GUWAHATI, Dec 27 - Since time immemorial birds have been an intrinsic part of human societies, finding adequate reflection in works of art, literature, sculpture, painting, and in traditions and heritage. In Assam and the North East also, birds have enjoyed a conventional association in folklore, art and craft, besides literature.
This and many other interesting information on the link between birds and mankind as evidenced through diverse art and literature forms has come alive in an exhaustive volume on birds connecting them with local lore, literature, art, etc.
The book � Amar Sahitya Sanskritit Charai-Chirikatir Katha � written by Dr Bhupen Deka was formally released by litterateur and former Asam Sahitya Sabha president Dr Nagen Deka at a function held at the Vivekananda Kendra auditorium this evening.
In his speech, Dr Saikia termed the volume as an unprecedented endeavour and the culmination of years of painstaking efforts on the part of the author � something that that fulfilled a long-standing need of Assamese literature and would rekindle people�s interest in birds in a different manner.
�There are authentic, scientific books on birds in Assamese, as also in other languages. But prior to Dr Deka�s wonderful and meticulous work tracing and celebrating our age-old involvement with the winged angels, Assamese literature never had such a volume,� Dr Saikia said.
Pointing out that birds have enjoyed a traditional bonding with different cultures � more so in tribal societies such as those in Assam and other parts of the North East that have sustained in close harmony with nature � Dr Saikia said that the book would provide research-oriented information as well as sheer reading pleasure.
While the book largely deals with the role of birds in art, literature, traditions and cultures of Assam and the North East, it also gives adequate references to the connection between birds and societies across the globe from the earliest times of human civilization to the present day.
�From cave paintings to epics and in literature, sculpture and diverse art forms, birds have enjoyed innumerable reference as well as elaboration. The book has covered all these in a manner that is unique and exceptional,� he said.
Conservationist Moloy Baruah said that through the book the writer presented the world of birds to the reader in an altogether different manner. �This, in turn, will renew our interest in nature and wildlife from a different perspective,� he said.
Kanak Chandra Sarma, in his address, said that the book � against the bleak backdrop of destruction of the natural environment together with its myriad components, including wildlife � would give a new impetus to the conservation movement.
�The book will make us think that development will be meaningless unless we learn to be sensitive to nature and its needs,� he added.
The author, Dr Deka, while giving an account of the efforts that had gone into the making of the volume, said that people�s attachment with birds was an enduring tradition in most societies. �This is testified to by the wealth of information on birds in our literature, both oral and written, besides in folklore, cultures, traditions and varied art forms,� he said.