GUWAHATI, March 28 � The annual general meeting of the Delhi branch of Asam Sahitya Sabha was held on March 25 with a day-long programme at the Shreemanta Sankardev Bhawan, a press release stated.
The programme began with the unfurling of the Sahitya Sabha flag by Dr Malaya Khaund, president of the Sahitya Sabha Delhi branch. She also presided over the first session. This was the first annual meeting held after the branch was formed in 1995.
Paban Singh Ghatowar, Minister of DoNER was the chief guest and Dr Nandita Bose, Professor in Modern Indian Language and literary studies, Delhi University and Dr Justice (retd) Mukundakam Sarma were the guests of honour respectively.
The proceedings commenced with lighting of lamps followed by community singing of Seero Senehi Mor Bhasa Janani. Kulaswami Lalwari, general secretary, while welcoming the guests and participants, gave a brief account of the activities initiated by the branch during the past years.
The president Dr Khaund in her introductory remarks traced the history of the Delhi branch of Asam Sahitya Sabha and paid homage to the Jyanpith awardee late Dr Indira Goswami who was the first president of the branch. Under her leadership a number of national level seminars on Assamese language and literature were organized in which a number of writers of national eminence took part she stated and added that it also started classes to teach Assamese language to those who have had no institutional facility to do so.
Paban Singh Ghatowar, Minister of DoNER released the inaugural issue of Kisalaya, the mouthpiece of the branch and edited by Pratima Thakuria.
Speaking as the chief guest, Ghatowar lauded the efforts made by the Delhi branch for promotion of Assamese literature and culture. He emphasized that every Assamese, particularly the new generation, must learn to respect their mother-tongue and contribute towards development of our rich linguistic and literary tradition. Ghatowar suggested that the Sabha should take up a scheme to have the rare and most popular literary works in Assamese translated into other Indian languages. He also suggested about publication of a well-documented book which would present a total picture of cultural, spiritual, literary and political heritage of Assam.
Dr Mukundakam Sarma briefly traced the evolution of Assamese language and literature from the 7th century to the present time and suggested that the Sahitya Sabha should bring out a comprehensive book on this subject so that the world outside can have an idea of the highly developed Assamese literature. He also laid stress on broader and more systematic studies of Anandaram Baruah's contribution to Assamese language and literature.
Prof Nandita Bose, who has written substantial volume on the works of Dr Indira Goswami, in her speech recalled her association with Assam's literary world and spoke about its richness. She opined that the best in that literature should be compiled and translated into other languages.
The second session was a discourse on literature. Participating in the discussion Chida Das dwelt at length on the lyrics, drama and songs of late Parbati Prasad Baruah whom Das described as a unique creator of sweet melody. He brought out the rare qualities of two of his plays and a number of songs and poems.
Ratnopama Das of Delhi University's MIL Department, delivered a highly informative, educative and analytical speech on 'Literature and the tribal world'. She quoted extensively from Indian and foreign literatures to make her point that not many books picturing authentically the socio-cultural traits and the nuances and values of life of the tribal people have been written except Dr Birendra Baruah K Bhattacharyaya's Yaruingam, Gopinath Mahanti's Dadiburah and a few others. She suggested that tribal writers should come out to write novels with themes centering round their own ethnic groups.
Mitali Barman, lecturer in the MIL Department of Delhi University, spoke on folk tales with particular reference to Bezbaruah's Buri Aaitar Sadhu. She stated that besides the attractive style of narration, interesting use of similes and the type of language used these folk tales carry certain morals which are conducive to growth of character of young minds. This genre has timeless relevance. Hiranya Das made a lively commentary on the literary quality of Dr Bhupen Hazarika's songs, poems and prose writings. He said that a proper evaluation of Dr Hazarika's literary creations which are unique, was long overdue and Sahitya Sabha should take up this task. JK Hazarika, renowned artist, moderated the discussions which were absorbing and lively.
The third session was on poetry and Dr Bipul Baruah, himself a distinguished poet, acted as moderator. The session began with reading out a self composed poem by Dr Baruah followed by Prodip Goswami, Sarat Borkakoty, Manik Das, Debajit Das, Dani Gam, Dr Reeta Baruah, Rim Pathak, Trishna Barkakati and others.
The day's programme concluded with a very colourful cultural show of rhythm and traditional dances ending up with a Bihu dance. The show was presented by local artists.