Padmadhar Chaliha was a prominent and tireless worker of modern Assamese literature. From his student days to the last moments of his life, he was a dedicated entity to the country and the nation. Padmadhar Chaliha was a student of sharp talent besides researching music literature, drama literature from an early age. Padmadhar Chaliha, who tried to build a society of harmony in the midst of various problems, challenges, social policy, politics, was a well known citizen and was also a writer, lyricist, journalist, educationist, political activist, musician, lawyer, actor and a man of possessed and elocution.
Biography of Padmadhar Chaliha
|Date of Birth||1895|
|Place of Birth||Shivsagar, Assam|
|Father’s Name||Phanidhar Chaliha|
|Mother’s Name||Gunadalata Chaliha|
|Education||1. Shivsagar Government High School|
2. Cotton College
3. Presidency College of Kolkata
4. All Law College, Guwahati
|Death||June 12, 1969|
Early life and education of Padmadhar Chaliha
Padmadhar Chaliha was born in Shivsagar in 1895. He was a pioneer in education as well as cultural fields since his childhood. Chaliha won the audience’s respect by performing dance, songs, acting, recitations etc. in various meeting committees as well as acting in dramas. He was also rewarded for participating in literary and cultural competitions on various subjects held at that time. Chaliha won the first prize across Assam in Auniati Kamaldev Assamese composition competition.
In 1908, after passing in first division in the entrance examination from Shivsagar Government High School, he secured the first rank in Assam, from Cotton College, Guwahati and passed the IA Examination in 1910 with the highest marks in English. This was followed by Padmadhar Chaliha in 1912 from Presidency College, Kolkata passed the BA exam with English Honours. Chaliha later received his MA in English in 1916 and BL degree from Guwahati in 1920.
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Padmadhar Chaliha, who aspired to become a barrister since childhood, and who aspired to become an ICS officer started his career as a headmaster at Phuleshwari Institute after graduation. Chaliha later started practicing in Dibrugarh in 1923 and subsequently in Shivsagar from 1929 to 1944 after completing his BL degree from All Law College. Importantly, Chaliha who played an important role in the establishment of Shivsagar College, one of the present-day educational institutions in Upper Assam, retired as the principal of the college for nearly twelve years since its inception. He also served as a temporary EAC in 1944.
Importantly, the uncompromising Padmadhar Chaliha also actively participated in India’s freedom struggle under the direction of Mahatma Gandhi. He was also imprisoned for actively participating in the freedom struggle.
Padmadhar Chaliha served as the joint editor of the magazine in association with Singhdutt Dev Adhikari in association with a fortnightly magazine called “Argha”. He also served as editor of a three-day and three-day Assamese paper published from Guwahati during the law movement in 1930. Importantly, the political and economic problems of Assam became very complex when Chaliha took over as the editor of Assamese in 1931-32. In the midst of economic disasters, he handled the editing of the seven-day and three-day Assamese paper in the midst of the non-cooperation movement. Chaliha also served as assistant editor of ‘Banhi’ magazine. Importantly, after he retired from Shivsagar College, Chaliha tried to publish a full-level weekly paper from Shivsagar but in the midst of various technical difficulties and limitations, he later held the responsibility of editing the magazine in parallel with playing an important role in publishing a news magazine called “Assamjyoti”.
Importantly, Chaliha, while serving as the editor of Guwahati paper, did not have a cultural stage like today, there was no government cultural department, there was no music school, there was no radio station. But at that time Padmadhar Chaliha tried to create a cultural atmosphere in Guwahati in parallel with editing newspapers in 1931. He tried to create an artistic atmosphere by holding monthly conference sessions in Guwahati in the evening with the help of artistic personalities like Atul Chandra Hazarika, Narayan Chandra Baruah, Shashi Chandra Goswami, etc.
It is important to note that Padmadhar Chaliha was the chief and head of the Assam Students’ Conference held in Guwahati in 1917 and also served as the first secretary of the Assam Students’ Conference.
Padmadhar Chaliha decorated the seat of president of the music wing of Assam Sahitya Sabha held at Mangaldoi in 1934. Chaliha also presided over the main session of the Assam Sahitya Sabha held in Tinsukia in 1958.
