Guwahati, May 2: Assamese culture is vibrant, inclusive on the ascendancy, and there is no chance of it being submerged by any other culture, including Bengali culture. Stating this while delivering the 5th Professor Sarat Mahanta Memorial Lecture on ‘Recasting Assamese-Bengali Relationship: A New Perspective’ here on Tuesday, Tripura Governor Tathagata Roy underlined the need for Bengalis to learn about Assamese culture, a press release stated.
Roy said that Assam is a “great land of many ethnicities, cultures and religions” and has to remain so. For that, the interests of the indigenous Assamese people have to be protected. He also highlighted the need to propagate Assamese culture beyond the borders of the state. “It is unfortunate that students outside Assam are not taught about the great sons of Assam like Lachit Borphukan, Tarun Ram Phookan and Lakshminath Bezbaruah,” he said. Roy, who started his keynote address in Assamese, dwelt on the need for “trans-provincial understanding of cultures”.
Assam Governor Jagdish Mukhi paid rich tributes to Professor Sarat Mahanta and dwelt on his work as a academic, a historian, a journalist and a Xatradhikar. Assam finance minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma stressed on the similarities between Assamese and Bengali cultures and their being integral parts of the greater Indian culture. He spoke of the converge of teachings of Srimanta Sankardev and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and the Vedic culture that binds all the cultures together. Sarma said that many eminent Assamese and Bengalis strove to cement ties between the two cultures and had worked for greater understanding and unity between the two cultures and communities. The two cultures are also distinct and while maintaining their distinctiveness, we should work for unity between the two communities that will strengthen the unity and integrity of the country as a whole.
Agriculture Minister Atul Bora spoke of his personal association with Professor Sarat Mahanta. “He (Professor Mahanta) was a courageous, straight-speaking and multi-faceted personality who was adept at finding solutions to even very complex problems,” said Bora. The Minister also termed Professor Mahanta as a prominent exponent of Xatriya culture.
The memorial lecture was also attended by Ministers Pijush Hazarika and Bhabesh Kalita, Lok Sabha MP Pradan Barua, legislator Satyabrata Kalita, Advisor to CM Hrishikesh Goswami, top bureaucrats and police officers, senior academics and prominent personas from various walks of life. The programme was moderated by renowned actress Jerifa Wahid while a brilliant dance recital depicting the ten avatars of Bhagwan Vishnu was presented by danseuse Mridusmita Das and her team with renowned singer Zublee Barua rendering the background score.