Assam scholar creates a ‘record’ in giving lectures

An Assam-based scholar who received the 2020 Sahitya Akademi award for translation has created a ‘record’ for being the sole speaker in a year-long series of 100 lectures on Indian culture.

Diganta Biswa Sarma, president of Guwahati Commerce College’s governing body, conducted these lectures in three languages — Assamese, Bengali and English.

The series of lectures are based on the philosopher, Sri Aurobindo’s cultural opus titled ‘The Renaissance in India and Other Essays on Indian Culture’. Mr. Sarma had received the Sahitya Akademi award for translating this book into Assamese.

The lecture series was hosted by the [Silchar-based] Assam University without any funding from either the Central or State governments or any agency or statutory body such as the University Grans Commission,” Mr. Sarma told The Hindu.

He said none before him had, in the 200 years of India’s modern university history, achieved such a feat solely throughout a year on the same topic in three languages.

The Assam University’s Centre for Studies in Human Development has again invited him to deliver a series of lectures across 150 sessions for a year from February. The series is on understanding the universal message of the Bhagavad Gita in the light of Sri Aurobindo.

The Indian Institute of Technology-Guwahati too has invited him for a similar 150-session lecture series from February.

Mr. Sarma had joined government service after qualifying in the combined competitive examination conducted by the Assam Public Service Commission but resigned in January 2012 to pursue his academic interests. His present areas of study include spirituality, yoga and Indian culture.

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