THE CIVILIZATION of India is the joint creation of her diverse peoples, Aryan, Dravidian, Austric (Kol) and Mongoloid. The Aryan bases have always received the greatest attention, and rightly so. A study of the Dravidian heritage has now been taken up with increased interest since beginnings in this direction were made by Caldwell over a century ago. The Austric elements too are now being investigated, and we are realizing its importance. The Mongoloid contribution has not yet been seriously studied as an element in Indian history and civilization. In the present monograph, an attempt has been made to full up the lacuna, in part indeed, while giving a general idea of this lacuna.
In November 1947 at the invitation of the Education Department of the Government of Assam, I give, under the auspices of the Asama Sahitya Sabha of Jorhat, three lectures on the Indo-Mongoloid Contribution to Assamese History and Culture. They were delivered in the hall of the Jagannath Barua College at Jorhat in Assam, on the 21st, 22nd and 23rd November of 1947.
These three lectures formed the nucleus of the present work. It is, however, quite a new monograph which has been entirely re-written and very largely augmented with more detailed treatment of the subject, in its various aspects not covered by the three discourses as originally delivered in the form of talks.
These Lectures, covering about a fourth of the present work, were the Pratibha Devi Lectures for 1947, founded at the instance of the late Sarat Chandra Goswami, distinguished literary man of Assam, whose daughter Pratibha Devi, a highly gifted and cultured lady, died at the young age of 21 in 1932, leaving her bereaved husband, Sri Umakanta Goswami, M.A., B.L. (who was then Professor at Cotton College, Gauhati, and is now Director of Public Instruction, Assam) and one son and one daughter and her aged father. The present writer takes the occasion to place on record his feeling of respect for the memory of Pratibha Devi : the three lectures, in honour of one who represented during her short span of life the best traditions of Indian womanhood, enabled him to present his views before the public for the first time, although only on some particular aspects of the question.
The author expresses his grateful thanks to Sri Krishan Kanta Handiqui, his old satirtha during his student days in England in 1919-1921 and his very king host during his stay at Jorhat: to Sri Kuladhar Chaliha, M.P., Sri Nilmani Phookan, Sri Gunagobinda Datta, Sri Dimbeswar Neog and other friends in Jorhat ; and to Professor Prabodh Chandra Sanyal, then Director of Public Instruction, Assam, for many kindnesses received from them. He also offers his respectful thanks to Sir Jadunath Sarkar for kindly writing an appreciation of this monograph.
16 Hindusthan Park,
November 26, 1950.
SUNITI KUMAR CHATTERJI
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