GUWAHATI, Feb 10 – Noted Sankaradeva scholar and leading Sattriya exponent Prof Keshavananda Deva Goswami was accorded a warm felicitation at a largely attended function held at the Shraddhanjali Park, RG Baruah Road here on Sunday on the occasion of his 86th birth anniversary. The function was presided over by former judge of the Gauhati High Court Justice Dhiresh Narayan Choudhury.
In fact, going by his astrological records (kundali) it was the noted scholar’s 88th birth anniversary, but going by his school records, it was his 86th birth anniversary, said president of the felicitation committee Dr Surya Das in his address. Dr Das released the compilation of the selected works of Prof Deva Goswami. The compilation has been edited by Dr Jayjyoti Goswami.
Addressing the function, Dr Saradananda Deva Goswami, younger brother of Prof Deva Goswami, said that during his childhood, the noted scholar used to sculpt idols of the gods and goddesses using the sculptor’s clay available in a wetland near their Bali Sattra home.
In his address, Nrityacharyya Jatin Goswami described how Prof Goswami changed the taals of eleven songs composed by Srimanta Sankaradeva for his Keligopal Ankiyanaat to make them suitable for dance, keeping intact their original ragas. Prof Deva Goswami could perform that feat so easily and with such prudence that it made many people spellbound, said the Nrityacharyya.
Dr Naren Kalita, an ex-pupil of Prof Deva Goswami, who is also known for his scholarly pursuits in the area of Sattriya culture, spoke on how Prof Deva Goswami used to teach his students in the undergraduate and post-graduate levels. Prof Deva Goswami mastered the art of studying and teaching topics in an enviable manner, said Dr Kalita.
Releasing the book written by Gayatri Devi on the life and works of Prof Deva Goswami, Additional Director General of Assam Police Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta described Prof Goswami as a versatile talent.
Prof Ranjit Kumar Deva Goswami, the Sankaradeva Chair Professor of Tezpur University, spoke on the life and works of Prof Deva Goswami and described the latter to be a genius. He has a balanced stock of theoretical and practical knowledge of Sattriya culture.
Several organisations, Sattra institutions and individuals extended greetings to Prof Deva Goswami on the occasion and they included – the Guwahati District Committee of the Asam Sattra Mahasabha, Paltanbazar Srimanta Sankaradeva Kristi Bikash Samiti, Nartan Kala Kendra, Dhalar Sattra, Jokai Sattra, noted children’s litterateur Gagan Adhikari on behalf of the Kawoimari Sattra, Tabiul Hussain, Nikumani Hussain, among others.
Several individuals from different parts of the state representing several communities like the tea tribes communities, immigrant Muslims, Tiwas, among others, spoke on the greatness of Prof Deva Goswami as a man.
In reply to the felicitation, Prof Deva Goswami said that he has been drawing inspiration from the love and affection of the people.
On the occasion, Borgeets and Sattriya dances were performed by Prof Deva Goswami’s disciples, who included Krishna Goswami, Stutibani Thakuria, Anudhruti Mahanta, Naren Barua and his troupe, Tarali Das, Pritilekha Choudhury, Jalimoni Saikia, among others. Picturisation of a song written by Prof Deva Goswami for the yet to be released film Nadi Matho Boi directed by Saurabh Mahanta, was also screened on the occasion.