571st birth anniversary of Srimanta Shankardev | Kids’ drawings reflect rising grasp of climate change impacts

By A O News Service

NAHARLAGUN, Sept 29:  Dozens of students of various schools took part in a drawing competition, themed ‘impacts of climate change’, organized by Kristi Kendra in its campus here on Sunday with Dr Chandan Tamuli as cultural secretary.

Few of the drawings reflected not only talents, but consciousness of the tiny tots about fast destruction of environment. Paintings of Priyanka Kumari, Cl-XII student of Konkarnalla GHSS (1); Rashmi Saikia, Cl-XI student of Good Shepherd Public School (2);  Anikta Das, Cl-X student of Little Rose School (3) and Sweeti Nandi, Cl-X students of Kendriya Vidyalaya (4), both in Naharlagun, deserve special mention.

Essay completion has been conducted and quiz completion will be conducted now as part of 571st birth anniversary of Srimanta Shankardev to be observed here on October 8 next, said Dr Tamuli. However, Budhin Dutta and Ranadhir Talukdar are president and general secretary of organizing committee, he said, adding the winners of all competitions will be awarded on Oct 8.

Srimanta Shankardev, a 15th-16th century Assamese polymath, was a cultural and religious icon, a saint-scholar, poet, playwright, social-religious reformer. He is widely credited with developing cultural relics and devising new forms of music (Borgeet), theatrical performance (Anika Naat, Bhaona), dance (Sattriya) and literary language (Brajavali). He left behind an extensive literary oeuvre of trans-created scriptures (Bhagavat of Sankardev), poetry and theological works written in Sanskrit, Assamese and Brajavali.

The Bhagavatic religious Ekasaranam Dharam or Neo-Vaishnavite movement launched by him had influenced two medieval Koch and Ahom kingdoms while assembly of devotees he initiated evolved into Sattras over time, which continue to be important socio-religious institutions in Assam and to a lesser extend in North Bengal.

Shankardev inspired Bhakti movement in Assam just like Guru Nanak, Ramananda, Namdev, Kabir, Basva and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu inspired it elsewhere in Indian subcontinent. His influence spread even to Matak Kingdom founded by Bharat Singha, and consolidated by Sarbanda Singha in latter 18th century endorsing his teachings. His literary and artistic contributions are living traditions in Assam today. The religion he preached is practiced by a large population, and Sattras set up by his followers continue to flourish and sustain his legacy now.

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