the tradition of writing dramas started slowly but steadily in comparison to other genres of literature. It is worth to mention here that during the beginning of the Boro literature the dramatists tried to create their original creation and also took the initiative of translating from other language. Most of the translated dramas were from Bengali language. These newly created and translated dramas were of historical, allegorical and legendary character. The dramas written during that time were Gandhmar palla by Umesh Chandra Muchahary, Dorson zwhwlao, Rani Laimuthi(1928), Naiphin zaywi, Bikhani and the Nala Buha by Satish Chandra Basumatary. The drama Naiphin zaywi was translated by him from Bengali origin. On the other hand Dwarendra Basumatary is considered as the greatest contributor of dramas. His dramas namely, Raza Nilambar, Sukharu Dukharu, Bima bathul, Zuli-Bizuli, Chitrangada, Rangalu zwhwlao, Anason Kalason, Nihari, Danek raza and Sonani Maibang were either his original creations or were translated from other languages.His dramas Raza Nilambar and Sukharu Dukharu were translated from the Bengali origin.
On the other hand one of the most notable names in the history of Boro drama is Bhaben Phwrwnggiri. His original name was Bhaben Swargiary. But due to his active role in different aspects of drama like direction, teaching its art as well as his active role of the dramas from other languages he was conferred the title “phwrwnggiri” (teacher) along with his name. He has translated seven dramas. They include—Dwimali, Okhrang gwdan, Phwzwbnay mwdai hari, Hinzaoni gwhw, Phabni bahagw, Hazwari hinzao Hangmasi and Obongni phao. On the other hand he himself has composed four dramas namely, Bilaisri, Jayveer, Swithwboti and Razkhungri Nilima.
Maniram Islary also contributed a lot in the field of Boro drama. His dramas include Hamphe phalla, Bima-bathul, Mewar Kumari, Niyati, Vasaspati Misra, Pap mukti and Raspuja. Like other dramatists his dramas were either his original creation or translated from other languages. On the other hand Madaram Brahma, who was basically a poet, also composed three dramas namely Raimali (1920), Dimapur nwgwr baynay and Sodang Bwiragi. Navin Wary's Dhantri raza. Amarendra Brahma's Mwinakhobari and Gangmailu rwisumwi phalla, Anari and Mainao phalla by Sundarsing Wary, Dumsu gudiao bisar hwnwngnay by Lalmohan Brahma and Lekha gwrwng hwua arw lekha rwngwi hinzao (one act play,1940) by Ananda Ram Muchahary are also worth to mention in this regard. It is worth to mention that the aim of the drama is mostly to uplift the downtrodden Boro society, teaching them moral lessons as well as entertainment. It is also notable that only a few number of these dramas were published in book form. The remainings were either destroyed or burned to flames along with their respective writers.
On the other hand during the times of modern literature (which started from 1952) the flow of Boro dramas was not less than the dramas of the old period. During this period social as well as the historical, legendary and mythological novels were also written and published in book form. Some of these dramas were full length dramas and some of them were one act plays.
From the year 1960 onwards there appeared a huge change among the Boros in the genre of drama. Instead of open air performance of the dramas they took the initiative of performing these on stage as well as in the theatre halls. To fulfill the needs and aspirations of the general people the dramatists were also to compose more and more dramas. Thus in the year 1959 Manaranjan Lahary composed a drama titled "Hangma-hangsa". It was a social novel having three acts. His other social dramas are: "Anari" (1963) and "Maoriasrwn" (1970). Aniram Basumatary a resident of south Goalpara (southern part of the river Brahmaputra) brought a revolution of drama in that locality. His dramas are: "Ban zwhwlao" (1958), "Raza Govinda", "Gambari sikhla" and "Barhungkha". The themes of his dramas are historical, legendary and social. Another enthusiastic person from the Goalpara area namely Ananda Muchahary, popularly known as Ongkha Daria also contributed a lot to this genre of literature. His dramas are- Bohirnyasto, Mandhum, Raha daoha, Hirimdwi and Samaz khetra. On the other hand one of the most notable people in the genre of the Boro drama is Kamal Kumar Brahma. He has social as well as the historical novels to his credit and is considered as the greatest dramatist of the Boros. His dramas are- Gwrwnthi (1954-55), Gwdan phwisali (1957), Raza Iragdao (1962), Gwrwnthini unao (1964), Mimangni simang (1964), Mandarni mwdwi (1964), Harbadi khwmsi (1968) and Ziuni simang (1986).Another upcoming dramatist among the Boros is Dr. Mangalsingh Hazowary. His dramas are- Swmdwn (1984), a historical drama, Zaoliya Dewan (1991) and Zwhwlao Dwimalu (1991), both are the legendary dramas.Surath Narzary wrote one mythological drama namely sandw Baodia (1988). Katindra swargiary’s Hadanao Bwisagw (2001), Anil Brahma’s Chintabati (2003) and Madhuram Boro’s Mugani Thandwi (2003) are also worth to mention in the history of Boro drama.
The number of one act plays composed during this period were not less in number in comparison to full length dramas . As already mentioned earlier “Nalabuha” of Satish Chandra Basumatary staged in the meeting of the Boro Chatra Sanmilan in 1919 is considered as the first one act play of the Boro language. It is also worth to mention that during the period of the old literature only two one act plays were composed by the two dramatists. These were Nalabuha of Satish Chandra Basumatary and Lekha gwgwng hwua and lekha rwngwi hinzaoby Ananda Muchahary. On the other hand in the history of the modern Boro literature the tradition of writing one act plays started from the 60’s of the last century. In this regard the foremost name to mention is Kamal Kumar Brahma. In the year 1963 he composed his first one act play "Aoa phawa". Manaranjan lahary has seven one act plays to his credit. These plays are: Mahargirini simang (1964), Barhungkhani unao, Rangkhini dengkhw, Hinzao naynw thangnayao (1970), Barse bibar sirinay (1976), Orongni bibar (1977) and Gaobagao lama. Janak Jhankar Narzary also composed eight one act plays. His plays include- Phakhonni lamayao (1965), Habani mala (1965), Undaha, Mwnabilini hangma, Gwdan lama, Baunay bibar, Oronga linghorphinbay and budwr driver. Another famous contributor to the genre of Boro one act play is Dr. Mangalsingh Hazowary. At present he has six one act plays to his credit. His “Siman”, a collection of five one act plays was published in the year 1982. The five plays included in this collection were- Siman, Bizamadwini zinga, Zerwi swima wrwi thokhon, muthase phwlerni saogari and Abwu Donda Hazewni aphad. His one more play is Roman hangkhw binw thwngnayao (1984).
Beside the above mentioned one act plays the other contributors to this genre and their plays are Zwmwi dokhorse (1965) and Mwnabilini dengkhw by Nilkamal Brahma, Daya swrni (1968) by Biren Thaleddar, Mono (1968) and Zoban by Arup Gwra Basumatary, Phanzamuthi (1971) by Bimal Brahma Gayary, Ghatakdar (1972) by Lahendra Basumatary, Haoriya khapal (1973) by Ratikanta Basumatary and Barhungkha (1973) by Aniram Basumatary. On the other hand Mahesh Kumar Basumatary contributed four one act plays to this genre of Boro literature. These are Divana, Khokha sikhao, Gwrlwi san and Gwdan lama. Thalim is a one act play composed by Haribhusan Brahma. Sameswar Brahma’s Zugni phakhonao, Mathura’s Gwrwnthi sannay (1977), Jaychandra Muchahary’s Dinwini zug (1978) and Bihari (1979), Mahendra Nath Boro’s Sonashri (1980), Sagram Choudhury’s Hangkhwni lamayao (1981) and Bublini linghornay (1981), Shiva Prasad Khakhlary’s Dhruva (1982), Daumwdla (1982)by Bandhuram Basumatary, Phwimal (1983) by Benu Boro, Gargangni gwhw (1983) by Uttam Chandra Kherkhatary and Dabkhani emphwu by Ajit Kumar Basumatary are the remarkable step in this regard. It is also worth to mention here that in recent times more and more enthusiastic old as well as the new writers have taken the composition work of more and more one act plays. Basically these were composed to fulfill the different needs of the stage dramas and the competitions. But most of them are only in manuscript form till today. These plays whether composed during the age of old literature or new literature have the same motive and purpose. These are mainly—
a) to entertain the general public b) to bring social reform and c) to picturise different problems faced by the society.
