GUWAHATI, Aug 20 - The Assamese people would remain grateful to Saint Srimanta Sankaradeva for millennia to come for his evergreen and great contributions towards strengthening the edifice of Assamese culture and civilisation for all time to come.
This observation was made by Prof Baba Prasad Chaliha, Indologist and retired Professor of Assamese at the Gauhati University, while acknowledging the felicitation accorded to him by a galaxy of distinguished persons on the occasion of his 85th birthday at his residence today.
The meeting was presided over by DN Chakravartty, president of the Bhaba Prasad Chaliha Trust.
Prof Chaliha said that the Assamese people should be rightly proud of their great inheritance of a rich language and a great culture dating back to 2,000 years. He also referred to the immortal contributions of Sankaradeva, Madhabdev and the succeeding band of great writers like Lakshminath Bezbaroa, Padmanath Gohain Baruah, Jyotiprasad Agarwala, Krishna Kanta Handiqui and the modern writers like Navakanta Barua, Saurabh Chaliha, Dr Birendra Kumar Bhattacharya, Dr Bhabendranath Saikia, and woman writers like Nalinibala Devi, Mamoni Raisom Goswami and Dr Nirmalprabha Bardoloi.
Chakravartty in his remarks said Prof Chaliha represented the beauty and majesty of Assamese culture and stood as a valiant defender of the dignity and honour of the Assamese people.
Dr Bhubaneswar Deka in his speech narrated the literary contributions of Prof Chaliha, while Kamalakanta Bora, secretary of the trust, welcomed the guests.
Kanak Sen Deka, former president of Asam Sahitya Sabha released a book on Prof Chaliha and described him as a distinguished scholar and a great gentleman.
Dr Dipak Kumar Sarma, Vice Chancellor, Kumar Bhaskar Barma Sanskrit University, while presenting the Chaliha Educational Award, dwelt at length on the contributions of Prof Chaliha as an oriental scholar and his extensive writings on Sankaradeva and Madhabdev.
Preetirekha Bhuyan, who secured the highest marks in Assamese in MA under Gauhati University, was awarded Rs 10,000 as part of the award.
Dr Dipamoni Baruah of GU also addressed the meeting. Moloya Bharali presented a Lokageet and modern songs.