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Public Talk without Felicitation


Public meetings and discussions are integral part of society. It helps to create opinion on various touching issues of the society. Academic institutions always give a good space and platform for the public meetings and discussions.  Colleges and universities are not only to teach educational curriculum. At the same time other key functions of these institutions are to organize various seminar, public talk, discussion etc on various regional, national and global issues. Academic institutions and other governmental, nongovernmental associations are organizing this kind of events in society regularly. But here in this aspect of organizing public meetings or talk economy or fund plays the most vital role. Without economic support no one can organize these types of meetings. It becomes more expensive because of the felicitation ceremony of the guests, experts and other members. So, most of the time college and university students cannot organize this kind of event due to lack of fund.  Specially in most of the colleges and universities of Assam it has become mandatory to felicitate guests and experts of the meeting with assamese traditional gamosha, sarai, japi, bouquet etc.  In the name of refreshment heavy tea party, packet lunch etc have become common in the college and universities. And for this reason students cannot invite guests or experts to the public meetings or talk without the help of donation from faculties, students or from sponsorship.  In this process students generally miss the chance to host important talks and events which are very relevant for the society. Here in this aspect students or college university community can learn a good lesson from Jawaharlal Nehru University which is one of the most premier academic institutions in India. This university is known for the culture of debate and discussion. Every day many talks, public meetings, seminars are held in various premises of university from academic centre to hostel mess, dhabas (restaurant), open space etc. In JNU everyday academic experts, foreign delegates, political leaders, social activists, student leaders etc come to deliver speech on various issues.  But in this university to organize a public talk is not a major financial concern for the students. Here there is no need to offer felicitation to guests or experts with heavy items like some other universities and colleges of India do. Presence of audience is the key felicitation in JNU.  In between most of time experts are served only with a cup of tea.  For instance students from Assam in JNU group invites academicians from Assam or from outside to deliver speech regularly on various issues. They are not felicitated by gamosha or sarai; rather they are warmly welcomed by the presence of students. In the end of the talk or meeting only tea is served.  In JNU for this healthy culture and environment academic centers and students can organize talks and events regularly without taking economic burden.  If the college and university community of Assam take the example of JNU, can develop this culture of debate and discussion easily in the premises of colleges, universities and other places which will be very fruitful for Assam.
Arup Bezbaruah,
Research Scholar,
Jawaharlal Nehru University,
New Delhi.