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Hiren Gohain (born 1939) is a Marxist literary critic,[1] poet[2] and social scientist from the Indian state of Assam. He studied in Cotton College, did his graduation from Presidency College, Calcutta and then moved to Delhi University to pursue his post-graduation in English literature. After completion of his master's degree, for some time, he became a lecturer in Kirori Mal College of Delhi University. Later, he went to the Cambridge University for doctoral research on the topic 'Paradise Lost and the 17th Century Crisis' later published as 'Tradition and Paradise Lost: A Heretical View'.,[3] a work highly acclaimed for its original research and fresh perspective. After coming back from Cambridge he became a professor at the Department of English in Gauhati University.

Hiren Gohain
Born Hiren Gohain
1939 (age 78–79)
Golaghat, Assam, India
Occupation Scholar, literary critic, social scientist
Language Assamese
Nationality Indian


Contributions as a Literary CriticEdit

It was Hiren Gohain who for the first time brought the ideas and methods of Anglo-American New Criticism to the study of Assamese/Indian literature in Assamese. While studying in Cambridge, he had an eclectic radical ideology but later on, after his return to India, he became a Marxist. It was he who adapted the ideas of critics like György Lukács, Antonio Gramsci, and other critics into the nascent field of Assamese literary criticism. Some of his books in Assamese are Sahityar Satya, Sahitya Aru Chetana, Biswayatan, Asomiya Jatiya Jibanat Mahapurushiya Paramapara, Assam: A Burning Question and several other significant and widely read books. He has also written 4 volumes of memoirs which are also relevant for their incorporation of social and historical content. He is a contributor to journals such as Economic and Political Weekly, Frontier, and occasional publications of institutions like Indian Institute of Advanced Studies (IIAS), Centre for English and Foreign Languages (CIEFL), Shillong. He also is a columnist for various regional and national newspapers.

Other ContributionsEdit

He is also a regular contributor to Economic and Political Weekly.[4] His book 'Assam A Burning Question'[5] is a compilation of several essays on the socio-political crisis confronting Assam in the context of Assam Movement written in the mid 1980s, and the period dominated by extremism. Recently, he played an important role in the mediation of peace talks between Government of India and the Assamese insurgent group ULFA.[6] He was the founder president of the Asomiya Sahitya Sanmilani.

Selected Published WorksEdit

1.Tradition & Paradise lost: a heretical view (1997, English) 2.Assam, a burning question (1984, English) 3.On the present movement in Assam (1980, English) 4.Nature and art in Shakespeare: an essay on Hamlet (English) 5. Sahityar Satya (1970, Assamese) 6. Bastabar Swapna (1972, Assamese) 7. Kal Bhramar (1974, Assamese) 8. Kewal Manuhar Ase Gaan (1970, Assamese) 9. Samaj Aru Samalochana (1972, Assamese) 10. Sristi Aru Jukti (1972, Assamese) 11. Sahitya Aru Chetana (1976, Assamese) 12. Kirtan Puthir Roh Bisar (1981, Assamese) 13. Tejar Aakhare Likha (1982, Assamese) 14. Biswayatan (1983, Assamese) 15. Kabitar Bichar Aru Natun Samalochana (1986, Assamese) 16. Asamiya Jatiya Jibanat Mahaapurusiya Parampara (1987, Assamese) 17. Upanyasar Adhunik Samalochana (Vol. 1 & 2, Assamese) 18. Adristwa Aru Asam (1988, Assamese) 19. Kalasrot Aru Kandari (1995, Assamese) 20. Nature and Art In Shakespeare (1988, English) 21. The Magic Plant (1992, English) 22. Aspects of Early 19th Century Bengalee Culture (1990, English)


  1. ^ "Assamese Intellectuals Angry Over 'Injustice' to Gohain". Outlook. 23 February 2010. Retrieved 1 December 2011. 
  2. ^ Jotwani, Motilal Wadhumal (1979). Contemporary Indian literature and society. New Delhi: Heritage. p. 6. OCLC 5898943. 
  3. ^ "Tradition and Paradise Lost: A Heretical View". Spectrum Publication. 
  4. ^ "EPW Contributors". EPW. 
  5. ^ "Assam A Burning Question". Spectrum Publications. 1985. 
  6. ^ article2003589.ece "ULFA discusses charter of demands for peace talks" Check |url= value (help). The Hindu. May 9, 2011.