DIGBOI, Feb 3 � Inaugurating the first open meeting of the 7th Special Session of Asam Sahitya Sabha on the Ningrula Samannay Kshetra at Ledo this afternoon, Governor Janaki Ballabh Patnaik called upon the litterateurs of Assam to address the problems of insurgency, communalism, corruption and malpractices plaguing the society.
Quoting William Faulkner, he said, �The poet�s voice need not merely be the record of men, it can be one of the props, the pillars to help him endure and prevail�.
Calling himself an admirer of Assamese culture, he said that the Assamese literature with its gamut of fiction, poetry and drama is not lesser in any manner than the literature of any other Indian State.
He described Asam Sahitya Sabha figuratively as one big banyan tree with its 700 branches giving solace not only to the people living within Assam but also in other parts of the world. Tracing the history of the Sabha, Patnaik noted that it had been enriched as one of the greatest literary organizations of the world with the contributions of various ethnic communities.
Patnaik discovered similarities and correspondences between the Oriya and the Assamese literatures in more ways than one. For example, the Assamese literature of the Vaishnavite era of the 15th century corresponded with the Oriya literature of the Panchsakha period of the same age, he pointed out. Just as the Assamese as a medium of instruction was abolished in Assam in the last decades of the 19th century, Oriya too was abolished as a medium of instruction in schools and colleges at about the same time.
The three leading figures of the Jonaki Age of the Assamese literature � Lakshminath Bezbaroa, Chandra Kumar Agarwala and Hem Chandra Goswami � resembled the personalities of Fakir Mohan Senapati, Radhanath Rai and Madhusudhan Rao in Orissa of the corresponding age.
The first open session began at the end of a memorable cultural procession, which paraded the colourful ethnic vibrancy of the Dehing Patkai region. The Sabha president Rong Bong Terang was welcomed at the entrance of the Sabha ground by a traditional troupe of Gayan Bayan and the troupe escorted him through the ground to the dais in the midst of cheering people.
Dr Shurhozelie Liezietsu, Minister of Higher Technical Education, Nagaland, attended the session as the chief guest. Former Sabha president Prof Nagen Saikia, Kongkani litterateur Dr Damodar Mouz, Dr Prabhakar Kshatriya from New Delhi, Dr RC Behra, along with several other litterateurs from Orissa, Dr VC Ramamurthy from Hyderabad, Dr Bhao Panthi and ten other writers from Nepal, Tage Tada and Takun Tade from Arunachal Pradesh, SM Subba Rao from Tamil Nadu, Dr Ananda Bormudoi, a noted critic, and SS Meenaxi Sundaram, attended the session as distinguished guests.
Our Staff Reporter adds: Asam Sahitya Sabha president Rong Bong Terang today said that it is the time for the Sabha to look eastward. This is the time for adding colour to Assamese language and culture and strengthen them with the cultural elements of the east, he said while delivering the presidential address at the Seventh Special Annual Session of the Sabha at the Ledo Ningrala Khsetra.
The Sabha should undertake the responsibility of projecting the civilisation and culture of the Brahmaputra Valley before the world assembly. The ethnic Sahitya Sabhas should also join hands in this endeavour, he said.
The Sabha, he said, needs to change its modus operandi and schemes to cope with the modern times.