Padmadhar Chaliha as a lyricist
Padmadhar Chaliha also had a special reputation as a lyricist. His songs were very popular even during the freedom struggle. Chaliha believed that the place of music is very high in the development of national awakening and national sentiment. His books of songs and poems are – Fuloni (1915), Swaraj Sangeet (1921), Geeti-Lahari (1923), Horai (1928), Rangpure Kotha Koi (1956). The book ‘Rangpur E Katha Koi’ is a dramatic monologue according to Padmadhar Chaliha. Through this poetry book Padmadhar Chaliha reflects the ancient sculptures and architecture of Rangpur and Assam in the past.
As a playwright
Apart from being a poet and lyricist, Padmadhar Chaliha is also known in the public community as a playwright. Despite being small in numbers, the current contribution to modern drama literature has been made by composing only three plays in the early stages of modern drama. “Nimontron” (Invitation) (1917) is Padmadhar Chaliha’s first funny play. The play called Invitation was written by Chalihai on the basis of an old story.
His second funny play is also- ‘Kenemoza’ (1923). In this play however Chaliha calls it a funny song drama. Padmadhar Chaliha’s third play is ‘Amaar Leela’ (1920) written in the Indian background based on Shakespeare’s Romeo Juliet drama.
The only short story written by Padmadhar Chalihai is ‘Bolia’. The story was revealed in “Banhi” edited by Laxminath Bezbaruah.
Padmadhar Chaliha’s autobiography is called ‘Jeevan Veenor Hur’ published in 1963. Although this book reflects various problems, challenges, etc., of Padmadhar Chaliha’s life, the book also reflects the social, political life history of social life in Assam.
‘Sahityarathi Bejbaruah’ written by Padmadhar Chalihai is the only English essay book he has written. In addition, other articles he wrote are: Mahavir Lachit Barphukan and Rangpur’s contribution to Assamese literature published in 1956. Apart from these, the book edited by him are: ‘Galpa Mala’ published in 1932.
Contribution to the literary world
One of the features of Chaliha’s Sahitya Sadhana is that of veteran literature. He writes in English and Assamese and always writes grammatical dictionary. Padmadhar Chaliha is also a work translator. Padmadhar was very friendly in translating Assamese language in a heartwarming manner by matching the naturalness of Assam. Padmadhar Chalihai, who enriched his language literature through translation was considered as a translator after Ananda Chandra Agarwala, former president of Assam Sahitya Sabha, as a Bhangania Konwar in Assamese language. The poem “Swadeshprem” translates Sir Walter Scott’s famous poem as the best example of Padmadhar Chaliha’s translation. On the other hand, the best feature of Chaliha’s translation literature is Shakespeare’s world famous tragedy Romeo & Juliet’s in Assamese form “Amaar Leela”.
Padmadhar Chaliha, who had an impersonal nature, an arrogant mind, lived a normal life but possessed a strong personality, he was a man who followed punctuality. As the editor of the magazine and paper also he inspired the non-writers to write story articles.
Apart from writing literature, Padmadhar Chaliha, who is independent, serving the country, contributed significantly to the development of the country as a journalist, educationist and organizer. Chaliha’s social courtesy was also exemplary for all. This eminent personality died on June 12, 1969.
Padmadhar Chaliha, who has been able to keep everyone tied to the thread of unity by avoiding discrimination of small caste, high and low, is a first class leader of Assam, a patriot, a writer, a man who adorns the seat of president of Assam Sahitya Sabha. His tireless work is the path for future generations. He is a role model and idol for the new and the upcoming generations.
1. When and where was Padmadhar Chaliha born?
Ans: Padmadhar Chaliha was born on in Shivsagar in 1895.
2. What is Padmadhar Chaliha’s parents name?
Ans: His father’s name was Phanidhar Chaliha and his mother’s name was Gunadalata.
3. Who was the founder of Shivsagar College?
Ans: Padmadhar Chaliha.
4. Name the Padmadhar Chaliha’s first book and when it was published?
Ans: His first book ‘Fuloni’ was published in 1915.
5. When did Padmadhar Chaliha died?
Ans: Padmadhar Chaliha died in 1969.
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