The magazine Hathorkhi Hala (1930) edited by Promod Chandra Brahma published a short story named Abari written by Ishan Chandra Muchahary. Before the publication of this, one more short story named Rongdasi phagli by Promod Chandra Brahma was published in the magazine Bibar. But this story did not fulfill the requisite qualities of the short story. So Ishan Muchahary’s Abari is considered as the first short story of the Boro language. This was the beginning of the Boro short story. After the magazine Olongbar, the magazines like Okhaphwr, Alari and Mushri arw sanshri were published. In these magazines the persons like Jiten Brahma, Satish Chandra Basumatary, Prasenjit Brahma and others published their short stories. But these stories did not fulfil the requisite qualities.
The greatest literary organisation of the Boros the Bodo Sahitya Sabha was formed in the year 1952 and along with the formation of this voluntary literary organisation there came a revolution in the history of the Boro short story. It is assumed that in comparison to the novels and the dramas the numbers of the Boro short stories are growing very rapidly. Thus after a year from the inception of the Bodo Sahitya Sabha it initiated a programme to publish a quarterly mouth piece namely “The Bodo”. In this mouth piece the first short story of the modern Boro literature namely Gwswni daha (1953) written by Lila Brahma was published. This was the beginning of the modern Boro short story. From that time onwards the Boro short stories had not to see backward and they went on developing. In 1963-64 the short stories of Maikel Basumata, Daniram Basumatary and Jagdish Brahma and of many other writers’ creative creations were published in different magazines.
The Boro short stories found their original form from the year 1970. It was only from this year that the tradition of the publication of Boro short stories in book form was started. The first short story book in this regard was Phwimal mizing by Chittaranjan Muchahary. This book was a collection of three short stories. Another collection of short stories namely "Thalim" was published in the year 1974. In these short stories there is only a partial reflection of the Boro social life. But these creations are praiseworthy from the point of his plot selection, its technique and the idea of expression. Sukumar Basumatary’s Minishri was also published in the year 1974.
In the history of the Boro short story one of the most notable name is Nilkamal Brahma. He is considered as the greatest contributor in this genre of literature. His first collection of short stories namely Hagra guduni mwi was published in the year 1972. He included a total of seven short stories in this book. This first collection was highly appreciated and welcomed by every section of the readers. His selection of plot and the story telling idea was very impressive and heart striking. Most of his plots moved from the rural to urban life as well as from the poor to the rich section of the society. In the year 1978 under his editorship one more short story book namely Phungkha was published under the sponsorship of Abir publication, Kokrajhar. In this collection he included one short story of Kalaguru Bishnu Prasad Rabha and the other one of Prasenjit Brahma. The others were his self creations. This was a strong initiative taken by him for the upliftment of Boro literature. His other collection of short story was Silingkhar (1985). This collection was even more highly appreciated than the previous one. His other published short story books are: Sirinay mandar bibar (1985), Soloni phungkha (1984), Sakhondra and Mem daudwi (1985). He brought a new trend to this genre of Boro literature which is comparable to the short stories of other developed literature. The new technique of the composition of the Boro short story entered to this language through him. It is notable that his sudden and premature death has brought an irreparable loss to the development of the Boro short story in particular and the Boro literature in general.
One more renowned contributor to this genre of literature is Manaranjan Lahary. This poet, dramatist, novelist and the critic has a collection of four short story books to his credit. His creations are: Solo bidang (1978), Soloni solo (1985), Gaodang (1996) and Bazwi (1994). In these short stories different aspects of folk life are thoroughly reflected. Another poet, critic and novelist Dharanidhar Wary has also a valuable contribution to this genre of literature. His one and only contribution is Gandu singni laizam gangse (1979). In the year 1981 two more books on short story was published. These are: Srimati Durlai by Haribhusan Brahma and Miniglab by Rahini Kumar Brahma. On the other hand one of the most notable person in this genre of Boro literature is Nandeswar Daimary. Till date he has three books on short story to his credit. These are: thangnayni daoha (1985), Boxing (1993) and Obe nenay dolonga baygrobnaysw (2002). It is also noteworthy that like other short story writers in his short stories also different aspects of the folk life are highly reflected. In the year 1985 two more short story books were published. These are: Onnay by Baneswar Basumatary and Rwnao phagla by Haribhusan Brahma. Another contribution to this genre of literature is Katindra Swargiary. In the year 1986 a collection of the Boro short stories was published under his editorship. The name of this collection was Razalama. His two self composed short story books are: Hongla pandit (1995) and Zaorikhangnayni gibi aida (2000). Thus in the year 1988 Rupnath Hazowary’s hangma was published. On the other hand Satish Basumatary and Narendralal Boro jointly published their self composed short stories. The name of this joint venture was Dukhuni dengkhw (1980). In that very year Haloadol Azwla Aphad published a collection of short stories by different writers namely Azwla.
From the 90’s of the last century there came a competition among the Boro short story writers which increased the number of this genre very rapidly. The books published during this period were either self collection or joint collection of the different writers. A few specimens of these published records are given here. These are: Bwiswni diriya (1994) by Phwilao Basumatary, Bungnw hayini daha (1994) by Jatindranath Boro, Horgezerni saikhong (1995) by Tikendramalla Basumatary, Phwisali andwni solo (1995) by Mangalsingh Hazowary, Gwrwbwi khobam (1995) by Dhanshri Swargiary and Bishnu Prasad Basumatary, Gorse phwisa (1996) by Madhuram Boro, Mwdwini bana (1996) by Binanda Swargiary, Operation hanggama trap (1997) by Kamalsrang Muchahary, Songsarni or (1998) by Rupali Swargiary, Gunzer (1998) and Onzalini laizam (1998) by Binanda Swargiary, Garbwnay dwithun (1998) by Kabak Basumatary and Madhavi Basumatary, Bazwi Srwmthi (2000) by Sunil Phukan Basumatary, Number 113 file (2000) by Dhirjyujyoti Basumatary, Rwmwnay barse bibar (2001) by Sailen Basumatary , Gwdan kharimin (2001) by Debendra Boro, Horgezerni phone (2001), Khwuseni dengkhw (2001) and Zinziri (2001) by Binanda Swargiary, Bwdwr baoli gwsw (2002) by Mukut Prasad Boro, Bomb (2002) by Hemen Muchahary, Khathakhose solo (2002) edited by Bijay Baglary and Zaikhlong simang (2002) by Umesh Boro, Gaodang (2003) by Indra Malati Narzary, Mwnda (2003) by Rajen Basumatary and Zokhainwi dwngnwi solo (2003) edited by Kishore Kumar Boro are worth to mention in this regard. It is also worth to mention here that most of the writers of this period were the new writers. So in comparison to the publications the development of short story was not so much satisfactory. Except a very few number of short story books they only increased its quantity but not the quality. So, for the better development of the Boro short stories the writers must be studious and also have a keen observation on every aspect of folk life as well as its sorrounding situations. Otherwise it will only be a direct expression of love, its feeling and social incidents having no literary art and its aestheticism.
The Boro poetry, in written form, was started since 1915. It is mentioned in the history of the Boro Literature that ‘Bathunam Bwikhaguni Gidu’ by Prashnalal Khakhlary, is the first poetry book in Boro. This book consists of two parts: (a) Bathwu Song and (b) Bwisagu song. Bathwu reflects the philosophy of Bathwu religion. The bwisagu song reveals the pangs of love and youthful exuberance feelings. It is worthmentioning that some of the songs are collected from the village-folk and some of the songs are self-composition by the poet. The book has opened the gate-way to the Boro poetry. Nodoubt, it is the ear mark of the Boro poetry.
In 1924, the first Boro magazine ‘Bibar’ (Flower) was published and edited by Satish Chandra Basumatary. A good number of poetry was published in this magazine containing the theme of religion, language, literature, ethics, morality and advice to the Boro community for the social upliftment. Among them noted poets were Satish Chandra Basumatary, Jaladhar Brahma, Parsuram Brahma, Rupnath Brahma, Judhisthir Hazugsumary and many others. Most of the poems of that preliminary stage were written in rhyming couplets. Most of the poems were written just to bring social reforms among the Boro community.
