Come December 1, the 175-year-old Orunodoy magazine will be on display during an exhibition for the first time in Assam‘s history in the majestic Mahabahu Brahamputra Heritage Centre by the Nanda Talukdar Foundation.
“The exhibition shall be there for 3 months starting from December 1, 2021 to February 28, 2022 and I wish every Assamese see this historic piece and pride of Assamese heritage,” said Nanda Talukdar Foundation secretary Mrinal Talukdar.
The Nanda Talukdar Foundation and GMDA have jointly organized this exhibition, which happens to be the first display of Orunodoy anywhere in the world.
Besides this only surviving copy in Assam, a few are being preserved in British Museum London, Oxford University Library, Oxford Cambridge University Library and National library, Kolkatta.
“This is for the first time, people of Assam will be able to see the physical copy of Orunodoy,” said Talukdar.
The Christian Missionaries published the magazine in 1846 and continued till 1882, heralding the golden age for the Assamese language.
The missionaries brought the printing press all the way from the United States along with Assamese fonts and got no support from the English administration.
Oliver T Cuttar was the editor for the first five years and then Dr Nathan Brown took charge as the editor.
The first-year subscription was 577, of which 249 were natives.
Later it rose to 800 but it was closed down by 1882.
The exhibition will be inaugurated at a ceremony by Asomiya Praidin editor Jayanta Barua.
Nanda Talukdar Foundation:
From a modest beginning with making the public the personal library of renowned litterateur late Nanda Talukdar in 1996, the Nanda Talukdar Foundation(NTF) has come a long way in the past 25 years to emerge as a name to reckon with in Assam, especially in the sphere of publication, contemporary social history research, social audit, media advocacy and ground-level intervention.
The Nanda Talukdar Foundation now has emerged as a focal point of pioneering contemporary social history, advocacy as well as intervention and their area of activities spread both horizontally and vertically first in Assam and then slowly in other parts of Northeast India.
“For the Assamese literature, the library of the Nanda Talukdar Foundation is considered as one of the final frontiers. No research on Assamese literature in the past five decades has been completed without the Foundation’s help,” the Foundation said in a statement.
“The Foundation is the treasure house of the Assamese literature of the early nineteenth century to the twentieth century, where scientifically the documents, journals and books are preserved through digitalization as well as conventional method,” it added.