Skip to content Skip to navigation

2008 Principal Prince Claus Award to Indian writer, Indira Goswami

mamoni_raisom_goswami_553267690.jpgIndira Goswami (b. 1942, Guwahati, Assam) is an outstanding writer who reveals the lived experience of ordinary people. Her powerful graphic descriptions and haunting images bring to light the centrality of the body in human affairs and the codification of political, religious and cultural systems through the body: the bodily processes of life, the impact of gender and age, and the physicality of poverty, norms and conflicts.

Writing in her Assamese mother-tongue, Goswami highlights the diverse cultural context of this remote region. She depicts contemporary political and social dimensions, avoiding romanticism and anthropological tendencies. Her intimate knowledge of community realities is closely woven into strong narratives that tackle controversial subjects such as the plight of widows (The Blue-Necked Braja, 1976) and the experience of Sikhs in the anti-Sikh riots (Pages Stained with Blood, 1994), as well as examining the impact of the caste system, prostitution and ethnic strife on the human body and psyche. Her Unfinished Autobiography (1988) is remarkable for its utter frankness. An important voice for the marginalised, she also writes about Madhya Pradesh, Kashmir and Vrindavan, bringing local issues to the fore.

Indira Goswami is a scholar of Assamese and Ramayana literature, a former professor and Head of Modern Indian Languages and Literature at Delhi University. She works together with others to translate her works into English, to make English literature available in Assamese and vice versa. She plays a significant role in local literature at a time when much Indian writing is mediated by the West.

A courageous public intellectual, Goswami speaks in defence of disadvantaged and minority groups, and recently, through her mediation of peace talks in Assam, she has worked hard in trying reducing conflict that has caused 10,000 deaths.

A woman of remarkable insight and conviction, Indira Goswami is honoured for the unique quality of her writing, for identifying and expressing the inscription of cultural norms in the body, and for her influential social and cultural activism through literature.


Add new comment

Random Stories

Major explosion misses Radhani Exp target

24 Dec 2008 - 2:57pm | editor
Hundreds of passengers at the Rajdhani Express got rid of a major tragedy when a powerful bomb missed the target at Matipul in Karbi Anglong district in the wee hours on Wednesday. According to...

Bineeta emerges first in HS commerce

30 May 2014 - 10:07am | AT News
The Assam Higher Secondary Education Council on Friday declared the results of the HS commerce examination along with the arts and science strems. Bineeta Jain from the Gauhati Commerce College tops...

SC slams Centre for border dispute

3 Dec 2014 - 10:18pm | AT News
The Centre on Wednesday drew no less flak from the Supreme Court over the Assam-Nagaland border dispute that hurts both the states at regular intervals. It further asked the Centre to respond within...

Zomi body visits Churachandpur

23 Sep 2015 - 6:07pm | AT News Imphal
Amid undying sensation the Zomi Re -unification Organization members from Mizoram visited Churachandpur on Wednesday and paid tribute to the nine people who lost their lives in the recent orgy of...

