Raghunath Choudhary, who made an outstanding contribution to the field of Assamese poetry literature, is one of the new-looking and innovative Assamese that entered Assamese literature through Jonaki magazine under the initiative of Chandrakumar Agarwala, Lakshminath Bezbaruah, Hemchandra Goswami. Raghunath Choudhary is a romantic poet of the Jonaki era of Assamese literature.
Biography of Raghunath Choudhary
|Date of Birth||1878, 5 January|
|Place of Birth||Lawpara village, [undivided Kamrup district] Present Nalbari district, Assam|
|Education||Guwahati Government High School|
|Awards||1. Title of Kaviratna|
2. Bihogi Kavi
|Death||November 18, 1967|
Raghunath Choudhary is one of the poets who played an important role in the nutrition of romantic poetry in Assam. Raghunath Choudhary was born on the 5th of January 1978 in Lawpara village near Mukalmua in Nalbari district [undivided Kamrup district]. His father’s name was Bholanath Choudhary and his mother’s name was Dayalata Choudhary. Raghunath Choudhary’s personal life was full of tough challenges. Unfortunately, Raghunath Choudhary sustained injuries on his leg when he fell from the roof of the house when he was just nine months old. But because this injury is not healed, he had to take the burden of handicapped for the rest of his life. Not only this but when Raghunath Choudhary was four years old his mother, sister and brother died unfortunately. Raghunath Choudhary’s father lost his mental balance at that time due to the untimely death of his wife, son and daughter and later in 1899 his father left this world. Raghunath Choudhary faced a lot of misery during his incomprehensible personal life. He had to deal with a lot of problem during the butterfly chasing age.
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Not only personal life but also the education life of Raghunath Choudhary was full of tough challenges. Raghunath Choudhary, who was motion bound after his parents’ death, stayed at the shelter of his cousin Gargaram Choudhary and passed the scholarship examination and enrolled in Guwahati Government High School. But while studying in government high school Misunderstandings lead to an argument with Raghunath Choudhary’s teacher and as a result of this his formal education also ends. However, despite the end of formal education, Raghunath Choudhary studied Sanskrit under the guidance of Pandit Dhireshwar Bhattacharya in parallel with his care to stay at home and pursue education.
Raghunath Choudhary, who started his career as a teacher at Balika/Girls Primary School in Ujjain Bazar, also served as headmaster of Guwahati Roman Catholic Missionary Girls School in 1903. Apart from this, Raghunath Choudhary was also engaged in agriculture.
Raghunath Choudhary made his debut as a poet in 1901 with the poem ‘Moromor Pakhi’ in the ‘Jonaki’ paper republished from Guwahati. And subsequently a lot of poems have been written and the repository of Assamese literature has been made wealthy.
Importantly, Raghunath Choudhary actively participated in the non-cooperation movement responding to Mahatma Gandhi’s call. Choudhary was jailed for fourteen months in 1921 for actively participating in the non-cooperation movement by the Britishers. Raghunath Chaudhary also decorated the president’s seat in the 1936, 16th session of Assam Sahitya Sabha at Tezpur. Raghunath Choudhary also served as President of the Assam Branch of the World Peace Council in 1948, President of the Kristi Branch of the Calcutta Session of the All-India Peace Council in 1952, as well as the President of the All-party Boundary Determination Committee in 1955.
Apart from these, Raghunath Choudhary was one of the founders of Pragati Sangha and Savita Sabha in Guwahati in parallel with his close involvement in various socio-cultural programs.
Raghunath Choudhary, who has made an outstanding contribution as a poet and journalist to the Assamese literary world, served as assistant editor in the Jonaki paper published from Guwahati. Raghunath Choudhary also edited a children’s magazine called ‘Maina’ in 1923. Raghunath Choudhary also served as editor of ‘Jayanti’ from 1936 to 1938 and ‘Surabhi’ from 1942 to 1944 thereafter.
Importantly, Raghunath Choudhary’s edited Jayanti magazine explored progressive thinking. This magazine introduced a change in the prevailing genre of poetry by bringing down a new slope to Assamese literature.
Raghunath Choudhary’s first collection of poems, which emerged as a poet in the Jonaki paper, was titled ‘Sadari’ published in 1910. Importantly, poems published in the Jonaki and contemporary Banhi papers were combined to publish a poetry book called Sadari. Apart from this, his published collections of poems are ‘Keteki’ (1918), ‘Karabala’ (1923), ‘Dahiktara’ (1931), ‘Navamallika’ (1958). Ketaki and Karabala are poetry books. Navamallika is a book of katha kavita. Sadari and Dahikatra are a collection of poems published earlier. Apart from this, the poems after Raghunath Chaudhary have been posthumously compiled in the collection of poems titled ‘Manai Bariagi’.