In 1923, a poetry book ‘Khonthai Methai’ (poems and songs) written by Rupnath Brahma and Madaram Brahma was published containing the topics mainly on national spirit as regards religion, customs, language, culture and so on. Poems and songs were composed in rhyming couplets. Another poetry book ‘Boroni gudi sibsa arw aroz’ (1926, the first devotion and prayer of the Boros) was written by Padmashree Mada Ram Brahma. This book is a collection of prayer songs composed in verse form. During this period some romantic poems were valso composed by two poets. Ishan Chandra Mushahari and Pramod Chandra Brahma were initiated in this field. They wrote mainly on beauty of nature and love theme. Figurative dictions were also used in their poems based on poetic aesthetic. Most of the poems were published in megazine the ‘Hathorkhihala’ (Constellation, 1930) edited by Pramod Chandra Brahma. Ishan Chandra Mushahari is entitled as the greatest romantic poet in the history of the Boro literature. ‘Sonani mala’(Chain of gold) and ‘Phami’(Lotus) are self composition of Mushahari. On the otherhand, most of the poems written by Pramod Chandra Brahma were published in ‘Sonakhi Bizab’ (Golden book) in recent times edited by himself. They represent the nature as the anchor of their spirit and source of all inspirations.
Kalikumar Lahary, who was contemporary to Pramod Chandra Brahma and Ishan Chandra Mushahari, also wrote a good number of poems containing classicism, romanticism and satirecal ideas. Poems written by Lahiry were published in the megazine ‘Hathorkhihala’(Constellation,1930). Kalikumar Lahary wrote a poetry book ‘Khonthai Bizab’(Poetry book) and was published in 1951. Nileswar Brahma was also published a poetry book ‘Balabganwi’(two episodes,1952). The book is a collection of songs sung by the poet.
Thus it is observed that most of the poems written during the pre-independence period were able to bear the social responsibility to the Boro society. The poems were also able to infuse national spirit in the heart of the Boros.
Some features of Boro poetry written during the pre-independence period : a) Poems were written in rhyming couplets and others in free verse. b) Central ideas of the poems were based on religion, culture, morality, national spirit,education and social upliftment. c) Metaphor, personification, sign, traditional symbol, images were also used in the poems. d) Romantic, mystic and satirecal poems were written in this period.
The post-independence period of Boro poetry is the age of modern Boro poetry. During this period, the great socio-literary organisation the ‘Bodo Sahitya Sabha’(1952) came into existance. Many of the poets engaged themselves to compose modern poems from the new point of view. In this period, Prasenjit Brahma Choudhury had written modern poems. Prasenjit Brahma Choudhury wrote a poem in the magazine ‘Okhaphwr’ (The moon, 1952). The name of the poem was ‘Ang thwia’ (I will not die). This poem was written in free verse and used some symbols to refer the poetic aesthetic as a whole. Samar Brahma Choudhury also published a poetry book where romantic elements were depicted elaborately. ‘Radab’ (Message, 1958) was his self composed poetry book containing romantic ideas. As it were, the two poets had been initiated the new trend of modern poetry in Boro literature. In brief, a list of poets and their poetic creations are mentioned below with the publication year and poetry themes to some extent.
1) Radab (message, 1958, Bodo Publication Board, Bodo Sahitya Sabha, Kokrajhar) : Composed by Samar Brahma Choudhury. This book consists of various romantic poems. Most of the poems are written in free verse and use figurative diction to represent the poetic aesthetic.
2) Guthal (weave,1993, Bodo Publication Board , Bodo Sahitya Sabha, Kokrajhar) : Composed by Iswar Chandra Brahma and Kamakhya Brahma Narzary. Most of the poems are written by using symbols and free verse. Contents are thought-provoking and depends upon progressive outlook.
3) Mithingani Dengkhw ( Songs of the nature ): composed by Sachindra Basumatary. poems are written in rhyming couplets. Sonnet poems are also incorporated in this poetry book.
4) Ringkhang(Sounds, 1970 ): composed by Lokendra Basumatary containing romantic poems.
5) Aroz Methai (Prayer song, 1970 ): by Maheswar Narzary. Most of the poems are composed on prayer and devotion to God.
6) Mwdwi (Tears, 1971, Orkhi Printers & Publishers) : by Dharanidhar Wary depicting crisis and conflicts of the contemporary Boro Society as a whole. most of the poems are symbolic.
7) Orgeng (Volcano, 1973 ) : by Bishnujyoti Kachary. Collection of Boro modern poems written in free verse.
8) Ang Phwiphingwn ( I shall come again, 1994, Published with the Financial assistance of B.A.C. ) & Sanmwkhangari Bibar Zananwi ( Being a sunflower, 1994 ) : Both of the poetry books are composed by Brajendra Kumar Brahma. Poems are composed in free verse using various symbols to represent the poetic feelings.
9) Okhrang Gongse Nanggwu ( In search of a sky, 1975, Bodo Publication Board, Bodo Sahitya Sabha, Kokrajhar) : by Brajendra Bumar Brahma. A poetry book revealing the feeling and sympathy towards the poor and depressed of the society.
10) Simangni Khwina (Dream’s bride,1979) : by Sachindra Basumatary. A collection of romantic poems. Most of the poems attempt to depict a vivid picture of the nature.
11) Phwiphin (Come again, 1993, Bodo Publication Board, Bodo Sahitya Sabha, Kokrajhar) : by Ramdas Boro. Most of the poems of the book have a mystic idea similar to poet Rabindra Nath Tagore’s Geetanjali.
12) Omorni Gwzwnphuri (Peace cottage of Amar Khayyam, 1976) by Kanakeswar Narzary. This book is a collection of verses translated into Boro from the original verse of Rubayat by Amar Khyyam.
13) Gwswni Barhungkha (The storm of mind, 1993, Bodo Publication Board, Bodo Sahitya Sabha) & Subungni Raha ( Salvation of people, 1984, Gazwla Aphad, Bagharpara, Karaiguri, Napara, Barpeta) These two poetry books are composed by Nandeswar Boro. The poet expresses his revolutionary mind through the speech of cultivators, depressed class of people and tries to discard the suffering and salvation of the depressed society.
14) Mablaba (Now and then, 1977 ) : composed by Monoranjan Lahary. The poetry book contains some romantic poems. Most of the poems are lyrical in style. The poet expresses his love to the natural beauty and in some poems he tries to depict a feeling of youthful exuberance.
15) Zagniban (Revolution, 1977 ) : composed by Baneswar Basumatary. It consists of some revolutionary poems written in free verse.
16) Dimaphur ( the capital of the Kachari dynasty,1958 ) : composed by Baneswar Basumatary. Most of the poems are revolutionary and written in free verse.
17) Khonthai Mala ( garland of the poems, 1977 ) : by Uttam Chandra Kherkatay.
18) Somni Phakhon ( Motion of time, 1977 ) by Rupnath Mushahary.
19) Gwia (Have not, 1977 ) by Mantri Brahma Choudhury.
20) Zwngma ( Light,1977 ) by Barun Boro.
21) Dwimani Phisa : Dimasa ( Dimasa : Children of the river, 1993, Bodo Publication Board, Bodo Sahitya Sabha, Kokrajhar) by Jagdish Chandra Brahma. The poet depicts, in this book, history and development of the Boro race.
22) Zangkhrikhang ( Start a Revolution, 1980 ) : by Kameswar Boro.
23) Ha Phisa hwua ( Name of a bird, 1993, Bodo Publication Board, Bodo Sahitya Sabha, Kokrajhar) : composed by Guneswar Mushahary. poems are composed in lyrical style bearing a pathetic and sorrowful feelings.
24) Nerswn ( sign,1981 ) : composed by Sagram Choudhury.
25) Bikhani Or ( Fire of the heart, 1981 ) : Guntiram Swargiary.
26) Bwrdauli Siphung (Pathetic flute,1986, Self) : composed by Soroj Bwiswmuthiary. It is a collection of modern poems written in free verse.
27) Nwngni Ziu Angni Bibungthi (Your life my opinion, 1982 ) & Phasini Dwulengao Okhaphwr (The hanging Moon, 1995,Published by Benudhar Basumatary, Kokrajhar) These two poetry books composed by Anju are collection of modern poems written in free verse. Symbol and imagery are also used in her poems.
28) Ziuni Olongbar (Pole Star of the Life, 1993, Bodo Publication Board, Bodo Sahitya Sabha, Kokrajhar) by Surath Narzary. The poetry contains some prayer songs and similar themes in comparision to the prayer songs composed by Rabindra Nath Tagore.
