GUWAHATI, Aug 11 - A memorial event organised on the occasion of the 100th birth anniversary of eminent Indologist, Sanskrit scholar and Parliamentarian Mahamahopadhyaya Dr Biswanarayan Shastri today made a strong pitch for a proper assessment of the monumental contributions made by the scholar, besides preserving his works for posterity.
A host of speakers, including litterateurs Dr Pradip Jyoti Mahanta, Kanak Sarma and Dr Dipak Sarma, Editor of Prantik Pradip Baruah, assistant professor of North Lakhimpur College Hemanta Sarma, social worker Radha Bora and educationist Pabitra Pran Sarma, were unanimous in their view that little had been done to accord due recognition to the great scholar, and that his birth centenary should be the appropriate occasion to pay homage to him through publication, preservation and evaluation of his literary contributions.
The meet also resolved to come up with a volume on the life and contributions of Dr Shastri, besides initiating an annual memorial lecture and holding seminars on his works and accomplishments in and outside the State.
Dr Pradip Jyoti Mahanta said that Dr Shastri�s voluminous and well-researched literary works encompassed and enriched a wide spectrum of the State�s ancient as well as contemporary cultural history and national life. �Writing apart, he edited a number of difficult ancient texts and treatises that reflect his profound scholastic acumen,� he added.
Kanak Sarma, while referring to Shastri�s wide and in-depth study and research, said that it reflected poorly on Assamese society that little was being done to evaluate his contributions, nor was there any effort at preserving his works, including publication of his unpublished writings.
�July 9 marked his death anniversary but not a single memorial meeting was held in Guwahati. This is regrettable. His birth centenary is the right time to begin a series of works to preserve and perpetuate his memory,� he said.
Hemanta Sarma gave an account of the initiatives started by North Lakhimpur College (where Dr Shastri was the founder principal) to keep alive his legacy through an annual memorial lecture, a library and study centre in his name, and a volume on his life and accomplishments.
Khanindra Chandra Das, Pabitra Kumar Sarma, Anal Bezbaruah and Heeramoni Goswami, a young research scholar, also addressed the function.
Earlier, Hiranya Kumar Barman gave the welcome address. The vote of thanks was given by Bela J Chandrani, daughter of Dr Shastri and president of Asom Association of Japan. Lakshmi Goswami presided over the function.