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Jyoti Prasad Agarwala (17 June 1903 – 17 January 1951) was a noted Assamese playwright, songwriter, poet, writer and film maker from Assam. He was considered as Assamese cultural icon, deeply revered for his creative vision and output and is popularly called the Rupkonwar of Assamese culture.[citation needed] In fact, he is regarded as the founder of Assamese cinema for Joymati (1935).[1] His death anniversary (17 January) is observed as Silpi divas (Artists' Day) in his honor.

Jyoti Prasad Agarwala
Jyoti Prasad Agarwala 2004 stamp of India.jpg
Agarwala on a 2004 stamp of India
Born17 June 1903
Tamulbari Tea Estate,Dibrugarh,Assam, India
Died17 January 1951(1951-01-17) (aged 47)
Tezpur, Assam, India
Other names'Rupkonwar'
OccupationFilm producer
Film Director
Music composer
Years active1932–1951
Spouse(s)Devajani Bhuyan



Poki or Jyoti Bharati, residence of Jyoti Prasad Agarwala at Tezpur

Jyoti Prasad Agarwala was born on 17 June 1903 in an Agrawal family, to Paramananda Agarwala and Kiranmoyee Agarwala in Tamulbari Tea Estate. His uncles were renowned Assamese poets Chandra Kumar Agarwala and Ananda Chandra Agarwala. His forefather, Nabrangram Agarwala, had come to Assam in 1811 from the Marwar region in Rajasthan. After completing his studies in various schools in Assam and Calcutta (Kolkata), he matriculated in 1921. He went to Edinburgh in 1926 to study economics, but returned in 1930 before completing his course. On his way back, he spent seven months at the UFA studio in Germany learning film-making.

Agarwala putting the finishing touches to the editing of Joymati

After his return to Assam, he continued his activities for Indian independence that had disrupted his studies earlier and in 1932 he was imprisoned for fifteen months. He established the Chitraban Studio at the Bholaguri Tea Estate and began filming the movie Joymoti around the end of 1933. This was the first film from Assam. The film, released in 1935, was based on a play by Laxminath Bezbarua about the heroic Ahom princess Sati Joymoti imprisoned and tortured by a repressive Ahom swargadeo. In 1936 he married Devajani Bhuyan. In 1941 he participated in the freedom movement, and in 1942, he went underground to escape British repression. Toward the end of his life he moved from a romantic to a more radical vision, which was reflected in his works.[2]

He died of cancer on 17 January 1951 at 'Poki', Tezpur



Jyoti Prasad Agarwala had written around 300+ songs, many of which he had set to music himself. Collectively, these songs are called Jyoti xongit.[3]



Agarwala is lauded as the creator of Assamese cinema. In a period that saw the beginning of Indian Cinema, with.


  • Jyoti Raamaayon – Poetry Collection
  • Luitor Paaror Agnixur – Poetry Collection, 1971



  • Background of Assamese Architecture


In honor of Agarwala's contributions to Assamese literature and film, the Government of Assam issued a commemorative stamp of Agarwala in 2004. It was pushed for by the AGP and approved by the Prime Minister of India in mid-2004.[6]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Piracy, bad halls, poor story-line killing Assamese cinema. The Hindu. 20 September 2006
  2. ^ PadmaHriday Sangrakshan Sangrahalay Life
  3. ^ PadmaHriday Sangrakshan Sangrahalay Music
  4. ^ Joymati (1935). IMDB
  5. ^ Jyotiprasad Agarwala (1903–1951). IMDB
  6. ^ Centre clears stamp on Jyoti Prasad NENA – 22 July 2003

External linksEdit