BARPETA, Jan 10 - The Bhattadev University Demand Committee with its head office at Byaskuchi Satra in Barpeta district has urged the Governor of Assam, Banwarilal Purohit to intervene in the process of determining the place of the proposed Bhattadev University. A delegation of the committee led by its president Anath Chandra Barman and working president Harendra Nath Deka met the Governor at the Raj Bhawan recently and handed over a memorandum narrating the legitimacy of their demand to establish the proposed university at Byaskuchi Satra, the one and the only satra established by Bhattadev himself.
The memorandum stated that Bhattadev not only established his lone satra at Byaskuchi, but spent his valuable and creative period there and left for his heavenly abode at Byaskuchi in 1638 AD. The doyen of the prose literature composed the famous Katha Bhagawata, the prose form of the epic Srimadbhagawata, the Katha Gita and many more valuable books during his stay at Byaskuchi. Bhattadev established a Sanskrit tol there with a view to impart the knowledge of the scriptures to the masses.
“There is a controversy among the scholars and the elite sections of Assam regarding the place of birth of the great reformer, scholar, writer and academician. The scholars are a divided lot on this issue and their views reflect ambiguity. But there is no controversy regarding the place of death of Bhattadev and everyone unanimously acknowledges that the saint left for his heavenly abode at Byaskuchi Satra in 1638,” the memorandum stated.
The great saint is still remembered with due honour and great reverence by the people of Byaskuchi and its surrounding areas. Both the birth and death anniversaries of the great scholar and academician are observed at Byaskuchi Satra with full religious fervour. The death anniversary on the 7th of the lunar fortnight in the month of Pousha in the Assamese almanac is observed with a five-to-seven daylong programme. All the rituals including the pindadaan are performed then. A memorial meet with presence of scholar in Vedic literature and culture and publication of a souvenir are indispensable parts of the celebration.
All the belongings and creation of the saint are still preserved in Byaskuchi Satra with utmost care. These include the Baba’r Ghar (the original residence of Bhattadeva), padasila ( the stones he used to sit during preachings), Guru Asan (The altar), Basudev Bigraha (the idol of Lord Krishna) and the manuscripts on Sanchi Paat in original.
“We can boldly claim that we have kept Bhattadev alive till now and are committed to so in the days to come.”
Referring to the surrounding areas of Byaskuchi Satra, the memorandum stated that the entire Sarukshetri subdivision where the satra is situated carries a glorious legacy. The area is depleted with several satra institutions. Great Vaishnavite saints Sri Sri Sankardeva, Sri Sri Madhabdeva, Sri Sri Harideva and Sri Sri Damodardeva visited the area during their lifetime. As far as political consciousness and patriotism of the people of the area is concerned, the Peasants Movement, the prelude to the Independence struggle erupted here on the January 24, 1894 here.
But it a matter of concern that no Government in the State has attended properly to the development of the area, which is rich in culture and tradition. The roads of the area are in a shamble and lack even a district-level institution not to speak of a State-level one. Lack of development in terms of infrastructure is said to be the main reason of negligence and deprivation from other activities like education, industry and administration.
“If the lack of infrastructure is the reason behind the negligence then it is also the responsibility of the Government to improve the infrastructure first. But we have noticed that the meaning of development has become to develop the developed areas and neglect the backward,” the memorandum stated and hoped that the establishment of the university will necessitate other allied services to develop.
The committee lamented that the expert committee constituted by the State Government to determine the place of the university during their visit to Barpeta district in December last did not arrive at Byaskuchi for an on-the-spot study of the ground reality.
They exhorted the Governor to intervene in the matter so that Bhattadev gets due recognition and honour and the deprived folk of the area get justice. “If the university after Madhabdeva is at Narayanpur his birth place and another one after Rabindranath Tagore at Hojai, why not the university after Bhattadeva at Byaskuchi Satra,” they argued and concluded, “ If the Government really wants to pay tribute to Bhattadev by a university its place should be Byaskuchi without any controversy.”