The story of A FIERY journey is set at the backdrop of the Students’ Movement in Assam at its culminating point as well as the parallel growth of a Secessionist Movement which, in the course of time, came to be identified as the ULFA. The protagonist Nilutpal Baruah was involved in the Students’ Movement. It was the motivating and mesmerizing speech of the firebrand leader Prabhat Mazumdar which inspired young Nilutpal to join the secessionist group. At the initial stage his goal was clear. He had joined the ‘Armed Movement’ to free his motherland Assam from the grasp of autocracy and exploitation by ‘outsiders’. But, in due course of time, his targeted goal became hazy. Active involvement with many incidents of kidnapping, assassination, attack on state security forces, etc., compelled him to think twice whether to go on in the path of destruction or to step back and return to the mainstream of the society. However, from his grandfather, who was a veteran freedom fighter and revolutionary, he could realize the difference between revolution for the cause of social reform and for secession from homeland.
In fact, novelist Kanaksen Deka has tried to explore inner conflict of those characters who have willingly joined secessionist movement and also those who have a ‘Reason’ to join to express their grievance against society. Meticulous projections of conflict on some issues have given a constructive critical outlook to the story. Over and above A fiery journey has a message to convey. Secessionist movement not only disrupts the smooth flow of welfare activities within the society, but it also affects and burdens the individual’s soul from outside as well as within the secessionist group. The novel has a lot to offer to the reader from a global perspective.
Sri Deka was the president of Asom Sahitya Sabha, the highest literary organization of the Northeast India, for two terms from 2005 till 2009. A recipient of many national awards, Sri Deka has also been honoured with the honorary D.Litt degree by the Assam Downtown University, Guwahati, in 2016. He has also been honoured with the prestigious Sankaradeva award by the Government of Assam in 2016. Apart from that, he was also honoured with Sambadsurjya and Sambadjyoti by the media fraternity. In 2005 the Government of India honoured him with Padmashri that he refused to accept for his own reason.