Silchar: The two-day international conference with special focus on ‘land in literature and literature of land’ of northeast India and South East Asia organized by the department of English, Gurucharan College here concluded on Wednesday. The theme and sub-themes which came up for deliberations by learned teachers, scholars, and researchers from different colleges and universities at home and abroad evinced keen interest among both participants and the curious audience assembled at the auditorium of the premier college. The inaugural function began with the college song sung by a group of students.
Inaugurating the conference, the second of its kind by English department, Prof Avik Gupta, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Assam University, speaking as chief- guest, laid stress on the need and importance of such conference to debate on contemporary and relevant topics. The theme and sub-themes selected for discussion are interesting and absorbing. The northeast abounds with various tribes and sub-tribes, communities and folklores which besides providing a kaleidoscopic view also offers wide and varied food for thought for writing. Very enriched literature has been created on them.
Prof Jyoti Lal Chowdhury, governing body president said, “Our valley of Barak is invariably a treasure trove for research works which is inhabited by 16 different tribes migrating from various northeast states and beyond its frontiers. The recently dug out manuscripts retell about our classical epics like Ramayan, Mahabharat, Gita, and Purana among others. These can be further studied for more exploratory works.” Another case study, as he pointed out, can be about the settlement of 45 Portuguese families at Badarpur, 32 km from here. Research work should be the exploration of the unexplored not shifting the bones from one grave to grave, he pointed out.
Prof KC Baral, former director of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies, who also teaches at the department of comparative literature and Indian studies, EFLU, Hyderabad, found the theme of the conference quite enlivening and enlightening. Dr. Pantho Priyo Dhar, head department of English and coordinator, said in post-colonial Asian spaces, different definitions of land, country, nation, and region have crisscrossed the ruptured trajectory of cultural identity formation. He added to say all across northeast India and Southeast Asia, the complex processes of the configuration of land has been at the heart of an intricate network of literary and cultural production.
The key-note address was delivered by Prof Sajal Nag, department of History, Assam University. On this occasion, the department’s research journal, Literaria, was released. The inaugural session was conducted by Prof Mehdi Hasan Choudhury. The two-day conference was sponsored by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies, Kolkata, and supported by Silchar based North East India Company under its Iravati Memorial Grants 2019-20. Around 50 research papers were presented and discussed at the scholastic sessions.