GUWAHATI, Dec 31: Everybody wants to see a new dawn - comprising pieces of works to accomplish in every New Year. There are many who have their eyes set on a new dawn in 2017, and the great minds of the State are no different.
Renowned sculptor Biren Singha feels that it is only through works one can give time its value. Talking to The Sentinel on the eve of the New Year, the sculptor said: "Right now I've much works to do. The war memorial set up in the city is awaiting the finishing touch. I hope to do the job in the New Year. Likewise, a park on a theme based on 'Gandhiji and Charka' is underway at Suwalkuchi. This way, newer works keep coming to me. It's only through works we can give time the value it deserves. I never look back at works that I've accomplished. I feel the pain as much is left to be done after completing a task. Even if I keep working for a decade to do a job, much will be left to be done."
Singha further said: "Our life is mostly a mosaic of art, literature and culture. We've responsibility towards society that is wearing a new look in post-globalization. We've changed a lot in the wave of changes. My service to society is what I do with my hands. In whatever I've done so far I've got energy from people, who never let me run out of steam. This is the reason why I get lost in the very work I do. I do feel the loss of human value in society at present. I keep my hope alive from the new generation. They do a lot."
JORHAT: Famed ISRO scientist JN Goswami is a me that needs no introduction.
Talking to The Sentinel, the scientist said: "Currently I am involved in several Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) projects in advisory capacity. They include the forthcoming Chandrayaan-2 Mission that will be a combition of an Orbiter along with a Lander and a Rover. Apart from development of technology for the Lander and the Rover, this mission will carry a host of instruments (payloads) that will probe several new aspects of the moon. I chaired the advisory committee that defined the science goals of this mission and the payloads that will probe new aspects of the moon. It will be a purely Indian mission scheduled for launch in 2018-19. "I'm also a member of the advisory committee that is formulating the roadmap for future Indian space missions that include a mission to study the Sun and energetic events associated with it that sometimes affects our planet. The mission elements are filized and we may expect it to be executed towards the end of this decade," he said.
Replying to another a question, Dr. Goswami said: "It's important to remember that the primary goal of ISRO is to develop technology that will be helpful for the development of the country. Space exploration is a welcome step and ISRO will support it. However, there is no question of competing with others. The aim is to be self-reliant in all aspects and utilization of the space platform with the focus on development of the country and also provide opportunity to ISRO's science and engineering community to explore beyond the earth."
Reacting to a question on students' science curriculum, the scientist said: "I can't make any specific comments as I do not have much interaction with younger people. The current generation of younger people has been brought up in a different social, cultural and academic atmosphere, and, at many a time, I feel they are much more advanced and smarter than what we were in our younger days. However, I worry about the trend with too much emphasis on information and much lesser effort to synthesize and convert the same to 'knowledge'. This is not useful in the long run."
As his advice to aspiring scientists, Dr. Goswami said: "It's essential to have a mentor to mould a young mind, to appreciate the finer points in all aspects of life, including pursuing a goal to be a scientist. It is also important to have friends with similar attitude and a realization that what you do not know far outweighs what you know. One has to be always on the learning mode, more so in the fast-paced world today. It could be a difficult journey, but has its own reward once you complete your journey."
kokrajhar :Podmashree Kameswar Brahma, noted writer, academician, educationist and Bodo Sahitya Sabha president, is hopeful of peace, integrity and brotherhood getting a fillip in 2017 in the State, especially in the BTAD.
Talking to The Sentinel, Brahma said in 2016 the people in the BTAD witnessed some undesired incidents. He said militant-infested Kokrajhar and Chirang districts have security-related problems. "Social security is a matter of concern in the BTAD, especially in Kokrajhar and Chirang. The government should take a pragmatic approach to end militancy peacefully. I hope that the militant outfits will shun violence and come forward to the negotiation table," he said.
Brahma seems to be elated on the development front in the BTAD. "The people of the BTAD witnessed significant development in various fields. It needs peaceful atmosphere for development of human resources. More is possible if peace prevails in the region," he said, and called upon all sections of people to respect each other's rights and privileges.
GAURISAGAR : For former AXX president Imran Shah, self alysis of his creative works is among the few areas he has in his sight in 2017.
Talking to The Sentinel, he said: "I've no specific plan for the New Year. You know that the creative writings are a flow with age. I'm planning to self alyse my creative writings in the New Year."
When asked on events in the bygone year, he said: "The new generation has been giving interested in creative writing in Assamese, and that makes me happy. At present, we the Assamese people do not corporate with each other as a tion. The present deplorable condition of our society is a self-made disaster. Ethnic issues are burning issues in present day context. Three crore people who comprise the Assamese tion is not a big one. However, they do not doing anything as a whole, and that pains me."
