SIVASAGAR, June 28 - Prof Sarat Mahanta was not confined to dates and years of history textbooks but was involved in all social issues besides being a member of the Assam Human Rights Commission, political analyst Dr Arupjyoti Chowdhury of Krishna Kanta Handiqui State Open University said while delivering the 5th Prof Sarat Mahanta Memorial Lecture recently.
During the lecture at the Madhov Chandra Bezbaruah Hall in Sibsagar College, Dr Chowdhury said there were three distinct phases of development of culture and sub-national economy in Assam � pre-colonial, colonial and post colonial phases.
In the pre-colonial phase, the agrarian economy was completely owned by the Ahom kings who through the Paik and Khel systems maintained a stranglehold over the peasants.
In the colonial period after 1826, the British exploited all possible resources, imposed taxes on oil, forest resources, coal, tea and arable land. Since culture is inextricably linked with the mode of production, there was no flourishing of culture during the period.
In the post-colonial period too, there was no serious attempt to link culture with production. Knowledge of traditional artifacts, doll-making, bamboo and wood craft, if utilised properly, can be a boost to economy, he said.
The meeting, presided over by Dr Soumerjyoti Mahanta, Principal of Sivasagar Commerce College, was inaugurated by Sivasagar Deputy Commissioner Pallov Gopal Jha.
Thowra MLA Kushal Duwori, Sibsagar College Principal Dr Prafulla Kalita, SP (Kamrup Rural) Partha Sarathi Mahanta, Sivasagar SP Subudh Sonowal, and many others attended the event.
Nina Mahanta, wife of late Prof Sarat Mahanta, lit the ceremonial lamp to inaugurate the session, while Dr Amarjyoti Mahanta released Dr Sabyasachi Mahanta�s book Swadhinatar Xat Daxak. Fitness expert Rajnish Goswami and journalist Joydeep Majumdar were felicitated at the meeting. Meritorious student Rima Hazarika received an award from a fund offered by Dr Upasana Mahanta, Associate Professor at OP Jindal Global University, Delhi, and the daughter of Prof Sarat Mahanta.