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Pre-Sankari poets precursors to resurgence

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Dec 7 - The galaxy of pre-Sankari poets flourishing between the later 13th and early 14th centuries including illustrious poets like Hem Saraswati, Madhab Kandali, Kabiratna Saraswati, Harihar Bipra and Rudra Kandali, might indisputably be described as the precursors to the great spiritual resurgence in Assam, and their monumental works could be hailed as the stepping stone on which Srimanta Sankardev and Madhabdev built up the superstructure of the great Vaishnavite movement in Assam and the northeastern region.

This was the consensus of the views expressed at a function organised here yesterday under the auspices of the Assam branch of the Akhil Bharatiya Sahitya Parishad (ABSP). Krishna Raimedhi, president of the State unit of ABSP presided over the function.

Pabitra Kumar Sarma welcomed the guests and Dhiren Sarma, secretary of the State unit, explained the purpose of the function. He also dwelt on the activities of the Parishad in promoting the cause of Assamese literature with special emphasis on strengthening the bond of national unity.

Inaugurating the function, senior journalist DN Chakravartty said classification of the historical events or the whole gamut of literature as ancient, medieval and modern or post-modern would not sound scientific considering the fact that what is modern or post-modern today would turn into medieval after a lapse of five or ten centuries hence.

He, therefore, suggested that a better method should be to refer to any historical event or literary achievements in terms of a particular century and not as modern or medieval. He also spoke on the fragrance of literary excellence which suffused the great poetical works of the 13 and 14th centuries. Chakravartty also released a book, Maha Shakti Durga aru Anyanya, by Mrinalini Devi.

Dr Banikanta Sarma, while speaking on Madhab Kandali, said that it was the historical achievement of the Assamese community that long before Tulsi Das and Chandi Das and other north Indian poets took up their pens, it was Madhab Kandali who introduced the Assamese people to the heavenly glory of Ramchandra by rendering into Assamese the epic of Valmiki.

It was the genius of Madhab Kandali that without distorting the basic structure of Valmiki�s Ramayana, he imparted a special Assamese flavour by introducing new characters and special descriptions.

Dr Dipti Phukan Patgiri, Professor of Gauhati University, while speaking on Hem Saraswati, hailed him as the pioneer in rendering into Assamese the characters from Indian epics and producing monumental works like Prahlad Charitra and Hara-Gauri Sangbad.

Dr Nomita Deka, retired professor of Assamese, dwelt on the literary value of Jayadrath Badhar Kahini by Kaviratna Saraswati. Dr Pranati Talukdar Mudiyar spoke about Rudra Kandali and gave a review of the great work Satyaki Prabesh.

Nripendra Narayan Choudhury, secretary of Guwahati Mahanagar branch of the Parishad offered the vote of thanks.

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