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National seminar on Sankardeva’s contributions

 GUWAHATI, Nov 27 – A national seminar on ‘Srimanta Sankardeva’s contributions’ was held at Madhupur Than, Cooch Behar, under the aegis of the Society for Srimanta Sankaradeva on November 23. Several scholars from both Assam and West Bengal spoke on the life and works of Sankaradeva in the seminar. The scholars from West Bengal were Prasenjit Barman, former MP and member of the Cooch Behar Debottar Trust, Himadri Sankar Bhattacharjee of Cooch Behar, Dr Nripendra Nath Paul of Cooch Behar and Sachindra Nath Roy of Cooch Behar. This was stated in a press release.

 Prasenjit Barman said that the history of West Bengal was incomplete without Srimanta Sankardeva. It was suggested by Sachindra Nath Roy that a centre of research on Srimanta Sankardeva be set up at Madhupur Than. Himadri Sankar Bhattacharjee said that the priests of Cooch Behar even now recited verses composed by the saint.

There were numerous suggestions by the participants to make Madhupur a centre of attraction. Extension of the railway line and setting up of a railway station were demanded. It was opined that the works of Srimanta Sankardeva should be translated into Bengali. The scholars attending the event said in unison that Srimanta Sankardeva did not belong to Assam alone. Prasenjit Barman declared that the saint belonged to the world. Sachindra Nath Roy said that a central university should be set up in Madhupur so that the glory of this place spreads far.

Dr Kandarpa Kumar Deka, Vice Chancellor of the Mahapurusha Srimanta Sankaradeva Viswavidyalaya, inaugurated the seminar. He said that the multifaceted contributions of the saint had no match. An exhibition of sanchipat, masks etc., was held as a part of the event. The exhibition was inaugurated by Rajanikanta Dutta, Padadhikar of Srimanta Sankardeva Sangha. He appreciated the works of the society and assured that the sangha would stand beside the society in its effort to spread the message of Srimanta Sankardeva.

The seminar was attended by Jitendra Pradhani, the newly-elected president of the Asom Sattra Mahasabha and Babul Bora, chief secretary of the Srimanta Sankaradeva Sangha. Eminent author Dr Karabi Deka Hazarika, professor of Assamese, Dibrugarh University, also participated in the seminar. Lakhikanta Mahanta, Satradhikar of Madhupur Than, Padma Mahanta, Satradhikar, and Bhabendra Nath Deka, Upa-Padadhikar of Srimanta Sankardeva Sangha, also attended the event. Lakhikanta Mahanta lit the ceremonial lamp to start the proceedings. He expressed great satisfaction over the event and exhorted the people of Assam to take care of the Madhupur Than.

There was a lecture-cum-demonstration of Satriya Nritya by Prateesha Suresh from Mumbai in the event. Eminent artiste Pabitrapran Bora performed Sutradhari Nritya. Manoj Kumar Das of Barpeta gave a solo khol recital. Kamal Krishna Barua, Pranjit Boruah and Lalita Barman, artistes of the Srimanta Sankaradeva Sangha, performed different items of Sankari dance and music. Ranjan Bezbaruah recited ‘Totay’ and also the Sanskrit translation of a Borgeet in the event. The promo-version of a CD by him was also released in the event. The devotees of Sankardev Namghar, Kokrajhar, performed naam-kirtan. The local devotees of Madhupur also performed naam-kirtan.

Dr Sanjib Kumar Borkakoti, president of the Society for Srimanta Sankaradeva, conducted the seminar. Earlier, he hoisted the flag of the society. He said in his concluding comments that the history of Assam and West Bengal was closely linked and the role of Srimanta Sankaradeva was crucial for West Bengal too. Hence, the West Bengal Government should introduce the life and works of Srimanta Sankardeva in the curriculum, he said. Palash Pratim Bora, an active member of the society offered the vote of thanks. He hoped that the movement started by the Society for Srimanta Sankaradeva would become a mass movement.

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