Steeped in history |
Jorhat, Sept. 9: A comprehensive chronicle of Assam, including its 26,000 villages, will now be written by those who know it best.
Writers from villages will help write the volumes, brought out by the Asom Jatiya Prakash, a literary-cum-publishing organisation, in the next 20 years.
It will include a brief history of the villages, spread over 27 districts, apart from other aspects, in at least 20 volumes.
“A panel of writers will be constituted in each village to write about its history. The draft will be read out in a general meeting of the villagers for approval. Any changes, amendments and inclusion will be made if needed,” Devabrata Sharma, the secretary of the Asom Jatiya Prakash, said.
Sharma was the chief editor of Asomiya Jatiya Abhidhan — the largest Assamese lexicon, with over two lakh words of languages spoken by all communities and indigenous groups in Assam. He said the villagers will be requested to submit supporting documents like sansipath (bark of trees) manuscripts, personal diaries and old books, if available, to the organisation. The villagers present in the general meeting will sign the draft.
Sharma said the proposed project would be unique in the country — possibly even the world — as it will include the contributions of the common man.
A lot of interesting and unheard facts and stories are likely to surface.
“We plan to give at least a full page or a half to each village in our books,” Sharma said.
Sharma added that the project aims at chronicling all aspects of a civilisation 2000 years ago till the British rule.
The lives of the common man of all indigenous groups and communities to royalty, people living in 100 big and small towns and over 800 organised tea estates, will also be included.
He said there was less historical information on villages, compared to towns and cities.
Historians, archaeologists, geologists and academicians will be involved in the process. Within a year, a workshop will be organised and historians and experts of national and international levels will deliberate on the methodology to write the volumes.
The proposals and ideas that will come up in the brainstorming workshop will fix the basic parameters, he added. After the workshop, an editorial committee and a large research team will be formed. In a meeting held at the organisation’s office today, an 11-member Sahayak committee was formed with Raktim Ranjan Saikia, a historian, as its convener.
Sharma himself and Rajkumar Ajit Narayan Singha, writer and the direct descendant of the last Ahom king Purandhar Singha and historian Ajit Dutta are among the members of the panel.