29) Angni Thwinai Swinai (My departed darling,2001,Nwu Nwgwr Publications, wuguri, Jharbari, Kokrajhar) composed by Surat Narzary. It’s a collection of modern poetry containing both romantic themes and themes on contemporary crisis and conflicts of the Boro society.
30) Angni Onzalia Mwsaphakhri ( My tiger darling,2001,Orkhi printers&Publishers,Depot Road,Kokrajhar): a collection of modern poems composed by Bijoy Baglary. Most of the poems are composed based on individual feelings and conflicts striking in the poet’s mind and some of these are composed based on social crisis and conflicts which occur in the contemporary Boro society as well as human society. Poems are composed in free and rhythmic prose. Symbols and images are also used in his poems.
31) Sanmwkhangari Simang (Deams of light, 1998,G.C.Publication,Guwahati ) : A collection of modern poems composed by Dr. Anil Boro.
32) Phungbilini Simang (Dawn’s dream, 1994,Udashri Publications,Guwahati. A collection of modern poems composed by Khanindra Swargiary.
33) Nanggwlni Anthwr Anthwr (Course of the plough,2000,Mebrosing Swargiary,Bhogpur,Barpeta ) :A collection of modern poems composed by Ningwma Swargiary containing pains of the depressed cultivators of the society. Poems are composed in free verse.
34) Mungkhlongni Hangma ( repetance of martyrs, 1996,First Impression,Priyadini Brahma, Hajo, Kamrup) : composed by Madhu Ram Boro. Most of the poems depict the social crisis and poet’s own feelings.
35) Khobam (weave.2000 ): composed by Bibekananda Narzary.
36) Gibi Bithai (The first hymn, 1984, Self, April 4th 1984) : composed by Bihu Ram Boro based on the Bathwu philosophy containing five fold principles of this religion. This book is written in lyrical style and is mostly comparable to ‘Kirtana’ composed Sri Sri Sankar Deva. Poems are composed in rhyming couplets. It is indeed a religious book of the Boros.
37) Mwndangthini Rwzabthai (Song of the feelings, 1995, Self ) : a collection of modern poems composed by Aurobinda Uzir. Most of the poems depict a picture of crisis and conflict that occurs in the context of the present day Boro society. symbols and imageries are also used for the expressions of poetic felings.
38) Daohani Khonthai (The verse of the battle, 1985,Jagomati Basumatary) & Mwnthai (Right, 2001, Jagomati Basumatary) This two poetry books are composed by Roma Kanta Basumatary.
39) Angni Gwswni Phungkha (The source of my heart, 1986) : composed by Bijoy Kumar Goyari.
40) Pherengadau ( The bird pherenga, 1984 ) : composed by Guneswar Mushahary. Depicts pathos and sorrows of the Boros.
41) Zinir (Dirt, 1995,Prahlad Brahma ) : A collection of 150 (one hundred fifty ) limarics composed by Dhonoz Kumar Boro.
42) Bardwi-sikhla (The Goddess of rain and wind, 1997, Pabitra Sarma) : a collection of modern poems composed by Bineswar Brahma. The poems depict national spirits and love to the native race that takes place in the poet’s mind. Most of the poems are composed in free verse.
43) Mainaoni Khwurang (Massage of the Mainao,1996, Self) : a collection of modern poems composed by Birupaksha Giri Basumatary. Most of the poems are composed in free verse and the poems depict a picture of social crisis and calamaties that occurs in the social context of the Boros.
44) Zinahari Somni Benggura Gothosa (The handicapped child of the adultery time,1998, Krishna Gopal Basumatary) : this poetry book is composed by Gohin Basumatary. Most of the poems contain various pictures that is prevailing in the context of the Boro Society.
45) Udangshrini Methai (The songs of the freedom, 2000, Mainamati Ramchiary) : a collection of modern poems composed by Tikendra Malla Basumatary. The poems are composed in free verse and easily intelligible symbols are also used in the poems.
46) Thunlaini Phwtharao Boro Limarik ( The Boro limericks in the field of literature, 1998,Self) : a collection of limericks composed by Ningwma Swargiary.
48) Zwngni Lagwni Limarik ( Village limerick, 2002, Self ) : a collection of 250 limericks composed by Bhaben Deury. Most of the limericks reflect social picture of the Boros.
49) Angninw Ziuni Dengkhw ( The Tune of My Life, 2003, J.K. Publications, Guwahati) : composed by Katindra Swargiary. It’s a collection of modern poems written in free verse.
50) Bublini Anthwr (The course of time, 2003,Bima Library , Mahina, Dhamdhama) : a collecton of modern poems composed by the seven poets compiled by Birendra Kr. Basumatary and Sarat Ch. Boro.
The number of children literature is not very abundantly found in Boro literature. Though some scholars opine some of the books as children literature, in the true sense of the term these are not considered as children literature as they do not have the quality of being a children literature like covering the language suitable to children and their mentality.
Generally in Boro, the themes of children literature include folk-songs, tales, adventures, legendary heroes, moral lessons and the great personalities from different fields. These are either collections from different sources or abridged version or translation from other languages. But the trend of innovative creative creations, suitable to children mentality is very rarely found in Boro literature.
Children literature based on the life of great personalties from different fields are not very limited in Boro. Mentionable among them are Gothophwrni Radhakrishnan (Radhakrishan for the children), Mother Teresa, Jyoti Prasad Agarwalani Ziu Khwurang (Biography of Jyotiprasad Agarwala), Gidir Subungni Sungdo Ziu Khwurang (a brief life sketch of great Personalities), Sankardevni Ziu Khwurang (Biography on Sankardeva), Gurudev Kalicharan Brahma, Khonthaigiri Sitanath Brahma Choudhury (Poet, Sitanath Brahma Choudhury), Padmashree Madaram Brahma and Kalaguru Bishnu Prasad Rabha by Rupnarayan Basumatary; Gedema Boro Zwhwlao Bishnu Prasad Rabha (Great Boro Hero Bishnu Prasad Rabha, 1995) and Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar (1998) by Madhuram Boro; Gothophwrni Rupnath Brahma (Children’s Rupnath Brahma) by Mohini Mohan Brahma, Bihuram Boro (1998) by Nabin Malla Boro; Gothophwrni Jawaharlal (Children’s Jawaharlal) and Gothophwrni Mahatma Gandhi (Children’s Mahatma Gandhi) by Dinesh Narzary; Gothophwrni Lal Bahadur (Children’s Lal Bahadur) by Sikiram Brahma and Gothophwrni Indira Gandhi ( Indira Gandhi for children) by Nagendra Brahma are mentionable.
In case of adventure, abridge version from Daniel Defoe’s original Robinson Crusoe by Phukan Chandra Basumatary namely Robinson Crusoe (2002) is mentionable.
Among the legendary heroes Zaolia Dewan by Rupnarayan Muchahary, Basiram Zwhwlao ( Basiram , The Hero, 1996) by Renu boro, Jaolia Dewan(2002) by Madhuram Boro, Sandw Baodia (1996) by Nilkamal Brahma are mentionable. Besides these Bithorai Khobam (Little Bud,1995) By Suniti Basumatary (It is a collection of nursery rhymes), Gwmwthao Solo (Wonderful Tales,1998), Gwmwthab Solo (Surprising Tales, 1998) and Gubun Hadodni Solo (Tales of Foreign Country, 1998) by Madhuram Boro, Esopni Solo (Easop’s fable,1998) and Milwudw Mohabharat(Melodious Mahabharat, 1992) by Priyadini Brahma; Kornoni Solo (Tale of Karna), Ramayanni Solo (Tales of Ramayana), Mahabharatni solo (Tales of Mahabharata), Panchatantrani Solo ( Tales of Panchatantra), Abwi - Abwuni solo (Tales of Grandparents), Esopni Solo (Tales of Easop), Gothoni Solo (Tales for Children) and Gaham Gotho (Good Children) by Rupnarayan Muchahary. Daini Burini Solo (Tales of Old Witch, 2002) by Deubar Ramchiary; Gubwi Gaham Akhuthai (Good characteristics,2001) and Sase Simang Nunay Gotho (A dreaming Boy, 2002) by Renu Boro are mentionable. In the above mentioned children literature there are wonderful tales as well as moral lessons. But most of them are translated from other languages.
