Translated from Assamese and introduced by Aruni Kashyap
“Indira Goswami is one of those rare figures whose achievements as a writer are closely paralleled by their accomplishments as a social and political activist.” —Amitav Ghosh
Indira Goswami’s last work of fiction, The Bronze Sword of Thengphakhri Tehsildar is the heroic tale of a Bodo freedom fighter who was, arguably, the first woman revenue collector, a tehsildar, in British India. Set in late 19th-century Assam, Thengphakhri is a fascinating character that the author recreated from folklore and songs and stories that she’d heard in her childhood. The image of the protagonist, galloping across the plains of Bijni kingdom in lower Assam to collect taxes for the British, is a compelling one and one that inspires awe and admiration.
Indira Goswami has woven a complex tale wherein the foundations of the colonial rulers were shaken by insurgents seeking freedom across Assam just before the rise of the Indian National Congress