GUWAHATI, Jan 30 � Author and former president of Asam Sahitya Sabha, Dr Lakshminandan Bora today said that the Assamese society � the intellectuals in particular -- failed in establishing Srimanta Sankardev in the global arena.
Dr Bora who was formally releasing a book, Pathabhrasta Hoise Neki Sankar Sangha by Mayur Bora at the Guwahati Press Club, also felt that a mass organization like Sankar Sangha had fallen far short of realizing its potential in the spheres of social, cultural, spiritual and academic uplift of the State and its people.
�Sankar Sangha is a great force with some 30 lakh members but its social, cultural and academic impact as also its role in acquainting the outside world with the genius of Sankardev has not been what one would have expected from such a huge organisation,� Dr Bora said.
Dr Bora said that divisive tendencies gripped the followers of Sankardev as was evident from the many organizations set up supposedly to expand his legacy but often plagued by clash of interests.
�Sankardev stood for a composite Assamese identity. We, particularly the many organizations set up after him, only need to ask ourselves whether we are following his ideals,� he added.
Author Dr Sivanath Barman who was a distinguished guest on the occasion lauded the book as �a bold step in constructive criticism� which the Sangha would do well to heed and rectify its lapses and weaknesses.
Urging the Sangha to shed its narrow outlook and agenda and carry forward the 15th-century saint-reformer�s ideals beyond the confines of the naamghar, Dr Barman said that it should take a leaf out of the functioning of organizations like Ramakrishna Mission which had been engaged in commendable socio-economic, cultural and literary pursuits benefitting communities.
Senior journalist Ajit Bhuyan who was the other distinguished guest, in his address, lauded the author for coming up with an �exceptional work that has raised many crucial issues concerning the Sangha�s objectives and functioning�.
Bhuyan said that there had not been adequate evaluation of Sankardev, and the need of the hour was to assess his contributions as a great reformer, author and artiste apart from his identity as a religious preacher.
The author, Mayur Bora dwelt on what he felt were the emerging challenges before Sankar Sangha at a time when the Assamese society was at a crossroads.
�As a well-wisher of the Sangha and as a descendent of a stalwart who was in the forefront of the Sankar Sangha movement, Sanatram Bora, my grandfather, I sincerely want the Sangha to realize its potential and help develop a composite Assamese society bereft of the curse of caste and creed,� Bora said.
Ganesh Nath of Aank-Bak, the publishers, also spoke.