The number of children novel is also very limited in Boro literature. As per the information available, there are only three translated children’s novel in Boro literature. These are Bapukan (1986), translated by Renu Boro from Lakhminath Phukan’s original Assamese writing Bapukan, Etoa Mundaya Daohayao Derhabay (Etoa Munda Won the Battle, 2001) from Mahasweta Devi’s original English Etoa Munda Won the Battle and Zwngni Buhum (Our World, 2003) from Sashi Sarma’s original Assamese Amar Prithivi. Both of these are translated by Swarna Prabha Chainary and was respectively published by National Book Trust, India and Kishore Kumar Brahma and Deben Chandra Deka. Besides this NBT has published five more books in Boro, translated from English. These are Dwngse Khwiphwdni Solo (A tale of trouble, 2002)and Khebse Gongse Gamiao... (Once in a village, 2002) translated by Swarna Prabha Chainary and Begom Golabi Enzor Arw Bini Belunphwr (Begum Gulabo Mousie and Her Ballons,2002),Birzu Arw Bini Birgra Gorai (Birju and the Flying Horse, 2002) and Biphanga Ma (What is Tree, 2002) translated by Ratneswar Basumatary.
As already mentioned above the number of translated children’s literature is comparatively higher than the innovative creative creations. So, a strong initiative must be taken by Boro Scholars to increase this kind of literature.
The tradition of travelogue started very late in Boro literature. As per the information available, the introductory work of this part of literature was done by Mohini Mohan Brahma. He wrote two books of travelogue based on his experience of journey in America and China. In 1981 he went to participate in International Conference of Sino-Tibetan language and linguistics held at Florida University,America and in 1982 he visited China to attend international conference held at Beijing, China. From the experience of his two foreign tours he wrote two books (travelogue). The name of his first travelogue book was Amerikayao Daobayhwinay (Travel in America) and Chin Hadorao Dandise (Few Moments in China, 1994) After Brahma, Nabin Malla Boro, contributed two travelogue books in Boro literature. His first travelogue was Somnath Darokani Mwzwmse Bisombi (A few Memories of Somnath and Dwaraka, 1996) and Chitrakutniphray Mount Abu (From Chitrakut to mount Abu, 1998). In this regard mention can be made of Urkhao Gwra Brahma. He contributed one travelogue book in Boro literature. The name of his book is Helbhesiani Zenebhayao Zise San (11 Days in Geneva). So, it is assumed that the age of travelogue is in a very tender stage till now.
The number of biography is also not very abundantly found in the history of Boro literature. The pioneer work on biography was done by Kalicharan Basumatary (Junior). He wrote the first biography based on the life of his Guru Kalicharan Brahma (Senior). The name of this first biography book was Sarnai Gurudebni Bwswn (Preachings of Gurudev). After this first book on biography, in 1970 Mahendra Narzary wrote a biography book namely Boroni Manek (Pearls of the Boros). and Girindra Brahma Daimary wrote Zwhwlao Bishnu Prasad Rabha (Hero, Bishnu Prasad Rabha,1973). In 1973, two more biography books namely harini Ziu : Rabichandra Kachari (Life of the Race : Rabichandra Kachari) and Dwarendranath Basumatarini Ziukhwurang (Biography on Dwarendranath Basumatary) was respectively written by Dhuparam Basumatary and Lalmohan Brahma an Motilal Brahma. The biography book Mengnw Rwngwi Maothi Zwhwlao Satish Chandra Basumatary (Untired Hero Satish Chandra Basumatary) was written by Dimbeswar Narzary in the year 1977. In 1992 Dr. Kameswar Brahma Wrote a biography book based on life of Kalicharan Brahma, namely Srimot Gurudev Kalicharan Brahma. Thus in the year 1996 Baneswar Basumatary (Junior) wrote one biography book based on the life of Jagat Chandra Basumatary namely Rai Saheb Honorary Magistrate Mauzadar Jagat Chandra Muchahary. In 1998 a book on the life of late Bihuram Boro was written by Nabin Malla Boro. The name of this book was Thunlai Maothi Bihuram Boro (Literateur Bihuram Boro). Mungkhlong Baliram Boro (Martyr Baliram Boro) is also another biographical book written by Jiten Boro.
It is mentionable that, beside the above mentoned books based on biography the life and the activities of the great personalities of India as well as of abroad were also written as well as translated from other languages into Boro. some of the mentionable great personalities among them are Mahatma Gandhi, Bhimrao Ambedkar, Jawaharlal Nehru, Lalbahadur Sastri, Indira Gandhi, Maxim Gorkey, Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin and others. It is also interesting to note here that most of the books on biography fall under the series of children literature.
The genre of translation started from the very beginning of Boro literature. This started first in drama. The translations of that period were basically from Bengali to Boro . The drama Nayphin zaywi was translated by Satish Chandra Basumatary from Bengali language. On the other hand dramas like Raja Nilambar and Sukharu-Dukharu were also translated from the original Bengali by Dwarendra Basumatary. The dramas of Maniram Islary like Mewar Kumari and Rajpuja were also the translated works from Bengali drama . One of the most notable dramatists in this field is Bhaben Swargiary. He translated a maximum number of dramas from Bengali to Boro language . His translated dramas include Dwimali, Okharang gwadan, Pwzwbnay mwdai hari , Hinzaoni gwhw , Phabni bahagw, Hazwari hinzao Hangmasi and obongni phao. But in recent times not even a single translated dramas are published in Boro language though the translations were in other genres of literature.
Translation is a means of international co-operation and national integration. It bridges the distance between culture and geography . Knowledge, trends , ideas, literary development and the like are also transmitted from one nation to the other through the medium of translation. on the other hand it is so much necessary in Indian context as it is a multi-lingual country and there is unity in diversity. Besides this some enthusiastic personalities also came forward to publish translated works from different languages. the notable works in this regards are given below:
1) Buhumni gibi somni sungdo zarimin, translated by Harinarayan Khakhlary and published by Bodo Publication Board, BSS, 2002 and is taken from Jawaharlal Nehru’s Letters from a father to his daughter
2) Phorasi zangkhrithai , taken from the original Assamese Phorasi biplob of Dr Dhrubajyoti Bora , published by Bodo Publication Board, BSS, 2002 and translated by Uthrisar Khungur Basumatary.
3) Bizab phorayanayni gwzwnnay, taken from the original Assamese Kitap porar ananda of Homen Borgohain, translated by Govinda Narzary and publushed by the Bodo Publication Board , BSS,2002.
4) Ziuni belasiyao, taken from the original Assamese Ostorag of Homen Borgohain, translated by Uthrisar Kungur Basumatary and published by Bodo Publication Board , BSS,2002.
5) Boro-kacharini somaz arw harimu, taken from the original Assamese Boro-Kacharir samaj aru sanskrit of Bha ben Narzee, translated by Govinda Basumatary and Gohin Basumatary and published by Bodo Publication Board , BSS.
6) sase thiuriani obothira sithar zanay, taken from Dario’fo’s original English Accidental death of an anarchist and published by the Bodo Publication Board , BSS, 26th Feb.2001
7) Zaikhlong , taken from the original English the rainbow and translated by Naleb, first publication June 1985 by Mahesh Islary and 2nd publication by Bodo Publication Board , BSS, Nov 1993.
8) Nwithi mulug daoha , taken from Dhrubajyoti Bora’s original Assamese Ditiya vishwa yuddha, translated by harinarayan Khakhlary and published by Bodo Publication Board , BSS,2002
9) Sase bwrai arw I with w, taken from Ernest Henmingway’s original English the old man and the sea, translated by Dr. Anil Boro and published by Bodo Publication Board , BSS,2002
10) Zangkhrithaini lwgw Mao Setung and Vietnamni zeora (1995) translated by U.G.Brahma.
11) Gwdan Boro thunlai, taken from Anil Boro’s original Assamese Adhunik Boro sahitya, translated by Uthrisar Khungur basumatary and published by Ansumwi Library, Kokhrajhar, 2003.
