The Indian knowledge-acquisition system has a long and storied history. It is important to note that this rich tradition has been tried to destroy over time by foreign invaders and colonial powers that ruled India for decades. Back then some researchers worked hard to bring back the glory and sanctity of the Indian knowledge system and Hari Narayan Duttabaruah was one of them.
During the British era, India was widely promoted as the place of origin of the snake charmers and not as the origin of the ancient knowledge system and seat of higher learning. These were some of the observations made by Anant Vijay in his keynote speech on the occasion of the Hari Narayan Memorial Annual Lecture on Friday. The lecture deliberated on the topic ‘Tradition and Importance of Writings of Indian Languages.’ Mr. Vijay said, “Hari Narayan Duttabarua’s contribution to the Assamese literature deserves to be evaluated in the context of the heritage of Indian literature as a whole.”.
To put it simply, Harinarayan Duttabarua was a Renaissance man, and it is the responsibility of Assamese people to introduce him at the pan-Indian level. The speaker mentioned the need to make a documentary about Harinarayan Duttabarua’s contributions to the Indian knowledge movement.
The lecture has been organized for two years in memory of Harinarayan Duttabarua at Assam down town University. Duttabaruah was a researcher, collector, editor, publisher, and pioneer of Assam’s printing industry. A Borgeet (Vaishnavaite classical song) by acclaimed singer Sharat Rag opened the lecture program this year. After the welcome speech by the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Dr. Narayan Chandra Talukdar, the Pro Vice-Chancellor of the University, Dr. Pranveer Singh felicitated the keynote speaker Anant Vijay,Associate Editor of Dainik Jagaran, who is also an author and National Award-winning film critic.
The book ‘Sahityaratna: Jivan aru Sadhana’ edited by Dr. Ruby Goswami was launched by Academy Award-winning author Anuradha Sharma Pujari on the occasion.Ms. Pujari observed, “I have heard the name Harinarayan Duttabarua since childhood, but there are very few books that discuss his work in detail. This book will fill that vacuum to some extent”. Dean of Studies of the University, Prof. Bandana Dutta felicitated Anuradha Sharmapujari on behalf of the organization.
Dr. Ruby Goswami felicitated the anchor of the programme, renowned theatre personality and filmmaker Nayan Prasad and Dr. Manju Laskar, who received her doctorate for her research on Harinarayan Duttabarua. Rani Bardoloi of Bokakhat, who wrote a biography, was also felicitated at the meeting. In his closing remarks, the university Chancellor Dr. Naren Dutta thanked everyone and entrusted Utpal Datta, who was recently awarded the best director at state film award, with the responsibility of making a documentary on Harinarayan Duttabarua.
Luminaries of various fields including Jitul Sonwal, Vice-President of Sankardev Kalakshetra, Dr. Paramananda Majumder, Dr. Akunthita Barthakur, retired DGP Bhaskarjyoti Mahanta, architect Vishwa Dutta, recitation artist Aboni Bora, writer Namrata Dutta and film director Kenny Basumatari were present in the meeting.
The scene of the university students welcoming the guests wearing traditional costumes of different states of India added to the charm of the atmosphere.