Jangam

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Title: Jangam – The Movement, A forgotten exodus in which thousands died

ISBN: 9789386473172

Author: Debendranath Acharya

Price: 399 Rs.

Category: Historical Fiction

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About The Book

Jangam (Movement) is the poignant tale of ordinary people who embarked on a great, unknown journey in the midst of WWII but whose bids for survival were thwarted as they battled Nature. Hardly any account of this massive calamity has been registered in India’s literature, says Debendranath Acharya in the late 1970s, in the preface to his Sahitya Akademi award-winning Assamese novel. During this migration an estimated 450,000-500,000 Burmese Indians walked to north-east India, fleeing from the Japanese advance and also from escalating ethnic violence in the Burmese theatre of war. ‘Corpses lay everywhere, and there were no jackals and vultures to pick them clean... All other forms of animal life seem to have abjured this pathway, save for scores of beautiful butterflies that cover the bodies in a sea of colour’, say contemporary foreign accounts of this exodus. Jangam is the only sustained fictional treatment of this long march.

About The author

An engineer by profession, Debendranath Acharya (1937-1981) was an Assamese litterateur and scholar. His novel Jangam posthumously received the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1984. He also wrote three other noteworthy historical novels: Onyo Jug, Onyo Purux (1970), Kaalpurux (1976) and Raktarag (1982). He died at the young age of 44 as MD of the public sector undertaking Assam Gas Co. The entire literary repertoire of his published as well as unpublished works were complied in 2011 under the title ‘Rachana Samagrah’ and published by Jyoti Prakashan, Guwahati.

About the Translator

Translator Amit R Baishya is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English at the University of Oklahoma. He has published essays in peer-reviewed journals like Interventions, Postcolonial Studies and South Asia Review and several essays in edited volumes. His monograph Deathworlds: States of Terror and Survival in Fictions from Northeast India, is currently being reviewed by two academic presses. He has also co-edited a book titled Northeast India: A Place of Relations with Yasmin Saikia. He has also translated Jehirul Hussain's short story 'Xoru Dhemali, Bar Dhemali' (Minor Preludes, Major Preludes) from Assamese to English.

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