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Bhasa Sanskriti Milan Utsav held

The 13th Bhasha Sanskriti Milan Utsav 2019 – a cultural event, organised by the state’s well-known socio-cultural organisation Byatikram MASDO (Mass Awareness and Social Development Oraganisation), successfully concluded at the Pragjyotish ITA Centre, Machkhowa, Guwahati, recently. The five-day event, held to mark the Mother Language Day - a day celebrated annually on February 21 worldwide to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity, multilingualism and the preservation and protection of languages, saw several cultural programmes, discussions, book launches, poets’ meets, art exhibitions, felicitations, among others, where several artistes and noted figures from Bangladesh and Assam participated.

This year, Bhasha Sanskriti Milan Utsav 2019, that took place from February 21 to 25, chiefly comprised of three main events - Ekkushe Samman, Kobitar Anusthaan, and an art exhibition titled ‘Jugalbandi’ in addition to a live performance by the noted folk band Dohar.

The special celebration on February 23 kicked-off with an art exhibition titled ‘Jugalbandi’ presented by noted fine arts artistes from Bangladesh - Jamal Hossain and Abida Hossain, which perfectly captured the individuals’ passion and strength,  followed by a scintillating live performance by the Kolkata-based folk band Dohar, which has played a significant role in popularising Bengali and Assamese folk music. The art exhibition was graced by the eminent artist Noni Borpujari, noted singer Manisha Hazarika, Usharanjan Bhattacharya, Assistant High Commissioner and Head of Mission, Bangladesh High Commission, Dr Shah Mohammad Tanvir Monsur, Hasan Arif, among others. On the occasion, Borpujari recalled being profoundly enriched by a trip to Bangladesh, which possesses a diverse and extremely rich folklore, art and cultural heritage.  “I consider myself extremely fortunate to witness Jamal Hossain’s art work for the first time, and they are a testimony to his wonderful artistry,” said Dr Monsur.  “I can never forget how India stood with Bangladesh during the Liberation War. We are eternally grateful to India for that. On that good note, we have always maintained cordial relations with the country and its regional players. Off course, I would like to offer my special thanks to Byatikram and its President Dr Saumen Bharatiya, who has been playing a pivotal role in deepening our relationship with Assam for so many years now,” said Hasan Arif. Dr Bharatiya on his part spoke about the importance of organising an event like Bhasha Sanskriti Milan Utsav on the occasion of Mother Language Day, which has now stepped into its 13th year. “Even organisations like the Asam Sahitya Sabha and the Karbi Anglong District Sahitya Sabha have been observing Mother Language Day, which has gained broad appeal and momentum with people hailing from different backgrounds,” he added. The noted guests Bidhan Dasgupta, Manoj Rai, Udayan Biswas, Dipankar Kar, Bangladesh’s Sheela Mustafa and Munni Saha, among others, were felicitated on the occasion. The special segment of the cultural evening - Kobitar Anusthaan, saw the participation of noted artistes from the neighbouring country. The day started with a sitar recital by Debidatta De of Guwahati. De, who  completed her BMusic degree from Kolkata, Allahabad and Lucknow universities, kept the audience at the Pragjyotish ITA Centre spellbound with her dexterous display of sitar playing. The talented artiste, who is training under eminent sitar exponents Prodyumna Das and Indra Konwar, has already performed in a series of musical concerts and cultural evenings in various places, not just in the State, but also in various parts of the country. Debidatta De’s distinct style of playing is a development of the Maihar gharana school of playing to which her first guru, the eminent exponent of sitar Prodyumna Das, who was a disciple of Pandit Ravi Shankar, belongs.


Shankar Lal Goenka being felicitated with the Ekkushe Samman during the 13th Bhasha Sanskriti Milan Utsav 2019

As it was early evening, De chose  to play the Raga Yaman. She started with a short alap, followed by a beautiful drut gat, along with several tans, Bol tans, toda, vistars and jhala. A full-time ‘Art of Living’ teacher, Debidatta De has performed as a opening act in live shows by eminent ghazal singer Pankaj Udhas, popular Bengali singer Aditi Munsi, Kolkata-based prominent singer of Rabindra Sangeet Lopamudra Mitra, Rabindra Sangeet exponent from Bangladesh Rezwana Choudhury Banya, etc.

The awarding of the ‘Ekkushe Samman’ is a tradition that recognises the most eminent scholars, who have contributed immensely in safeguarding their respective mother languages. The award acknowledges the committed endeavours of people striving to promote the significance and awareness of mother languages and cultural diversity. This year, the Ekkushe Samman was presented to five individuals for their exceptional contributions in their chosen fields of work. Veteran film producer Shankar Lal Goenka was awarded - for his influential work in the social sphere, popular actor Jatin Bora - for his contribution to Assamese Cinema, Dr Maniklal Bhowmick - for his work in the field of literature, Nibedita Tarafdar, a well-known dancer, for her contribution to the field of theatre and dance, and Sankha Subhra Devbarman, Regional Director, Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India, for his contribution in the field of Literature.

On the occasion, a tribute function dedicated to the memory of renowned folk singer, researcher and co-founder of the band Dohar, Kalika Prasad Bhattacharya took place with the keen participation of a number of people, including his better-half Ritacheta Goswami, his daughter Ashabori Bhattacharya, Nandini Chakraborty, among others.

The range of programmes also coincided with a book release function. No event organised by Byatkram MASDO is complete without a book release. ‘Boguli Pokhi Aru Haramai Bhattrita’, written by Jamal Hussain, and Mangala Bhattacharjee’s ‘Moner Akashe’ was released on the occasion. An MOU signed between the Asam Sahitya Sabha and the Bangladesh Sanskritik Mancha Guth took place on the final day of the event.

