GUWAHATI, Aug 21 - The glorious contributions of Indian thinkers and philosophers since the days of the Upanishads were discussed at a function held at the Vivekananda Kendra here to mark the 84th birthday of oriental scholar and retired Professor of GU Bhaba Prasad Chaliha on Sunday. The function was presided over by journalist DN Chakravartty who is also president of the Chaliha Manabatabadi Sanstha.
Chief guest Dr Mukta Biswas, Professor of Sanskrit of GU, dwelt at length on how Indian thinkers two thousand years ago had visualised the concept of humanity and humanism long before many countries of the world that were slumbering in the darkness of ignorance of superstition.
The sages of the Upanishad days had said mankind had a predestined goal to attain divinity in the course of one�s mortal existence on earth, Dr Biswas pointed out. The Upanishads elaborated on how from the state of savagery man advanced to the state of intellectual illumination and spiritual sublimation in his voyage towards divinity.
Chakravartty, in his presidential address, said that India could be proud of coining first the words �humanity� and �humanism� when Europe was submerged in ignorance and savagery. India scaled the heights of moral and spiritual excellence, sublimating life of the entire nation, he added.
Referring to the illustrious career of scholar Chaliha, he said that the oriental scholar who has over 50 publications to his credit, had established himself as an ideal teacher and an accomplished writer.
Dr Banikanta Sarma, Eli Ahmed and Mridula Saharia paid tributes to Chaliha and hoped he would continue to wield his pen relentlessly.
Srimanta Sankar Mission of Nagaon was awarded Rs 50,000 for its services by the Chaliha Trust. Lambodar Hazarika and Kamakhya Prasad Chaliha received the donation on behalf of the Mission. Earlier, Kamalakanta Bora welcomed the guests. Nandita Chaliha, wife of Chaliha, offered the vote of thanks.