Sankar Jayanti celebrated in London

Expatriate Assamese people from all over the UK and Assam attended the day-long programme. The first half of the function was Namprasanga, and the second half was the cultural show consisted of talks, borgeet, lokageet and Satriya dance.

The function began with a Namprasanga and distribution of mah-prasad at the end organised by Bhabani Kakati and Dhira Hazarika. The namotees led by Manjira Chowdhury and Bhabani Kakati sat in two rows in front of the alter decorated with gokhaikapor were, Urmi Medhi, Dhira Hazarika, Krishna Baruah, Nabamallika Choudhury, Dr Bithika Saikia, Rosie Sen, Puspa Hazarika, Manju Baruah, Mamanu Barua, and with the devotees seating opposite were Dr Tarun Chowdhury with bartal, Kamal Hazarika, Dr Pratim Choudhury, Dr Dwijen Baruah, Dr Dinesh Kakati, Gagon Hazarika, Anjan Pathak, Dr Khageswar Lahon and others.

The second half of the function began with the hymn ae jaya raghura nandan sang in chorus by Kamal Hazarika, Bhabani Kakati, Surovi Lahon, Dr Pratim Choudhury, Dhira Hazarika, Dr Dwijen Baruah, Dr Khageswar Lahon, Dr Dinesh Kakati and Puspa Hazarika followed by the inaugural speech by the chairman of the Sankar jayanti Celebration Committee Dr Dinesh Kakati. In his speech he outlined the life and the times of the great vaishnavite preacher and the social reformer of the north east of India and his contributions to the Assamese society.

Gagon Hazarika, the president of ASSUK in his speech gave an insight in to the legacy left behind by the most virtuous, colourful and versatile saint, the great social reformer of the medieval India who believed in, among others, peace, persuation and non-violence not war and coercion. He went on to say that at a time when we are debating to a terrorist threat Sankardeva’s message might lead us to pause and think twice. His teachings and ideology are still relevant and could transform today’s volatile world we live in. All political and ideological problems facing the world today need looking through the magnifying glass of peace, persuasion and non-violence. Hazarika also thanked those who has responded to the appeal for donations to Madhupur Sattra Relief Fund (MFRF) which was launched earlier by the ASSUK Trust in order to help alleviate the financial crisis faced by the Sattra which is based in the State of West Bengal and appealed to those who had not responded yet to contribute generously for this worthy cause.

Dr SB Medhi, former Commissioner & Secretary and President of Guwahati Sankardev Seva Samity, a visitor from Guwahati, in his speech outlined the lesser known but some important activities of the saint namely human, social, political and cultural rights which were initiated by him long before the westerners together with a process put in motion for vocational education and in particular in starting various small scale and cottage industries.

The participants in the cultural function in borgeets were Dr Sarada Sarma, Monalisa Sarma, Rosie Sen, Geeta Sarma, while Dr Nilmoni Sikdar, Surovi Lahon, Bhabani Kakati and Kamal Hazarika participated in Lokogeets. The instrumental music were performed by Dr Mitam Barooah, Dr Pranab Kukreja and Dr Ranjan Laskar.

The highlight of the evening was the satriya dance performed by Anita Sarmah, an accomplished satriya dance artiste from Guwahati who mesmerised the audience. In appreciation of her artistic talents Gagon Hazarika presented a London souvenir plate as a memento on behalf of ASSUK to her. Kamal Hazarika, cultural advisor of ASSUK offered the vote of thanks.

(The Assam Tribune,19/11/05)