Shah leaves a piece of advice for the younger generation. "A life without art, culture and literature is not a real life at all. It may be a mechanical life. Real life is rich with literature and culture. We all should make the young generation interested to that directions."
On his initiative while holding the post of AXX president, Shah said: "During my tenure as AXX president, I took initiatives to attract new generation and formed seven AXX student branches in different educatiol institutions of my district. The branches are satisfactorily run by the students."
On major problems in the State, he said: "Economic backwardness is the only problem in Assam. All should be economically independent so as to make art and culture will flourish."
JORHAT : Santanoo Tamuly, a pen-me of Dr Pramod Chandra Tamuly, a former Scientist 'G' of Regiol Research Laboratory, Jorhat, CSIR (remed as North East Institute of Science & Technology) is now fully devoted to writing and working for development of children's literature.
Talking to The Sentinel, he said: "Hope, aspiration, change or any other term we may say to welcome a New Year do bring whatsoever is only continuation of our work. Old calendars fade away and we change the year with beautiful, glossy wall hangings. Still I feel an urge to complete the unfinished work in the coming days. Some work could see good finish and still a long list of works remain half done and untouched. In 2016, two of my compilations have seen the light of publication, 'Nirbacita Sadhu Katha', an anthology of selected Assamese tales for children written by the great storytellers - Laksmintath Bezbaruah, Jyotiprasad Agarwalla, Hariprasad Baruah, Troilokeswari Devi Baruani, Sarat Chandra Goswami, Pur Chandra Goswami, Atul Chandra Hazarika, Benudhar Sarmah and others to new generation storytellers. I think children and parents will appreciate the stories of the anthology, brought beautifully by Balata just at the eve of New Year. The second one 'Asomiya Sishu-Sahityar Nirbachita Chutigalpa', an anthology of selected Assamese short stories for children, compiled and edited by me was brought out by Sahitya Akademi, Delhi. I am hopeful that this anthology will help child writers to realize richness of short stories in children literature in our language. In the coming year my third anthology, 'Asomiya Kalpabigyan Galpa Sankalan', the anthology of Assamese Science Fiction Stories, which is in process may come to light."
He said: "Assamese children literature, I still think has not got its respectable place in Assamese literature, unless we work together to bring it to a desired level of academic study. The last two-three years our universities and colleges have introduced courses on Assamese children literature in undergraduate and postgraduate curricula. It is definitely a positives step towards the development of this genre. We need more serious efforts. And I see brightdays of Assamese children literature are ahead".
GUWAHATI : A leading light in the fight against witch-hunting in the State, Birubala Rabha, is a me that means a lot for people who face the wrath of blatant human rights violation.
"If witchcraft is at al a force to be reckoned with, how come the ones branded as witches fall prey to mob fury?" said Birubala Rabha while talking to The Sentinel. The mission against witch-hunt - Mission Birubala, is med after her. "What else will suffice that witchcraft is a farce, so is witch-hunt," she added.
Enumerating the reasons behind the cases of witch-hunting despite the advancement of science and technology, Rabha said: "Still loopholes galore. Awareness, especially among the women, is still a grey area. Women education is something yet to be fully achieved in the State, and it has much to do. Poverty is another reason that has to be blamed for witch-hunting. Even those who're affluent don't want to go to doctors. They rely more on quackery. To cap it all, there're still many areas in the State beyond the reach of medical facilities. Persol rivalry and land disputes also add to the number of such cases. Be it for avenging someone or grabbing someone's land, the purpose is best served through quackery. The government has also failed to rise to the occasion. The Assam Witch Hunting (Prohibition, Prevention and Protection) Bill, 2015 is still to be an Act. Policing is also not that prompt in such cases, maybe, because of lack any Act to tackle the mece. The Coordition Committee against Superstition, Assam has been putting pressure on the Chief Minister to make the proposed Act a reality. I'll continue to struggle with more vigour in the days ahead taking all - students, women and others - along. This is my one and only struggle."
What is her remarkable achievement against witch-hunting is the widespread awareness against the mece in Goalpara district, including Lakhipur and Agia.
On her planning in the New Year to give the mission a fillip, Rabha said: "We need a weapon (an Act) to fight the mece. Even educated lots are involved in instigating the illegal ones towards human rights violation. Without a tough Act against the mece, the fight against it will be tougher. We've our eyes set on the proposed Act. All these may also prove to be a failure if all, including all organizations, don't fight the mece in unison."