12) Omorni methai, taken from Adoward Fitzareld’s Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam and translated by Kamal Kumar Brahma and published by N.L. Publication, 2000
13) Omorni gwzwnphuri translted by Kanakeswar Narzary
14) Swlo swalai, a collection of short stories translated from Assamese in to Boro and edited by Madhuram Boro
Besides these there are also many translations in different genres of literature as well . in this regard the most noteworthy one is the genre of children literature .Though the number of original creations in this field is not so much in number but the number of translated books are not so less in number. the lists of these translated works are given below:
1. Milwudw Mahabharat, taken from the original Assamese Mwu Mahabharat and translated by priyadini Brahma
2. Bapukan , taken from the same title of the original Assamese , written by lakshminath Phukan and translated by Renu Boro
3. Puranni solo batha , a collection of tales from Purana and translated by Rakhao Basumatary and published by Ashwini library , 2000
4. Robinson Crusoe , abridge version of Daniel defoe’s adventure of the same title , translated by Phukan Chandra Basumatary and published by Bodo Publication Board , BSS,Feb.2002
5. Burwi abwini solo , taken from Lakshminath phukan’s original Buri air sadhu, translated by Dhirendra Nath Boro and published by Gitumani Prakashan
6. Tolostoyni solo , taken from the stories of count Leo Nickovel’s Tolostoy and translated by Maheshwar Narzary and published by Bodo Publication Board , BSS, 26th Feb.2002
7. Gubun hadodni solo, a collection of foreign folktales and translted by Madhuram Boro and published by Priyadini brahma , 1998
8. Maxim Gorkey , a brief life sketch translated by Madhuram Boro and published by Priyadini Brahma ,1998
9. Dr.BhimraoRamji Ambedkar , a short life sketch translated by Madhuram Boro and Published by Priyadini brahma, 1998
10. Gwmwthao solo, a collection of foreign folk tales translated by Madhuram Boro and Published by Priyadini brahma, 1998.
11. Gwmwthab solo, a collection of foreign folk tales translated by Madhuram Boro and published by Priyadini Brahma, 1998.
12. Easopni solo, a collection of tales from easop’s fables , translated by Priyadini Brahma and published by herself.
13. Mahamanav Mahatma Ghandhi, a concise autobiography of Mahatma Gandhi , taken from the Assamese version of Dr. Paresh Chandra Devasarma , translated in to Boro by Ramachandran Brahma and published by Secretary of Nagari Lipi Parishad, New Delhi, 1999.
14. Dwngse khwiphwdni solo, taken from M.C.Gabriel’s a tale of trouble , Etoa Mundaya daohayo derhabay , taken from Mahatsweta devi’s Bengali version Etoa Munda won the battle , khebse gongse gamiyao, taken from M.c Madan’s once in a village , all are translated by Swarna Prabha Chainary and published by National Book Trust , New Delhi and published respectively in the years: 2002, 2001 and 2002.
15. benjamin Franklin , taken from Homen Borgohain’s book of the same title translated by Swarna Prabha Chainary and published by Bharati Book Stall, Golaghat, 2002
16. Zwngni Buhum, taken from Sashi Sarma’s original Assamese Amar prithvi, March,2003
17. Begom Golabi enzor arw bini belunphwr, translated from Begum Golabi mousie and her baloons , Biphanga ma, translated from what is a tree , Birju arw bini birgra gorai, translated from Birju and his flying horse , all are published by National Book Trust, New Delhi and translated by Ratneswar Basumatary.
It is also worth to mansion here that besides the translations in to Boro from other languages there are also the translations from Boro into other languages . the tendency of this kind grew among the Boros very recently . the mentionable works in this regards are:
1) Nilkamal Braham’s nirvachita golpo sankalan, a collection of Nilkamal Brahma’s popular short stories translated into Assamese by British Giri Basumatary, published by Sizwu printers, Bijni, 2001.
2) Siphungni dengkhw , a collection of Boro poems of different poets translated into Assamese by Anil Boro and published by himself, 1993.
3) I shall come back , a collection of Brajendra Kumar Braham’s popular poems Ang phwiphingwn, translated in to English by sikhna John wary and published by Navin Wary, 2002.
4) san mwkhangari bibar zananwi, a collection of poems of Grajendra Kumar Brahma and translated in to English by Sikhna John wary and published by Navin Wary, 2002.
5) Boro Chuti golpo, a collection of short stories published by Axom Sahitya Sabha
It is also assumed that besides the above mentioned translation works from other languages to Boro, there are also the translation from Boro to other languages as well. On the other hand there are many translated books of either the categories which are still in the manuscript form due to some technical or the monetary problems. But then also some enthusiastic persons and the organizations are taking bold step in this genre of literature. the translation of the Boro short stories by Jaykanta Sarma in to English and the publiscation of the five Boro short stories in English from New Delhi are also a remarkable contribution in this field . the translated works like these will not only increase the number of Boro books but will also show them their proper path of development which is very necessary in the present context for the literature of every language which the Boro literatures and the scholars also can’t deny.
The generic term “the Bodo” includes the Boro kacharis, the Mech Kacharis, the Hajong Kacharis, the Sonowal kacharis,
the Dismsas, the Ravas, the Tiwas, the Garos and the Kok-Boroks living in the North-East states of Indian sub-continent and they are racially Mongolian and linguistically Tibeto-Burman sub-group of Chino-Tibeto-Burman speech family. No need to elaborate that they have distinctive culture, tradition, language and literature of their own.
After Indian independence , some Bodo social leaders and educationalist realized that education would spread rapidly among the Bodo people through their mother tongue. They also realized the urgent necessity of introducing the Bodo language as the medium of instruction in the schools . Keeping this in view, a Bodo people's convention was held on the 16th November 1952 at Basugaon crstwhile Goalpara district under the governorship of Sri Jagendra Kumar Basumatary, Late Prasenjit Brahma and Sailendra Brahma respectively as entrusted by Dhubri Bodo Literary Club . Hundreds of representatives from all over the country, particularly from Assam, West Bengal attended the convention and participated in the deliberation . In that convention , the Bodo Sahitya Sabha was founded and the first executive committee of the Sabha was formed with Late Joybhadra Hagjer and Sonaram Thaosen as the President and general secretary respectively. It happened just after five years of Indian independence. It is a sole literary and cultural organization of the Bodos. It is the apex body of the Bodos and common platform without any political affiliation. It has now 25 organizational district units and a state level committee i.e. Dhubri , Kokrajhar , Bongigaon ,Bijni, Barpeta, Rangia, Guwahati, Darrang , Tezpur , Lakhimpur, Dhemaji, Jonai, Dibrugarh, Sibsagar, Gowalpara, Dhansiri, Biswanath Chariali, Marigaon, Nowgaon, Karbi-Anglong , Pragjyatishpur, Gowalpara, Jalpaiguri, and Pashim Banga Bodo Sahitya Sabha respectively and also it has six allied organizations like all Bodo Students union, all Bodo primary Teacher's union, Bodo Writer's Academy, all Bodo Employee's Federation , all Bodo Women Welfare Federation and Durlarai Bodo Harimu Afat respectively.
The main aims and objectives of Boro Sahitya are to promote and propagate the Bodo language, literature and culture; to inculcate education among the Bodo children through the mother tongue and to form a common Bodo language uniting the various Bodo groups. Having the aims and objectives as depicted in its constitution (By law), the Sabha has been rendering its services for the promotion, propagation and all-round development of the Bodo language , literature and culture. Owing to severe and selfless efforts and endeavor of the office bearers and members of Bodo Sahitya Sabha in particular and entire Bodo people in general , the Bodo language has owned the present status in the country
Present Status of Boro language (Activities and achievement of the Sabha):
Since the time of inception, the Bodo Sahitya Sabha , has been struggling with the state government of Assam as well as central government of India for the progress and development of the Bodo language . The Sabha had to stage demonstration , dharna etc to launch democratic mass movement in different times for fulfillment of various demands including introduction of Bodo as the medium of instruction in the schools . Due to relentless endeavor and sacrifice of Bodo people, the Bodo language has attained the present status as follows:
1. In 1963, Bodo Medium was introduced in school education and subsequently in 1968 it was upgraded upto secondary stage of education. At present it is a medium of instruction in secondary stage of education in Assam.
2. The authority of Gauhati University and Nehru University recognized the Bodo language as MIL in 1976 and the Dibrugarh University in the year 1995.
3. M.A course in Bodo was opened in the year 1996 at Gauhati University.
4. Certificate course for Non-Bodos and diploma course in Bodo language was introduced in Gauhati University.
5. Bodo has been given the status of Associate official language of Assam in the districts and subdivisions having substantial Bodo population apart from Assamese. (Amendment _ Act. 1984).
6. The authority of Navodaya Vidyalaya of North East region has recognized Bodo as a medium of instruction upto class VIII level and language subject in class X examination right from the year, 2003.