Other Contents by Author

The transfer and posting of a senior police officer, attached to the anti corruption cell has raised doubts over the Sonowal government's vision of a corruption-free society. In a bid that evoked sharp reaction across the state, the government has transferred Mukul Saikia at a time when he was firmly dealing with a few sensational investigations. The senior IPS officer is known for his firmness' and submitted many fearless revelations in the past. Of, late, he was heading the investigations of the multi crore scam social welfare scam apart from the cash for job scam in the Assam Public Service Commission. But suddenly the government issued a notification on Wednesday reposting him as...
Security forces had a narrow escape when on Sunday morning when an attempt by s joint ULFA-I and NSCN-K team missed the target in Tinsukia district. The incident took place on early in the morning when security forces were moving in the area and as they reached the Jagun area rebels indiscriminately targettef them from the dense jungle who managed to flee immediately. A massive operation is underway. But nobody has been caught so far.
 After days of will-they-won’t-they, police have arrested Akhil Gogoi on Sunday in connection with the recent protest in Kaziranga. A group of policemen caught the KMSS leaders from his residence in Chandmari in Guwahati in the morning charging him with aiding and abetting the people who staged protest against the eviction drive in the world heritage site where two people were killed in police firing. Gogoi, who took the leader allegedly fled from the scene and since then policemen in Guwahati and Bokakhar have been looking for him to be arrested.
Along with the rest of the nation the 70th Independence day was  celebrated in Tangla with three days long programme schedule with gaiety and fervour by administration of Harisinga Revenue Circle and local public. On Monday in the morning at 9 am Lakyhya Jyoti Das Circle Officer, Khoirabari Revenue Circle hoisted the tri-colour at Tangla HS field.Delivering his speech Das said," Along with the development and progress peace and fraternity is needed for which the co-operation of people is necessary. He further said that "Youths of the nation should join hands in Nation building. He also spoke on the urgent need of mitigating the Man-elephant conflict in Udalguri district, need for...
The shoot out in Karbi Anglong district seems to have mired in controversy as the authority has called it an incident of accidental firing where a policeman was killed. Official sources in Guwahati denied any militant attack on the Rongbongway police station where policeman Ratul Gogoi died in the wee hours. Earlier, it was believed to be a rebel attack in the run up to the Independence Day
In yet another landmark development in the Manipur’s poll political landscape, Irom Sharmila on Tuesday announced to end her fast to fight the upcoming assembly polls. Talking to reporters at the Imphal Court premises, she said that she is waiting for August 9 to break her 15 year long fast. She observed that during her 15 year long she got no response from the people in power and that there is hardly any hope a positive response in near future. She said that she has no option but to politically fight the draconian Act that empowers the armed forces to unleash reign of terror on the common people. The decision is bound to have a huge impact on the state’s political scenario in the north...
An health awareness programme was held at the conference hall of Tangla College on Wednesday. The programme was inaugurated by Dr. Prasen Daimari Principal Tangla College. It was presided over by outgoing vice principal B.M Singh. Convenor IQAC Anima Bhuyan Baruah spoke on the purpose of the programme. Dr. Hara Kanta Das Retd. District Joint  Director Department of health,Government of Assam was present in the programme as resource person. NRHM District Committee Mobiliser  Mousumi Kalita was also present in the programme. The programme was organized by Health care cell, IQAC Tangla College in collaboration with Health department govt. of Assam.
BTC Chief Hagrama Mohilary,who is also president of Bodoland Peoples Front(BPF) party files a defamation case against Abdur Rahim Khan,MLA of All India Democratic Front(AIUDF) of  No.43 Barpeta constituency of Assam  today at Chief Judicial Magistrate Court,Kokrajhar demanding strong punishment to Khan. Mohilary demanding strong punishment to Khan,MLA from AIUDF party files defamation with CJM court in Kokrajhar district of Assam,which was case registered with court 142/2016,under/section(u/s) 499/500/501/502 of the India Penal code(IPC),1860. Khan had commented defamtory words on Mohilary on February 1 last terming that Mohilary belonged to terrorist of blood,killer, BPF is...
The Theme Song of the 12th South Asian Games, 2016 was launched amid thunderous applause of thousands of people and volunteers, gathered for the Run for North East and the Torch Relay in Guwahati this morning. The theme song is one of Late Dr Bhupen Hazarika’s immortal creations ‘Ei Prithibi Ek Krirangon’.  Launching the theme song, Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports (I/C) Shri Sarbananda Sonowal said, “Bhupenda’s vision and universal appeal of humanity and brotherhood would keep inspiring us and the whole world.” He further added that the Theme song perfectly expresses the vision of the Games, that is, peace, progress and prosperity.  Minister of Transport, Excise,...
BTC deputy chief Kampa Borgoyary inaugurated the delegate session of the 19th annual convention of the Journalists' Union of Assam (JUA), which has got underway with two-day programme scheduled here at Basic Training Centre in Kokrajhar today.   Borgoyary, in his speech urged the journalist fraternity to be dedicated and devotion to the building of national integrity highlighting human resource as well social upliftment in the country. He said that BTC administration was working for all round development  since it's created under Sixth scheduled of Indian constituency through which region got ray of development and spirits of the social integrity. The convention has witness...