Jonaki Magazine and the Assamese literature


In this post, we are going to explore some questions answer. The first is what is Jonaki? The 2nd is why and how Jonaki got birth? And the last one is which are the main influences of Jonaki Magazine to Assamese literature?

We will go here one by one. So, let’s start with the very first one.


What is Jonaki Magazine?

Jonaki is the first Assamese monthly Magazine. In 1889’s January month it was born in Kolkata.

Jonaki Magazine

Why Jonaki Magazine got birth?

For the sake of Britisher’s administrative convenience, in 1836, by removing the Assamese language from Assam, they started to use the Bengali language in the schools, colleges, courts and other administrative sides of the state.

It was the darkest age for the Assamese language and its literary sides, which remained till 1873.

In 1873, with the help of a few noble Britishers, the Assamese language started again as the official language in Assam, but the impact of the Bengali language had not yet been reduced.

So, here is the main turning point came……

Actually, this is the main reason behind the fact, of Jonaki’s birth. It was born to reduce the influence of Bengali language and to make the Assamese language reputable to the people of Assam.

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How Jonaki Magazine got birth?

Did you know that at the very beginning of the 16th century, the Renaissance was started in major parts of Europe and America?

This Renaissance gave birth to romanticism in literature, democracy, and independence in politics and modernism in people thinking. Born in Europe and America, this Renaissance influenced the entire world.

At that time, the world’s great writers and poet’s were also very impressed with this new revolution, whose light was seen later in their famous compositions. Here Shaily, Gates, Shakespeare played the main role.

The giant wave of the Renaissance also touched in some parts of India. Here Kolkata was one of them (But it was not able to touch Assam directly).

At the time when this air of romanticism was going on, there was no higher education institution founded in Assam. That is why at that time Assam’s students had to go to Kolkata for their higher education.

Jonaki Magazine and Assamese language

At that time, many brilliant students of Assam were getting higher education in Kolkata. Because of that, the Renaissance wave also touched their heart and soul.

[They were Lakshminath Bejboruah, Chandrakumar Agarwala, Raghunath Choudhury, Padmanath Gohainboruah, Hemchandra Goswami, Satyanath Borah and many more]

The talented students understood that if they want to protect and grow their language and culture then they themselves have to make a big decision. At the result, they established ‘The Jonaki Magazine’ in 1889.  

In Assamese language Jonaki is a type of light ant, I think Jonaki magazine also did the same thing to literature world of the state.


The road to Jonaki Magazine
  • In 1872 Assamese Literary Society.
  • In 1888 O.Bha.U.Haa.Sabha.
  • 1889 Jonaki.


Influences of Jonaki Magazine to Assamese literature
  • To remove the Bengali and established the Assamese as the main language of the state again.
  • To use the Assamese language in every single school and governmental organizations in Assam.
  • To collect the old books and republish again among the common people.
  • To translate revolutionary books into Assamese from Hindi, Sanskrit, and English.
  • To remove grammatical errors from the language and reform it again.



So, these are the main things that I wanted to share with you. I hope, it provides some value to your study on Jonaki. If it really does then don’t forget to comment below and let me know.

Thank you.


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