Hemchandra Barua was a name to a person, but his contributions towards assamese
language were not less than a complete institution. He is like a father to the language.
Hemchandra Barua was born in Sibsagar in 1836. His father was Muktaram Barua whom he lost in his
childhood, was grown up under his uncle's supervision. Uncle Lakhinath Barua worked with
Deputy Commissioner of Sibsagar. Grown up Hemchandra also joined the same office and this is
where he came in touch with Captain Brodie, then D.C. of Sibsagar. Captain Brodie taught him English langauge
and culture with the help of the Christian missionaries. He then joined the group of 'Arunodoi',
first Assamese magazine, and started studying on Assamese language, alphabets, scripts, etc.
He was very talented and detrmined towards his goals. That is the reason why every Assamese
still remembers all of his creations.
His first publication was 'Axomiya Byakaran'(Assamese grammar)
in 1859. In 1873 he published 'Adipath'. Then came 'Pathmala'
and in 1886 'Axomiya loraar byakaran(Grammaer for assamese children)'. All these books were accepted
as text books to school and also awrded by the British Government. In 1892 he published 'Porhaxaliya
Abhidhaan'(School Dictionary). But his greatest work was the first Assamese-English Dictionary
'Hemkosh' which was published in 1900 after his death. This dictionary is not only a pride to
Assamese people but also the base of Assamese language till date.
Hemchandra Barua, also know as Hem Barua, was influenced by the western culture and made
friendship with many British personals. Along with the refomation of the Assamese language,
he took active participation in the social reformation of then Assamese society.
This can be found in various of his articles and books. 'Bahire rong song, bhitore kuwabhaturi'
is such a book. His 'Kaniya Kirtan' published in 1861 was dark picture of opium addiction in the
society. He also translated a book 'Way to health' in Assamese and also edited 'Assam News' from 1883 to 1885.
His social revolutionary can be found in his personal as he never married second time after
early demise of his wife as a protest to the hatred of Hinduism on widow-marriage.
This great personality of Assam passed away in 1897.