It has to be mentioned here that the people of Bangladesh, who fought for their right to speak their mother tongue, have been celebrating February 21 as the Mother Language Day since 1952, when students sacrificed their lives for the recognition of Bengali as one of the state languages of Pakistan. In 1999, UNESCO declared February 21 as the International Mother Language Day, when a draft resolution, tabled by the Bangladesh government, was unanimously adopted during the plenary meeting of the UNESCO General Conference, proclaiming the day as the International Mother Language Day.  
The fundamental aim of Byatikram MASDO, which has been organising this festival for the past 12 years, is to create awareness on the need to preserve and promote one’s mother tongue through the medium of literature and performing arts, stress the importance of cultural diversity and at the same time, find some underlying common elements which unify the diverse cultures of India and Bangladesh.

 

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Prantik Deka. Email: prantikdeka@gmail.com

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Nagarik Manch spread peace message in Kalaigaon

29 Jul 2012 - 9:45pm | Jayanta Kumar Das

Members of Nagari Manch,Kalaigaon recently visited sensitive villages belonging to Bodo and minority communities which had witnessed severe violence during 2008 in Udalguri district. Surprisingly at a time when other three districts namely Kokrajhar,Chirang and Bagsa have been burning this time Udalguri district remains peaceful. A delegation of Kalaigaon Nagarik Manch recently visited a few villages namely Rajapukhuri, Ranipukhuri,Syamtila,No.1 Jhargaon,Tetelibhanguri,Panbari,Kalitapara and Somakhat etc. on July 26. The members of the delegation were- Kami Ram Saharia,Jayanta Kumar Das, Siddque Ali, Dandi Kumar Boro,Kamala Baro,Shahiruddin Ahmed etc. The members of the delegation addressed public meeting at Somakhat High School at 11 AM which was alrgely attended by minority people.At Bodo dominated Tetelibhanguri village another such meeting was held. At both the meeting people resolved to settle disputes through discussion and assured that they would refrain from violence. They also assured that they would never allow outsiders to break peace in the district.


It needs mention that a peace meeting was held at Kendukalai Bhawan on July 24 to discuss present situation. Representatives from various organizations attended it. Addressing people,Habibur Rahman, Officer in-charge,Kalaigaon Police Station requested leading citizens of Kalaigaon to visit violence prone villages so as to encourage people to live in peace.

Crisis in environmental reporting: Bhaumik

10 Sep 2014 - 11:57pm | Syed Miraz Ahmed

 

The Centre for Environment, Social and Policy Research (CESPR), Guwahati in association with the Indian Network on Ethics and Climate Change (INECC), New Delhi came to together recently to organize a workshop cum discussion for media practitioners of the region on the issue of environment.

Titlled “Media Workshop on Climate Change and Environment Reporting and Discussion on the Changing Trend in Media Ownership and its Impact on Coverage of Environmental Issues,” the event explored in detail the different facets of the subject.

Ajita Tiwari Padhi, National Facilitator, INECC, while initiating the discussion on the prospect of low carbon transition for India, said, “While an appropriate response to environment crisis for the Government of India appears to lie in large projects like solar, hydel or wind power- which has a huge land and social foot print, the much needed step for us to ‘off-grid’ seems to be missing.” The focus should be on decentralized, people centred energy solutions which has a direct future impact in the energy deprived country, she said.

While India is embarking on a low carbon pathway it certainly needs to keep in perspective and context that it works from issues of poverty and development, she added.

Indian Express correspondent, Samudra Gupta Kashyap while delivering a lecture on ‘Reporting Climate Change and Environment from NE’ shared his experiences narrating anecdotes about various grass root activists and environmentalists. He brought to notice various lifestyle changes that have crept into peoples’ lives as a result of climate change and related variations.

He felt that the major problem facing journalists in reporting environmental issues is that they often do not know where to look for news. “There are innumerable stories of people and movements trying to protect the environment. But they often do not get the attention they deserve. The agenda of media organizations have changed exponentially,” he said.

Ruing the fact that most media organizations do not look into the root cause of most events, Kashyap said that the civil society and intellectuals too have a role to play in ensuring that issues which affects thousands should be properly highlighted, which is often found lacking.

Issues, especially related to environment and climate change often do not get the requisite attention in media circles because law makers very often have a stake in such organisations as well, he pointed out.

Leading the post lunch session with a discussion on ‘Trend of Changing Media Ownership and its Impact on Environmental Coverage, Senior Fellow, Centre for Studies in International Relations & Development (CSIRD), eminent journalist, and author Subir Bhaumik said that rapid corporatization of media organizations have led to a very clear shift in media priorities, with the very basic design of a media organization being compromised.

Pointing out that media is becoming more like a business-like commodity where the mainstream media expects specific kind of stories from certain areas. Due to corporatization core values have gone out of the window while stereotypes are created and reinforced.

"Even now, most environmental reporting in the Indian media is reporter driven. In India, there is a growing nexus of politics, business, crime and vested foreign interests as a result of corporatization which often influences news agenda,” he said.

Several environmental activists alongwith print, television and online journalists who report and write on environmental issues participated in the day long deliberations.

 

Historical museum inaugurated at Charaidew

14 Feb 2012 - 6:11pm | Anup Arandhara


A historical museum "From Yunan to Patkai" in memory of Chow Lung-Sukapha, founder of Ahom kingdom was inaugurated at Charaidew by fomer DoNer minister B.K. Handique. In Charaidew is the graveyard place of Ahom kings where their mausoleums are lying. The museum was contructed under the area development fund of Bijoy Krishna Handique, former Doner minister and member from Jorhat parliamentary constituency.


In this inaugural function, along with Handique, Dr. Hemprava Saikia, Debobrata Saikia, MLA Nazira, Sarat Saikia, MLA, Mahmora and many distinguished persons were present.