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Dr. Satyakam Phukan

Dr. Satyakam Phukan

Being a doctor is a full time job. If not treating patients, one has to keep updating oneself on the latest from medical field. However, there are a few doctors who surprise us all with their involvement in a host of other activities, drastically different from medicine.

Consultant surgeon, Dr Satyakam Phukan from Guwahati, Assam is one such medico. An alumnus of Guwahati Medical College, this tech-savvy doctor is not only an active blogger on a wide array of topics but also a published author. And no, his writings are not restricted to medical science. His work on the linguistic heritage of Assamcan be seen in an array of leading Assamese newspapers, magazines and even in the Assam State Museum journal besides many souvenirs. Just a glance through them gives us an idea of the vast amount of research that must have gone into them.

Dr. Phukan says that his deep interest in the historical and linguistic heritage of his state, Assam, has prompted his writings to a huge extent. He is greatly inspired by the works of Assamese scholars like Kanaklal Barua, Surjya Kumar Bhuyan, Padmanath Gohain Baruah and many others. Besides this, he reveals that his love and inquisitiveness for the Khasi people of Meghalaya, combined with his limited knowledge of the Khasi language, are behind his research and work on the community. He has even authored a book in 2006, ‘Ecossais, the Khasi Saga’ which deals with the ethno-linguistic roots of the Khasi people.

Another very interesting book of Dr.Phukan is ‘Tonkori (Affinities of the Ainu language of Japan with Assamese and some other languages)’. Following the work on the topic done by late Devananda Bharali, ‘Tonkori’ comes up with surprising origins and similarities between seemingly unconnected languages, like Assamese and its connection with the Ainu language of Japan. Similarities are found even in faraway Europe!

Not one to give up his right to freedom of expression, this gutsy doctor has taken to blogging for “ the unfettered expression possible only in internet. The newspapers, periodical people give lot of hindrances.”
Dr. Phukan is not one to turn a blind eye to issues that go against his principles. It is not just history and roots of different cultures and places that occupy his mind. His interests are varied.

Back in the early 90s, as a part of Junior Doctors’ Association (JDA) of Guwahati Medical College and Co-ordination Committee of Junior Doctors Association (CCJDA), he played a major role in a long-drawn litigation the JDA and CCJDA filed against malpractices in Assam’s medical education. Investing his own money,time and energy, Dr.Phukan compiled a report on all the illegalities. After a bitter legal battle, the litigation finally ended successfully in the favour of JDA and CCJDA.

A recent issue he is involved in has to do with authorities of a certain temple in Guwahati who pose a threat to the turtles that inhabit the nearby pond and also the destruction of ancient stone idols inside the temple by the temple management.

Not surprisingly, Dr.Phukan’s work and discoveries, at times, go against the interests of certain people. He admits that controversies are not new to him. He says candidly, “There have been plenty of them in case of all my works related to the Assamese and none in case of the Khasis. The love, affection and recognition I have received from a section of the Khasi intelligentsia inspire me to do further work on the Khasis… just the opposite in case of the Assamese.”
He is now planning to start a website on the noted historian, writer and the first Khasi to get a PhD from Gauhati University, Padmashree Dr Hamlet Bareh Ngapkynta who passed away last year.

This doctor/researcher/activist is a music lover too! He has his very own website, Ri-Mita (Country of the Friends)Melody through which one can download modern songs and music of various indigenous people of Assam and its neighbouring areas for free! Asked about his favorite music artistes, Dr.Phukan is quick to name singers Dolly Ghosh and Jayanta Hazarika.
With so much on his plate, one might wonder how Dr. Phukan finds time for everything. Well, he himself sums it up the best, “Where there is a will there is a way! Both inspiration and perspiration keep me going…but patients always receive first priority.”

Dr.Satyakam Phukan’s books can be downloaded on

tonkori-book.webnode.com
ecossais-the-khasi-saga.webnode.com

Dr Satyakam Phukan’s blog-
drsatyakamphukan.wordpress.com

Ri-Mita Melody website-
rimitamelody.org

One Response so far.

  1. Tridib R Sarma says:

    Feels good to tell all that Dr Satyakam (satya or Bubu for those like me) was my classmate at school – K V Khanapara (erstwhile K V Gauhati) and for quite sometime we shared the same bench. Its the vagaries of life and quirks of fate that stepped in, we haven’t crossed path in the last couple’o decades. His passion was well known to us in everything out of the box. And being a non-conformist digger of truth, Dr Satya has actually done what he loves doing the best. Salute you, bondhu

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