By: Arup Saikia
With the increasing importance of study and research on nature, it is the demand of the time to present these in a popular form and take them to the people for the sake of nature conservation.
Sadly, there are only a handful of books on nature studies and research presented in such a popular form in Assamese language.
Therefore, it is important to understand the importance of these issues. We notice some important features in “Ananya Aranya” (Unique Forest) compared to such other books on environment, nature and wildlife already published.
It is generally seen that concrete data and information are properly not presented in Assamese books on environment. In addition, the complex scientific content of many books and essays is often difficult to understand without being a scientist.
The author has kept this in mind when writing “Ananya Aranya” and has beautifully arranged the book with accurate references and used the latest research as much as possible throughout the book
The “Ananya Aranya” is likely to be a valuable account of nature literature written in Assamese language.
Starting from Madhava Kandali’s “Description of Chitrakut” to the collection of works by Soumya Dutta, almost all the literature on environment and nature available in the Assamese language are comprehensively discussed in this book.
The book “Ananaya Aranya” contains a total number of 37 essays. Each work is unique, but on closer inspection there is a deep relationship with each other.
The book mainly addresses the biodiversity of Assam and the North East, but some of the works cross the borders of India too. The most important thing is that the book highlights the nature and biodiversity conservation traditions that each ethnic group has developed on their own way locally.
We have seen that this aspect has not been highlighted much in the scientific literature so far.
However, this book takes a pioneering role in this regard by discussing local traditions related to the environment and climate. The Folklore about monitor lizard, beliefs and conservation traditions about tortoise, our traditional “Senchuwa” (observer of Shaheen falcon) custom, traditions about Kadam tree (Neolamarckia cadamba) etc. are discussed in detail. Moreover how such traditions can help in conservation are researched in depth.
Some of the articles are so poetic and full of human feelings that it is difficult to distinguish these popular science writings from creative literature. Although the book is based on collected data as a whole, the author’s personal experiences and observations also give the book its originality. There is also room for new research based on the essays “Like the Cultural Evolution of Monkeys”.
One of the prime features of the book “Ananya Aranya” is that it provides acceptable solutions to the problems as they are presented. Reputed publishing house “Aak Bak” has published the book. We expect adoration from all sections of readers. (The author is a noted cultural activist, actor, scriptwriter and poet. He can be reached at +91-9954050690 or firstname.lastname@example.org)