Anandaram Dhekial Phukan
8th Aug, 2011
Anandaram Dhekial Phukan was born in 1829 at Guwahati in the famous `Dhekial Phukan’ family. His father was Holiram Dhekial Phukan was also a writer but he contributed everything in Bengali language. He wrote two books in Bangla, 'Asaam Buronji' and 'Kamrup Jatra Padhati'. His grand father Parashuram was orthodox Hindu, so never allowed Haliram to study English or any other foreign language. On the contrary, Anandaram Phukan, became an expert of English literature. He first joined the first English school of Guwahati in 1835. There with the efforts of James Mathew and the then commissioner Jenkinson he started learning English literature and slowly showed his great strength in English. In 1941 Jenkins sponsored him to go to Calcutta & study in Hindu College. After studying for 3 years there, he came back to Guwahati and took further lessons in English from Mr. Blend. He acquired knowledge of Sanskrit and Urdu-farsi also. He got married in 1846 followed by joining in a government job in the subsequent year.
He got married in 1846 at an early age of seventeen only. He joined services as Dewan of Bijai ruler in 1847 A.D. Later on he became Munsif and Junior Assistance Commissioner.
Anandaram Dhekiyal Phukan started his literary life from just 17 years of age writing articles to ‘Arunudoi’, first Assamese magazine, in 1846. Anandaram published `Englandar Biwaran’ (Description of England) in Arunodoi. At the age of only twenty he first wrote 'Axomiya Loraar Mitra' (Assamese children's friend) in two volumes a 400 page book for the young Assamese students based on English text books. He got it printed from Sibasagar and distributed in schools. This was his outstanding contribution to the development of Assamese language and culture. At that time British started teaching Bengali in the schools. Anandaram couldn't tolerate it. In 1847 he joined government job. When Governor Miles came to Assam for an audit in 1853 Anandaram Phukan was the man who submitted an application to him appealing to use Assamese as a medium in the schools. Miles liked his arguments and supported him. The same year he was transferred to Nowgon, where he came in close contacts of Missionary Bronson and Collector Butler. In 1855 Phukan wrote a booklet "A few remarks on the Assamese language and on the Vernacular education in Assam" he discussed the independent criteria’s of the language and the grievous outcome of imposing Bengali as official language in Assam. This book mentions about 62 religious books and 40 plays. He printed 100 copies of the book in Baptist press in Sibsagar and distributes to Bengal government and other important state government of the country. This booklet gave boast to the Assamese language movement against usage of Bengali Language in the schools of Assam. This small booklet shows his expertise in Assamese, Bengali, Hindi and various regional languages of India.