Raghunath Chaudhary aesthetically reflected the heritage, culture and nature world of Assam through poetry. Importantly, Raghunath Choudhury was given a place in the poetry with the beauty of the nature of Assam after Madhav Kandali. Raghunath Chaudhary’s poetry especially feels his greater fascination for flowers and birds. Poems like ‘Keteki’, ‘Moromor Pakhi’, ‘Goahe once my favourite Vihangini’, ‘Dahiktara‘ etc., see poets looking at the beautiful world with a different perspective. Importantly Raghunath Chaudhary has been termed as a ‘Bihogi Kobi/poet of birds’ because of his kinship with nature. For the first time, former Chief Justice Holiram Deka greeted Raghunath Chaudhary as a ‘Bihogi poet.’ And since then, he has been known as a ‘Bihogi/great poet/poet of birds.’
Importantly, Raghunath Choudhary is one of the leading poets of the Assamese romantic era. The main feature of romantic poets is that these poets are very imaginative. The source of creation of romantic poetry is the sweetness and beauty of nature. Importantly, Raghunath Choudhary’s poem reflects all the features of Romance. For which Raghunath Choudhary can be called the best romantic poet in Assamese romantic poetry literature just as Wordsworth is called the best in English romantic poetry in English literature.
Flowers and birds are seen playing a special role in most of Raghunath Choudhary’s poems who is known as ‘Bihogi Kavi‘. Through poetry Choudhary strives to make the familiar world more beautiful by reinventing it. Raghunath Choudhary also finds beauty in the voice of a flower and a bird that has been engraved.
Importantly, instead of the direct influence of English romantic poetry, it was the study of Shankari and Sanskrit literature that influenced Raghunath Choudhary’s mind. He composed poems using familiar words as well as paintings, rhythms. Raghunath Choudhary gave a new look to the Assamese poetry of the time by composing poems, following the diverse forms and subtle beauty of nature in parallel with the romantic era Assamese poetry being adorned with nature songs and beauty. Apart from this, one of the features of Raghunath Chaudhary’s poetry is the simplicity of language and rhythm.
Maheshwar Neog commented on Raghunath Chaudhary saying that: Among the poets of the first wave of the Jonaki era though there was enthusiasm for innovation, the simplicity of innovation rhythm and the poetic smoothness of the language are reflected in Raghunath Chaudhary’s poems in a clear and complete manner. These are the reasons why Raghunath Chaudhary has managed to occupy a high position in Assamese poetry literature.
Raghunath Choudhary, who was able to create a distinct genre in the Assamese poetry world with his poetic talent, was conferred with the title ‘Kaviratna’ by Kamrup Sanjivani Sabha. In addition, Raghunath Chaudhary also received a literary pension from the Government of India. Importantly, Chaudhary, who actively participated in India’s freedom struggle, was a man with a nationalist attitude. This man of a strong nationalism and uncompromising position demanded that Assamese language should be declared as the state language during the language movement of 1960.
Importantly Raghunath Chaudhary was known as a poet but he also wrote stories. Stories published in various paper magazines have been posthumously compiled in the story book ‘Pashatia’.
Raghunath Choudhary, a powerful personality’s fearless attitude, established himself in social life with honesty and courage even though he was not born with a gold spoon on his mouth. For which Raghunath Choudhary’s life and philosophy of life are an unmatched example for Assam and he is also a role model for the younger generations and also for the next generations. Raghunath Choudhary, who left this world on November 18, 1967, is undoubtedly at the same level as Wordsworth, Keats, Shelly. The lover of nature and beauty and silent lover, Raghunath Chaudhary is a pride for Assam and Assamese.
1. When and where did Raghunath Chaudhary born?
Ans: Raghunath Chaudhary was born on the 5th of January,1878 at Lawpara village undivided Kamrup district(present Nalbari district), Assam.
2. What is Raghunath Chaudhary’s pen name?
Ans: Raghunath Chaudhary’s pen name is ‘Bihogi Kobi’ (poet of birds).
3. Why Raghunath Chaudhary is known as Bihogi Kobi?
Ans: Raghunath Chaudhary is known as Bihogi Kobi because most of his writings are based on birds and nature.
4. Who conferred him the title Kabiratna?
Ans: Kamrup Sanjeevani Sabha conferred him with the title ‘Kabiratna.’
5. Where was Chaudhary’s first collection of poem was published?
Ans: Chaudhary’s first collection of poem was published in ‘Jonaki’ megazine titled ‘Sadari‘ in 1910. Importantly, poems published in the Jonaki and contemporary Banhi papers were combined to publish a poetry book called Sadari.
6. Why was Raghunath Chaudhary was imprisoned for fourteen months?
Ans: Chaudhary actively participated in the Non-Cooperation movement responding to Mahatma Gandhi’s call, he was imprisoned by the British for fourteen months in 1921, for his active participation in the Indian independence movement.
7. Name two sangha’s found by Choudhary?
Ans: Raghunath Choudhary was one of the founders of Pragati Sangha and Savita Sabha in Guwahati in parallel with his close involvement in various socio-cultural programs.
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