7. There was, no doubt, controversy in using the script for Bodo language. The Bodo Sahitya Sabha had decided to use Roman script in Bodo language and launched mass movement in 1974 where fifteen volunteers of Bodo Sahitya Sabha had to sacrifice their lives, but considering the gravity and importance of national and emotional integrity of India, the Bodo Sahitya Sabha has now decided and accepted Nagari script once for all. As for now there is no controversy and conflicts on script issue in Bodo language.
8. Scientific and technical terminology in Bodo has been prepared on 13 (thirteen) subjects i.e. Administrative glossary, Sociology, Education, Geography, Geology, Political and Biology respectively under the guidance and sponsorship of commission for scientific and technical terminology, Ministry of Human Resource development , Government of India since 2000. Except physics, chemistry, administrative glossary and biology (Zoology part), the preparation of terminology on different subjects have already been completed and now it is under process of printing at Nashik.
9. There are large number of books on prose , poetry , drama , novel , short stories , biography, travelogue, children's Literature , Criticism in Bodo etc published by different Libraries and individual publishers . To the credit of the Sabha , a complete Bodo-English-Hindi dictionary and as many as 71(seventy one ) items of Bodo books have already been published by the Sabha besides the regular publication of 'The Bodo', the mouthpiece of Bodo Sahitya Sabha. A massive translation work is being done under its own Translation and Publication Sub-committee.
10. Sahitya Akademi , a national academy of lit erature, accorded “Bhasa Sanman' to Bodo language and literature as an initial token of full fledged recognition to the language. Sri Modhuram Boro , a retired Professor of Gauhati University , is awarded “ Bhasa Sanman” in the year 2003 for his contribution towards the Bodo language and literature . Moreover , the Government of India , in principle , has recognized the necessity of inclusion of Bodo language in the Eighth Schedule of Indian constitution and the Cabinet Ministry of Indian Union has passed a bill for it . It is expected that in the ensuing winter session of the parliament, this bill would be tabled and got passed and thereby full honour would be given to the Bodo language and literature by the central government of India.
11. The Bodo Sahitya Sabha had submitted the cultural instruments , Traditional Implements and Bodo Garments to Bharatiya Adim Jati Sevak Sangh, New Delhi, for its Museum display on 15th September , 2001. Accordingly , the Bodo cultural instruments (Kham, Serja, Siphung, Jabkhreng, Tharkha), traditional garments and implements have been displayed and the authority of the Sangh has assured to put diorama in the Museum.
12. It is obvious that to develop and standardize a language, literature , culture, and tradition of a nation and to divulge out the real fact of it, a research center is ardently needed . There is no such institution to study and research Bodo language, literature, culture etc either in state level or in national level. Hence ,the Bodo Sahitya Sabha on its own venture, has undertaken to setup an institution “Bodo Socio-literary-Culture Complex” by name and produced 10(ten) Bighas of land at Bathopuri, Garchuk , Guwahati-35 for the purpose . The construction of this institution has began.
13. The Bodo Sahitya Sabha has instituted two literary Awards namely “Someswari Brahma Memorial Literary award” and “Rangsar Literary Award”, which are being given out every year to the writers who contributed enormously and immensely towards the Bodo literature. The former Award consists of Rs.5,000/- (five thousand) in cash plus a citation while the latter consists of Rs.10,000/- (ten thousand ) in cash plus citation. Of course , it might be meager in figure but it is a noble attempt of the Sabha within its limited capacity to encourage, inspire and consulate the writers of Bodo language.
14. Further, the Bodo Sahitya Sabha has taken a decision to compile and publish an encyclopedia in Bodo and an Anglo- Bodo Dictionary under its own discretion.
In fact , the Bodo language has sustained and attained its maturity from developing to developed one and some burning problems related to the Bodo medium education have been solved due to untiring pursuance of Boro people.
Problems and prospects of the Bodo Sahitya Sabha:
The Bodo Sahitya Sabha , since its inception, has been struggling for the development and propagation of Bodo language and literature and for existence and preservation of tradition and culture through the series of Hurdles and problems. The Sabha approached the state government of Assam as well as the central Government of India, with an urge for sympathy and consideration, for the removal of the hurdles and problems stood in the way of Bodo language progress and development . Due to odds and apathetic attitude of the Governments, the Sabha , being no means , was compelled to launch mass movement like demonstration , Satyagrah, Picketing etc in the course of time for the sake of Bodo language and culture. The present status attained by Bodo language today is due to sincere efforts of the Bodo Sahitya Sabha and Bodo students Union (ABSU) in particular and common Bodo people in general . To the appeasement of the Bodos, no doubt , certain problems and grievances are removed and satiated partially , yet a lot of vexed problems and grievances related to Bodo language , literature and culture are remaining unheeded still.
1. The authority of Gauhati University was pleased to open M.A. course in Boro in 1996 (under M.I.L. department). There is no full fledged Bodo department in the University which is most essential to be introduced for all-round development of Bodo language
2. For teaching and conducting the Boro classes in G.U., there is neither full time lecturer nor Professor nor Reader in University which has retarded the acceleration of teaching-learning process . The classes of Boro subject are continuing without arrangement of separate classroom accommodation.
3. Bodo Elective Subject for degree course and Bodo language subject in M.A. course are yet to be introduced and opened both in Dibrugarh University and Assam University , Silchar, Assam.
4. Due to Non-recognition of Bodo as one of the language subjects for national level competitive Examinations concluded by Union Public services Commission , the Bodo medium students have been depriving of opportunity of having language subjects in competitive examinations and thus discriminating and discarding the eligibility and affiance of Boro Medium based candidates .
5. Though the state Government of Assam has recognized the Bodo language as an associate official language of Assam yet it is to be implemented in practice . As the Bodo Medium is implemented in most of the districts particularly in Brahmaputra Valley, the Bodo Saahitya Sabha as well as Bodo people have desired to get declared Bodo associate official language through out the state of Assam but in vain
6. Neither the state Government of Assam nor the Government authority has under taken any measures for printing and publishing the Bodo books other than curricular Text books meant for the secondary stage of Education. On the other hand , no financial assistance has been extended by the Government to the Sabha for publication of the same.
7. In recent time, the decision of the state government of Assam, as the out come of signing the memorandum of understanding between the state government of Assam and central government of India, to ban to accord permission , recognition and Government concurrence to the newly established schools and colleges , stands as a tremendous blockade in the way of propagation and flourishment of Bodo Medium education in particular and it is quite contrary to the general education policy as a whole . It is a well known fact that the Bodo medium education started in the early part of the sixties and the Sabha has compelled to establish new schools and colleges voluntarily . Now certain educational institutions so established are awaiting for provincialisation and to get permission and recognition from authority concerned . The Sabha seems that this decision, what ever may be the cause , is nothing but a trap to confine the Bodo Medium Education as well as language and culture within a limited space.
8. Though the state government of Assam has taken decision to provide text books free of cost to the pupils of elementary schools of education , disparity is found in providing and distributing the text books for Boro medium. Inadequate and erroneous text books supply has caused great harm to the learners of Bodo medium as well as to the Bodo language as a whole.
9. In the days gone, the state government of Assam used to recruit and appoint the teachers for Bodo medium by maintaining ST/SC reservation policy which is quite irrelevant in respect of medium concerned . It would never be possible to fulfill the required number of Bodo teachers under such recruitment process. There is still many primary schools of Bodo medium to be converted into double teacher one. On the other hand there are many provincialised schools in the state where the Bodo medium section is running as venture in status without departmentally appointed teachers.
10. Notwithstanding the repeated urge of the Bodo Sahitya Sabha , the state government of West Bengal has not taken any measure to introduce Bodo language as the language subject in primary stage of Education as yet for which thousands of Bodo children living in West Bengal have been depriving of opportunity of acquiring education through their mother tongue as provided by Indian constitution.
There is every aspect of future prospect of Bodo language as it is most rich in vocabulary and spoken by a large number of people living in Assam, Meghalaya, Arunachal, Nagaland and West Bengal in India and Bhutan and Nepal abroad . Its prosperity and development will depend on the resolution of the hurdles and problems, the truthfulness and enthusiasm of intellectuals , learned individuals , educationalists , vanguards of other developed language and literature will pave the way in bringing the Bodo language into perfection.
There are no enough documents for the detail discussion of Boro Newspaper. it is because , the Boros have not adopted the scientific method of preservation of magazines, news-magazines, newspapers etc and there is no such instance that the senior writers have discussed elaborately about the Boro newspapers. Even some new writers have ignored the history of Boro newspaper and its contribution in the society. So, it is very difficult to discuss about the Boro newspaper elaborately.
