[Assam] First English book on Sankardev launched . (The Telegraph, 11.05.2012)
buluassam at yahoo.co.in
Mon May 21 11:31:39 IST 2012
First English book on Sankardev launched
Calcutta, May 10: Every story is
born an orphan. It needs a storyteller for a name, nurture and
recognition. The story of Srimanta Sankardeva was born within Bimal
Phukan from the time he moved out of Assam to study engineering in
Calcutta and was nurtured since for the recognition it got today at the
Calcutta launch of its book Srimanta Sankaradeva — Vaishnava Saint of Assam at Oxford Bookstore.
A little before the launch, Phukan spoke of how an engineering scholar turned into a storyteller.
“Sankaradev was as socially or religiously
significant in the 15th century during the Bhakti movement as Nanak,
Chaitanya or Kabir but unfortunately very few people outside Assam know
about him. Even in Assam Sankaradev is now an alien to the younger
generation,” he said.
An incident which influenced him was when
Satyajit Ray was conferred the Xankaradeva award in 1975 he was unaware
of even the saint’s existence. “When a man of Ray’s erudition is unaware
of such a colossal social figure from a neighbouring state you realise
there is something seriously wrong. Even Khushwant Singh who wrote a
very positive review for my book admitted that before reading the book
he hardly knew of Sankardev,” Phukan said.
The fault, however, he feels is with the
people who know his story but have not conveyed it in a language that
can cross the barriers of culture and age.
“This is in a way the first English book
on the saint’s life. Before this there have been books written in
Assamese or scholarly books which the common reader finds difficult to
associate with. I hope this book can even get the NRI Assamese child
interested in the guru whose picture he saw at his grandparents’ house,”
The book since its Assam launch in 2010
has been quite a success. A copy of the book can be found in reputed
libraries in India and abroad. The British library, British Museum
library, American library of Congress, London School of Eastern Studies
and the Indian National library are some among the noteworthy ones.
“I was so apprehensive of response from
scholars that I would hardly ask them about the book. But I was
surprised by the overwhelming appreciation,” he said.
The book launch here was attended by poet
and novelist Sunil Gangopadhyay and chairman of the World Poetry
Festival, Ashis Sanyal. Sanyal stressed on the importance of translation
to enable people across the country to read literatures of the country.
সমাজৰ কাৰণে ভাল কাম কৰাজনৰ পৰিচয় ৰাইজৰ আগত দাঙি ধৰিব লাগে আৰু ভাল খবৰবোৰ যিমান পাৰি ৰাইজৰ মাজত বিলাব লাগে।
---- বুলজিৎ বুঢ়াগোহাঁই
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