- Jyoti Prasad Agarwala
Jyoti Prasad Agarwala (1903-1953) (Assamese: জ্যোতিপ্ৰসাদ আগৰৱালা) was a playwright, songwriter, poet, writer and film maker from
Assam. He is an Assamese cultural icon, deeply revered for his creative vision and output and is popularly called the "Rupkonwar" (ৰূপকোৱঁৰ) of Assamese culture. [Phukan, Mitra "The Creative Visionary" in The Assam Tribune, 2002 [http://www.geocities.com/bipuljyoti/authors/jyotiprasad.html] ] In fact, he is regarded as the founder of Assamese cinemafor Joymati(1935) [ [http://www.hinduonnet.com/holnus/009200609200353.htm Piracy, bad halls, poor story-line killing Assamese cinema] The Hindu - September 20, 2006] . His birthday (January 17) is celebrated as "Silpi divas" (Artists' Day) in his honor.
Jyoti Prasad Agarwala was born on
January 17, 1903 in an Agrawalfamily, to Paramananda Agarwala and Kiranmoyee Agarwala in Tamulbari Tea Estate. He is the nephew of another cultural icon, Chandra Kumar Agarwala. His forefather, Nabrangram Agarwala, had come to Assam in 1811 from the Marwarregion in Rajasthan. After completing his studies in various schools in Assam and Calcutta ( Kolkata), he matriculated in 1921. He went to Edinburgh in 1926 to study economics, but returned in 1930 before completing his course. On his way back, he spent seven months at the UFA studio in Germanylearning film-making.
After his return to Assam, he continued his activities for Indian independence that had disrupted his studies earlier and in 1932 he was imprisoned for fifteen months. He established the Chitraban Studio at the Bholaguri Tea Estate and began filming the movie "Joymoti" around the end of 1933. This was the first film from
Assam. The film, released in 1935, was based on a play by Laxminath Bezbaruaabout a heroic Ahomprincess imprisoned and tortured by a repressive Ahom swargadeo. In 1936 he married Devajani Bhuyan. In 1941 he participated in the freedom movement, and in 1942, he went underground to escape British repression. Toward the end of his life he moved from a romantic to a more radical vision, which was reflected in his works. [PadmaHriday Sangrakshan Sangrahalay [http://www.rupkowar.com/life.html Life] ]
He died of cancer on
January 17 1951at Tamulbari Tea Estate.
Jyoti Prasad Agarwala had written around 300 songs, many of which he had set to music himself. Collectively, these songs are called "Jyoti xongit". [PadmaHriday Sangrakshan Sangrahalay [http://www.rupkowar.com/musi.html Music] ]
Nimati Konyaor Rupkonwar
Agarwala is lauded as the creator of Assamese cinema. In a period that saw the beginning of Indian Cinema, with the making of numerous mythological themed movies, Agarwala created a movie that was nationalistic in character.
* "Joymoti" [ [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0151153/ bio] - IMDB] (1935)
Indramalati" [ [http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0012877/ bio] - IMDB] (1939)
* "Jyoti Raamaayon" - Poetry Collection
* "Luitor Paaror Agnixur" - Poetry Collection, 1971
* Background of Assamese Architecture
In honor of Agarwala's contributions to Assamese literature and film, the
Government of Assamissued a commemorative stamp of Agarwala in 2004. It was pushed for by the AGP and approved by the Prime Minister of India in mid-2004. [ [http://www.nenanews.com/NEE%20July%2022-Aug.6,%2003/NewsbriefC.htm Centre clears stamp on Jyoti Prasad] NENA - July 22,2003]
* [http://www.rupaliparda.com/english/who's-who/jyotiprasad.htm Rupaliparda.com - About Jyoti Prasad Agarwalla]
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