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Bishnu Prasad Rabha Edit Profile

also known as Kala Guru

actor , composer

Bishnu Prasad Rabha was a multifaceted artist and revolutionary singer of Assam. A doyen of the Arts, he is popularly known as Kala Guru.


Bishnu Prasad Rabha was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh on 31 January 1909. His father was Gopal Chandra Rabha who was serving in the British Police. Bishnu Rabha spent his childhood in Dhaka.


From an early stage, he played an active role in the struggle for Indian independence. He came to be influenced by left wing ideas and came close to the Communist Party of India. However, when Germany attacked Soviet Union during second world war and the Indian communists decided to work with the British government, a section of the party favoured a different approach - to oppose British imperialism and Fascism simultaneously. So a split happened in the communist party and in 1945 he finally joined the Revolutionary Communist Party of India (RCPI). In 1951, after the death of Jyoti Prasad Agarwala, he became the president of the Assam branch of Indian People's Theatre Association (IPTA).

His work Bano Kobang portrays the life worlds of the ethnic groups of Axom. His other works include Mising Coneng, Sonpahi, Axomiya Kristir Samuh Abhash, and Atit Axom. His interest for the upliftment and liberation of the weaker section of society is visible in his works. But these works did not get much accolade as his other works received. Bishnu Prasad Rabha was an eminent freedom fighter. His meaning of freedom however is not simply freedom from British rule. But it meant freedom from capitalism, freedom from wage-slavery, freedom from poverty and all social evils. In his own words, "I am fighting for a revolution from the realm of necessity to the realm of freedom". He dedicated his entire life for this freedom movement. He donated an ancestral estate of 2500 bigha land received from the British government in favour of the peasants. His slogan was "Haal Jaar Maati Taar" means "those who cultivate should own the land". The present day Tezpur University stands upon the land donated by him. His entire life was characterized by a restlessness to work for the people and he kept on moving around like a nomad. He was also an excellent mass mobiliser. His speeches and lectures could touch the heart of the masses. However, his political struggle was never pregnant with individual power seeking motive. It was only give power at the hands of the masses. He even said that the independence achieved in 1947 was simply a farce. It is because in spite of the freedom the poor and weaker sections of the society remained the same. According to him, the real struggle begins after 1947.

Apart from being a revolutionary he was also a brilliant academician and researcher. This was despite the fact that due to participation in freedom struggle he was forced by the British Govt to leave Rippon College at Calcutta and transferred to Victoria College at Coch Behar. He was not able to continue his formal studies even there due to frequent raid of British forces in his hostel and was compelled to give up his formal educational career for ever.


Gopal Chandra Rabha - Bangladesh