Students will play a large role in all future protests in Assam: Jahnavi Barua
Assamese writer Jahnavi Barua is a observant writer and says she can go without writing for a long time but not without reading. A doctor who quit her profession due to personal reasons, she took up the pen just for the love for the people of the North Eastern region. Attending the literary festival of Mathrubhumi, Jahnavi spoke about the protests against the citizenship Amendment Act in her home state, the students body occupying a major role in agitation, her books and of course Kerala on the sidelines of the festival.
Students on the forefront of the protests
The concern of Assam for a long time has been the illegal migrants. it is an ongoing struggle that is going on for many years. The students take a leading part in all protests in Assam even from earlier times. Because there is tradition on students leading the struggle, even when the CAA was introduced the students spearheaded the agitation. The students will play a large part in whatever protests that happens in future.
Theme for stories
Assam is troubled by insurgency and I don't put that in the forefront of my stories. What I am really interested in is on the people and I observe people. When I wrote at that time, my land was going through turmoil and insurgency came into my stories as it comes into my daily life.
Literary scene in Assam
It is a very vibrant scene. There is a strong tradition of being educated in English in the North East because of the Christian missions. Many people write in english and talk to each other with people from Manipur or Meghalaya in the same language. So English is the link language. There is a touching space for all writers in English in the NE and is strongly knit. There is also no threat of writers who write in English to the regional writers as they are the support base for us. The different kinds of English in different NE states enriches us.
First book was on short stories named Next Door and my second book Rebirth did not talk about my professional medical life. My upcoming book Undertow will be released shortly and deals with life in which we don't see anything outside. I began writing with short fictions and from there I began writing novels.
Deeply fond of Kerala. Lived in Kochi for 2 years and Assam too resembles Kerala in its terrain, cuisine, dressing and other things. We have very similar routines. And Tea, namely Assam Tea is simply indispensable and no one can live without that.