Gunakar Deva Goswami, a noted drama personality of Assam was this month’s guest for Golaghat Press Club’s Meet The Press Programme. Brought up in a cultural family Shri Deva Goswami got the privilege to meet various eminent personalities and see some of their valuable works. From 12 years of age he had started doing various one-act and full-length plays. Shri Deva Goswami already wrote 12 plays and directed over 40 plays. Born in Guwahati he first acted in a jatra party. He directed his first full length play “Garib Kiyo Morey”. After graduating from B. Barooah College, Guwahati he along with some friends formed “Nava Suraj Sangha”. He tried to incorporate the folk forms and experimenting to discover an alternative Assamese theatre using the rich Assamese indigenous performing art and culture as a spring board. He took training on ‘Bhaona’ and ‘Sattriya Nritya’ under eminent maestros of this field. He also learned ‘Ojapali’ and ‘Deodhani’ under the guidance of Guru Lalit Ojha, who was Sangit Natak Academy awardee. In 1991 Shri Deva Goswami set up the organization ‘PURBARANGA’ and started a new planned project. It is committed to to Ankia Naat Bhaona, Ojapali and contemporary recreation of ancient plays, Dramatization of poem, folk songs, folk tales and performance of new plays. He got the best director award for the play “Kalantarar Gadya” in the year 2000 at Assam Natya Sanmilan. Some of his noted plays include Zerenga, Veerangana, Sati, Tula aru Teja, etc. These were highly acclaimed at places like New Delhi, Hyderbad, Kolkota, Bihar, Orissa, etc. The famous festivals he participated are Bharat Ranga Mahotsava, National Theatre Festival, N.S.D., Satellite Theatre Festival, Bangalore etc. From 1994, onwards he started started teaching students. He organized many workshops in places like Sapakhowa, Sadiya, Gohpur, Tawang, Dhirang etc.
Talking to the media, he stretch on the necessity of changing the attitude and outlook of the people in general and make them realize the greatness of their indigenous culture and art. He added that our culture is a rich storehouse of various art forms which are ironically lying neglected due to the lack of interest of the people. The need of the hour is to create awareness among the new generation to feel proud of their rich heritage and introduce it to the rest of the world. Commenting on the issues relating to the commercialization of Mobile Theatre, Shri Deva Goswami said that he had no complain against the Mobile Theatre groups as the trend of commercialization is not a new phenomenon among these groups but the process of commercialization started a long back. He also said that the Mobile Theatre groups as they provide employment to a large number of peoples, they must cater to the demand of the people for financial gain. But he had only one request to make to the Mobile Theatre groups that they should keep away from adding tagline like “JYOTI-BISHNUR ASHISH HIROT LOI, SRISHTIR THAPONAT KRISTIR ANJALI JASI” etc to their banners.
When asked about the problems faced by the amateur theatre groups, Shri Deva Goswami firmly asserted that the instant rise of VCD industry had proved to be a major threat to the amateur theatre groups. Such groups also face problems in getting the artists for the roles and also there is a problem of interaction between the theatre groups and audiences. He said that he wants to make such plays that will be a flag bearer of Assamese culture and Assamese people will feel proud of their rich culture.