Bhaona Unmesh: A Review

Writer Arup Saikia is trying to put into writing the social, especially various cultural, works (Performance of Bhaona) he has done in his life.
Bhaona Unmesh: A Review

Samiran Bhuyan 


Writer Arup Saikia is trying to put into writing the social, especially various cultural, works (Performance of Bhaona) he has done in his life. This is actually a kind collection of some writing that showcases the challenges and obstacles of an artiste compiled in book form. While studying at the University of Delhi, Saikia was introduced to the vast and multifaceted Indian culture. ‘Bhaona Unmesh’ is on such challenging stories of real experience originated in the name of developing Assamese culture “Bhaona”. This kind of books is usually written only after retirement from public life. However, the author Arup Saikia thinks it is more effective to write while the critics or followers are not only alive, but also active in public life. Then maybe everyone will have a scope or possibility for correction or inspiration.

Bhaona Unmesh from Bharali to Volga justifies that the protests for justice against powerful enemies are the basis of art and culture. Artiste Arup Saikia is actually a preacher of Sankari culture and poet. He has translated several plays of Ankia Nat of the traditional Brajavali language by Srimanta Sankardeva into English. He is the first performer of Assamese traditional “Bhaona” in the English language. The author has taken the timely experience of various conflicts in “Bhaona Unmesh”. Through the cultural performance across the continent, the writer looks at the national identity of Assam from a new cultural perspective as the main subject of the book. 

The book contains various speeches of the writer on cultural performances and comparative experiences on Sankari philosophy in different countries of the world.

Writer Saikia stresses the revolutionary zeal as fundamental being of an artiste. Jyoti Prasad Aggarwal is the ideal of revolutionary consciousness like the two great Assamese saints–Sankerdev and Madhabdev. All the greatest artistes take a position at the centre of reality to beautify the art of life and make people of humane thought. This is the artistic motto of Jyoti-Vishnu. Revolutionary thoughts and artistic consciousness are symbols of honesty and the message of Sankerdeva to echo from Bharali to Volga. The people of Assam have to move forward through this cultural revolution. Artiste Arup Saikia expects that the book “Bhaona Unmesh” will wake up as a revolutionary in the hearts of readers to dispel the darkness of society. Worldwide promotion and propagation of Assamese culture in the name of Sankerdeva is lively described here. The mentioned name of Assam’s river Bharali represent the writer’s working field in Assam and Russian Volga epitomize intercontinental spread of our Assamese traditional culture (Bhaona).Our soldier artistes heartily welcome this move. The awakening of Bhaona or “Bhaona Unmesh” in an incarnation is effective artistic inspiration for the oppressed, exploited, deprived people trapped in small periphery. Because the theme of the book echoes this very vibrantly.The  said writer artiste faced lot of hardships and resistance while embarked on cultural revolution from Bharali to Volga. People of fundamentalist outlook easily can’t accept the change for the better. Change always begets beauty and beauty gives birth to culture. An artiste of beauty cannot remain silent for long. One day they will come out to fight for the safety of their own beauty through spiritual rebellion. Arup Saikia is a people’s artiste who wants to transform the people’s trust to struggle for emancipation from dogmatic outlook. The life of a struggling artiste means the barrier one has to overcome to accomplish the desired mission. Although that mission is initiated by a true artist, the concept is hidden in the souls of the people. The intellectual history of human would have been stagnant if mass artist hadn’t any influence among the people. The change of human history begins from that influence itself. The power to spontaneously align the living history conducive to humane atmosphere is adroitness of art.

Besides culture, extensive historical research has been done as regard to formation and development of the Assamese community. Who are Assamese? How are they Aryanized or assimilated with people of pan-Bharat culture? The significance of Varman dynasty minutely elaborated as the gateway of great Bharatiya civilization. Renowned scholar Late Kapila Vatsyayan is shown as an inspirational patron in many intellectually crucial matters or tasks of the writer. The chapters of this book may confuse usual readers. This is because the sequence is not easy to comprehend. But the serious readers can feel or sense the interlink.

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