BIBAR, the first Boro News-magazine was published in 1924. The renowned senior Boro writers did not remark it clearly whether it was magazine or news-magazine because it brought the news about different Boro organizations of that time and also published some events that happened in Boro society. It was edited by Lt. Satish Chandra Basumatary and was published in tri-lingual, Boro-Assamese-Bengali language.
Only after the formation of Boro Thunlai Afad Bodo Sahitya Sabha in 1952, attempts were made to publish a Boro newspaper which could be considered as the complete newspaper. There were two Boro newspapers published in 1972 known as the 'HALALI' and the 'BONJAR. But there was a controversy among Boro Pundits about the date of publication of the above mentioned two newspapers. According to Manaranjan Lahari and Kamal Kumar Brahma, well known Boro writers, the 'BONJAR' was published before HALALI'.
The Anthwr, the Bwitha and the ten thokha were the news-magazines published in Boro. Fungni Hathorkhi, is another news magazine published from Shillong and its editors were Magu Ram Mochahahahary, Sri Brajendra and Kr. Brahma.
A new weekly Boro newspaper named 'SAN' edited by Sailendra Nah Brahma was published in 1974. This paper lasted only for a year. It was published from Odalguri of Darrang district. In 1977, a senior writer Lt. Sukumar Basumatary published 'ORGENG' from Barama, Nalbari district , and there are no documents about its existence.
Just after the publication of 'ORGENG' , there appeared another weekly Boro newspaper named , RADAB. It was published from Kokrajhar in 1978 under the editorship of Lt. Samar Brahma Choudhury, an eminent politician, ex-M.P, Ex-Minister and active worker of the Boro nation and Boro literature . It was published at his own press named 'Bwirathi Press'. The 'RADAB' was the primary field for the new Boro Writers. Many well-known Boro writers of today are the creation of the RADAB and this news paper has stopped in the last part of 1989 due to ABSU movement.
But it is noted that not any single Boro newspaper could exist for such a long time. BIBUNGSAR, the other news paper was published from Odalguri of Darrang district . It was edited by Binoy Kumar Brahma. This newspaper has changed into a monthly magazine and it was edited by Rupnath Brahma where he edited by his pen-name Sansuma Basumatary.
The 'GWDAN KHOURANG' was published in 1985. It was a weekly bi-lingual newspaper in Assamese and Boro. It was edited by Phukan Ch. Boro and its sub-editor was Ratneswar Basumatary. It was the first Boro newspaper published from Guwahati.
Again, the 'PHANHAMUTHI' a bi-lingual weekly Boro newspaper appeared in 1986 from Gossaigaon of Kokrajahar district. It was edited by Rupnath Mwchahari.
The 'RAFWADAI', a weekly Boro newspaper was published from Guwahati in 1988. It was edited by Gajen Hazowary and its sub-editor was Haren Brahma. It should be noted that they could publish only three issues of the 'RAFWDAI'
In that same year, 'HORKHAB' was published from Odalguri. It was edited by a well known artist Biren Boro with his pen-name Khaila Kirat. The 'BOROSA' (Bodosa) was published from Kokrajhar in 1991 and its editor was Rabisankar Borgayari. At present its editor is Chino Basumatary. In the same year 'SWMDWN' a weekly was published from Odalguri. It was edited by Daleswar Boro, an active worker and Ex-acting president of Boro Thunlai Afad(Boro Sahitya Sabha) . It should be noted that the 'BOROSA' exists till today.
There also appeared four weekly Boro Newspaper in 1992. They were the 'KHOURANGBILAI' from Dotma, 'BOROLAND RADAB' from Kokrajhar and the 'PHUNGKHA' from Khwirabari of Darrang district. The 'BOROLAND RADAB' was edited by Lt. Swmla Basumatary. These newspapers were published in 1994. 'AATHIKHAL' was edited by Ranjit Boro and it was published from Tangla of Darrang district, the 'GWDAN BONJAR' edited by Rupnath Mwchahari was published from Odalguri and 'BOROLAND KHOURANG' was edited by Adrasing Basumatary.
BIBUNTHI, a weekly newspaper was published from Guwahati in the last part of 1994.
THULUNGA, a weekly Boro newspaper published from Guwahati in 1996 created
a new sensation in the history of Boro newspaper. The 'THULUNGA' was the only Boro newspaper among Boro which is printed in modern technology and bears a modern touch in its every page. Before 'THULUNGA' no newspaper was so modern and scientific. The editor of 'THULUNGA' was Kantindra swargiary. In the same year, 'AAINA' the bi-weekly was published from Bijni, but it could not exist for long time.
AABIR, a Boro news magazine was published in 1987 from Kokrajhar. Nabin wary was its editor. Another news magazine published from Kokrajhar was 'ORKHI' 1980 edited by Lt. Upendra Nath Brahma and 'ARONAI' in 1986 edited by Nabin was. But, later Chino Basumatary became the editor of 'ARONAI'.
In 1988 KHASINI was published from Gossaigaon. It was edited by Ganesh Wary. But later it was edited by Phwrdan Basumatary. Phwrdan Basumatary is his pen name.
KHASINI was a forthnightly news magazine. UDANSHREE, a monthly Boro news magazine was published from Guwahati and its editor was Rupnath Mwchahari.
GUMUR and DIRANGNI DHAR were published from Odalguri of Darrang district. GUMUR was edited by Akhrang Daimary and DIRANGNI DAHAR was edited by Maheshwar Basumatary. RIGI RIGANG was published from Rowta Chariali .The starting editor of RIGI RIGANG was Lt. Amarendra Swargiary and later it was edited by tiren Boro.
During the movement of ABSU the ' RAFWADAI' was published from Delhi under the editorship of Subungsa Mushahari. But it could not publish more issue. In the same way, the 'BURLUNGBUTHUR' published from guwahati in the same year also could not exist.
From the above mentioned data it is known that there were many Boro weekly and fortnightly newspapers. There were light Boro weekly newspaper from Kokrajhar district (including Gossaigaon and Dotma). At present, all have stopped their publications except Borosa (Bodosa).
On the other hand, there are no bi-weekly news magazines.
RADAB, ARONAI, BOROSA and THULUNGA are the most popular and influential Boro news paper at present. THULUNGA edited by katindra Swarginary has broken the previous records of Boro newspapers and it has occupied the top-most position and popularity in the Boro Society.
There are many causes for which Boro news-magazines and Boro newspapers could not exist for long time. Firstly, the publishers, editors and the associations of publications have not taken this job as a profession. Secondly, the rapid change of script is also the cause of decreation among the readers.
Before 1975, Assamese and Bengali script was used for the education of Boro's. Again Devanagari was used from 1975. In 1973-74, the Boro dedicated to use Roman script for Boro education. The Boro people who had their schooling in Assamese medium found it difficult to read and write Devanagari script. In the same way , people taught through Devanagari script found it difficult to read newspapers, magazines etc which was published in Assamese script. So, the problem of Script was also the hindrance to the readers of Boro newspapers. Again , the discussion to use the Roman script also became the hindrance to the readers, fulfilling their hopes and aspiration for more than three decades.
The Boros are not the inhabitants of town but are the inhabitants of Village. Due to the lack of well communication, Boro newspaper as well as news-magazines etc could not reach to those areas where the actual readers reside.
On the other hand , many Boro newspapers are used as the mouthpiece of political parties. THULUNGA was modern and scientific in the field of education. It was an impartial newspaper which gave equal importance to all political parties and organization.
But it is very sad that there is no Daily Boro newspaper till date. That is why, the Thulunga Publication of Guwahati is thinking about the matter of publishing a Daily newspaper in Boro shortly. The Boro newspapers and news-magazines have been giving an immense scope for new writers. The RADAB, BIBAR, ORKHI, ARONAI, BOROSA, and THULUNGA are the media of inspiration for the young writers in the field of literature. The only Boro weekly newspaper that exists today is the BOROSA from Kokrajhar.
It is also mentioned that the Borosa weekly newspaper sometimes fail to publish its issues. The standard of the said newspaper is not satisfactory. It is very poor compared to other newspapers.
There is a hope that Boro newspapers and newsmagazines will encourage the new generation in the field of literature as well as developmental works of the Boro language and culture.
Copyright CIIL-India Mysore