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Bishnu Rabha


Bishnu Rabha


Belonging to a simple tribal family, being brought up amidst nature’s abundance Bishnu Prasad Rabha was out and out a child of mother nature herself. His endless journey to undefined destinations and unto himself had been marked by a distinct lack of design and by a probable flow of auto driven hankerings Rabha loved himself, but more than that be loved the mother earth and the people. In the little abode of his surrounding, he was incessantly experimenting – on himself, ideologies, relationships and a plethora of artistic pursuits.

Gregorious to the core, his association with the simplest of folks made him realise their beauty of existence. He raveled and marvelled at their struggle for survival; he identified with them as he shared his love with them. His adoption of Marxist-Leninist approach did not emanate from scholistic research, but natural exposure to the revolutionary ideologies being propounded by his acquiantants while he studied in Victoria College of Coachbihar, and the same got cemented by his experiences of wanderings in the country sides.

A bundle of talents, Rabha apparently could not settle down on one single pursuit. He loved being with the masses and wanted to do something substantial for them. But he also loved art and culture; studying and popularizing the great philosophy of Sankardeva in one hand, working with film making units on the other. He had to indulge in petty trade like grocery, etc; but also enjoyed the accolades as a good soccer player. He ventured as an Asstt. Director of Joymoti, the first Assamese film. At the same time, he got busy with promoting Assamese drama and lyrics through gramophone recording. Having lost meaning of life when his first wife died – he went around seeking peace all over. But he would not yet refrain from dreaming of constructing a National Museum. All along sheer spirit of adventurism drove his never tiring personality.



In the process of it all he turned out to be a true representative of Asom-the mosaic of diverse cultural and ethnic streams. He loved the taste of alcoholic beverage as much as he loved the sacrosanct doctrines of a Brahmin household. He was aware of disparities but he was too pre-occupied in his ceaseless experimentations to find a real time solution to bridge the divide between social groups. He exhibited the solution by being himself – by being a darling of all communities.

It was the romance of existence that he savoured. What he naturally inherited viz, the smell of the wind of his own earth guided him to create wonderous art forms-in terms of poetry and other creative works. It is this romance emanating from the core of his heart, that expressed itself in his poetry of love and nature. This uncaring daredevil and wandering person is also the real Bishnu Prasad- a loving it all, simple minded, idealist, romantic Assamese to the core Rabha’s definition of the term “Krishti”(culture) provides an interesting insight into Rabha’s mind. “Karshan” (cultivation) of the land only is not “Kristi” “Karshan” of the eternal field of invisible universe is also “Kristi”. The mental “Karshan” of the heart or the creative commotion happening in the head is also “Krishti”. On the other hand, what he loved about the ideology of Marxism and the ‘Party’ doctrine was the advocacy for the people-his people. I like Bhupenda’s favourite comparison between the two stalwarts- Bishnu Prasad and Joyti Prasad – that Joyti Prasad tried to play with the cloud on the sky, while keeping his foot on the ground Bishnu Rabha, on the other hand remained entrenched deeply in the ground and played around with mother earth. But he had not much time to go into the nitty-gritty of its discipline and formal structure. Too independent a soul for that- A real Man !


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