Jyoti Prasad Agarwala: The Father of Assamese Cinema

Jyoti Prasad Agarwala was an Indian playwright, songwriter, poet, writer, and filmmaker, best known as the father of Assamese cinema. He was born on June 17, 1903, in Tamulbari Tea Estate in Tezpur, Assam, and died on January 17, 1951, in Gauhati, Assam.

Early Life and Education

Jyoti Prasad Agarwala was born to Paramananda Agarwala and Kiranmoyee Agarwala in a small village in Tezpur, Assam. His father was a lawyer and a notable figure in the region. Jyoti Prasad Agarwala completed his schooling from Tezpur Mission School and went on to study at Cotton College in Guwahati, Assam. He was an excellent student and showed a keen interest in literature and the arts from a young age.


Jyoti Prasad Agarwala began his career as a writer and a poet, and his work soon gained recognition throughout Assam. He was the first to introduce modern Assamese poetry and is widely considered one of the greatest poets in the Assamese language. He was also a playwright and wrote several plays that were performed throughout the region.

In 1935, Jyoti Prasad Agarwala produced and directed Joymoti, the first Assamese language film. The film was a historical drama based on the life of Ahom princess Joymoti, who was executed by the Ahom king for refusing to divulge the whereabouts of her husband. The film was a landmark in the history of Assamese cinema and helped establish it as a legitimate art form.

After the success of Joymoti, Jyoti Prasad Agarwala went on to produce and direct several more films, including Indramalati (1939) and Piyali Phukan (1948). He also composed music for his films and wrote many of the songs himself. His contributions to the development of Assamese cinema have been recognized by the Indian government, and he has been posthumously awarded the Padma Shri.

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Jyoti Prasad Agarwala’s contributions to the arts and culture of Assam are immeasurable. He is widely regarded as the father of Assamese cinema and is celebrated for his contributions to literature, music, and theater as well. He was a pioneer in his field and inspired generations of artists and filmmakers to follow in his footsteps. Today, his legacy lives on through the many films, plays, and songs he created, which continue to inspire and entertain audiences in Assam and beyond.


Jyoti Prasad Agarwala was a visionary artist and filmmaker whose contributions to the arts and culture of Assam are unparalleled. He was a pioneer in the field of Assamese cinema and introduced modern Assamese poetry to the world. His work continues to inspire and entertain audiences today, and his legacy will live on for generations to come.

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