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Silver Jubilee Celebration of Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra

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 Bhupen Goswami 

 GUWAHATI : Chief Minister Dr. HimantaBiswaSarma, who also happens to be the Chairman of the Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra Society, on Wednesday attended as Chief Guest the colorful inaugural ceremony of the Silver Jubilee Celebration of Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra held at the headquarters of the cultural organisation in Guwahati. Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra, named after the 15 th century neo-Vaishnavite saint and an outcome of the historic Assam Accord, was inaugurated by the then President of India, KR Narayanan, on November 9, 1998.

Built at an approximate initial cost of ?19 crores, Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra has, since its inception in 1998, been diligently playing its conceived role of a channel for preservation, restoration, research and promotion of the rich cultural heritage of the diverse ethnic groups inhabiting the State. Speaking at the event, Chief Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma, paying his tributes to the martyrs of the historic 5-year-long Assam Movement, stated that Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra for the past 25 years has been able to fulfil the aspirations of the greater Assamese society in the field of cultural identity. He said owing to the diligent works of the Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra Society, Assamese culture and identity have been able to penetrate and leave an impact on many corners of not just the country but also abroad. He briefly spoke about Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra Society’s initiatives such as the Srimanta Sankardev National Festival, translation of the play Rukmini Haran into Gujarati and its performance in that language, translation of the play Parijat Haran into the French language, among others. Paying rich tributes to Mahapurush Srimanta Sankardev, Chief Minister Dr. Sarmasaid the 15 th century saint made an attempt to unite the region with the help of the greater Indian culture and identity. The main philosophy of Srimanta Sankardev was based on the concept of Vedanta, the Chief Minister said, adding the 15 th century saint made an attempt at finding a common ground between the definition of Vedanta and the Bhakti cult. Referring to culture as the most-essential foundation of a progressive community, the Chief Minister spoke about the initiatives taken by the government of Assam for enrichment and preservation of the cultural identities of the indigenous communities of the State.

He specifically pointed to the establishment of the Department of Indigenous & Tribal Faith and Culture by the government of Assam. The Chief Minister assured of all measures necessary for protection, preservation and spread of the ethnic communities of the State. Today’s inaugural event was also attended by Minister for Cultural Affairs Bimal Bora, Minister of Agriculture and Assam Accord Implementation Department Atul Bora, Vice- Chairman of Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra Society JitulSonowal, Secretary of Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra Society Sudarshan Thakur, Government of Assam’s Secretary of Cultural Affairs LayaMaduri, veteran journalist Dhirendranath Chakroborty, Sangeet Natak Akademi awardee Jatin Goswami and noted artist Noni Borpuzari.

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