Guwahati : A webinar on ‘Literature, Life and Society’ was held with eminent IAS and IPS officers, Dr Sumita Misra, Senior Advisor, Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council, Government of India; Eminent poet, Founder-Chairperson, Chandigarh Literary Society(CLS); Director, Literati, Chandigarh Literature Festival, Dr.Kuladhar Saikia, President, Asam Xahitya Xabha(AXX), Eminent author; Sahitya Akademi Awardee, Fulbright Fellow; Former Director General of Police, Assam and Prof.(Dr.) S.P.Singh, Vice-Chancellor, Royal Global University, on 19 July 2020. It was attended by Police personnel, Litterateurs, Academicians, faculty and students from RGU and across India, moderated by Ms.Stuti Goswami, Asst.Professor, Royal School of Languages.
Prof. Singh, a connoisseur of literature, stated that it is a reflection of life and society; is involves not only a reflection of but ruminations on life and society as well. A literary piece—whether a poem, a short story, a novel, or an essay—is as much a product of imagination and creativity as it a social document. Each author perceives the world around him/her through the matrices of his/her experiences, perceptions and perspectives.
Changing times effect changing patterns of articulation of thought and experience in literature. Particularly in these times, when death and disease lurk on the horizons of human thought, it has become imperative to reflect and ruminate upon life and our society. He spoke of human experiences in their myriad shades in their writings and through the literary organizations with which they are involved, as being a past esteemed member of Hailey’s Club in Lucknow University.
Dr.Misra, a passionate poet bureaucrat, spoke on her exposure to the ‘India’ and how it was a catalyst to reflect on her inner thoughts, values and life ahead. She spoke on sacrifices made to be a mother, wife, bureaucrat and a poet and never having to repent in any aspect she carried out as her priorities were clear and time was an enabler. Her job enabled her to be the chosen mouthpiece for the downtrodden and under-privileged, especially women who suffered at the hands of a patriarchal society.
A feminist with clear vision of equality for both sexes, she stated that it is on parents on how they nurture boys to respect women; not be judgemental towards women and be a participant in their growth process. As a poet whose poems reflect the life around her, she enthused students to have integrity of character, compassion, pay attention to words and understand their depth before self gratification on little inconsequential successes.
She vehemently speaks on hardships of the common men and people effected by nepotism, at present. She further stated that CLS promotes local tradition and culture through Urdu, Hindi, Punjabi and English languages and looks forward to collaborating with AXX. She prodded students to charter their life course with clear vision and to never give up on their dreams and advocated reading in all genres.
Dr.Saikia, humility personified, expressed his innate beliefs on time and writing being interlinked as creativity does not conform to any sphere where it is leashed; thoughts were randomly written in chits of paper which were later translated into 23 books. As a police personnel and now a litterateur, he has experienced life in its manifold, sounds and scenes translated into stories for history to reflect upon for posterity.
He stated how Sir Winston Churchill, despite World War II, wrote. An author can go to a transient space despite odds and write, not to escape but reflect. He spoke of his beloved Assam and its culture of respecting women which has undergone drastic changes two decades ago inculcating vices like dowry, murder, etc.
The society at large has lost faith in itself and every aspect of truth and its credibility/genuineness is questioned and Project Prahari delved into addressing such superstitions as in witchcraft to erase this mistrust. He spoke on wide usage of acoustic sounds in his stories reflecting different memories of a person; incidents and accidents, bringing to the fore the importance of listening to others and never underestimating people.
He also stressed how as the present President of AXX, he is reviving puppetry to tell grandma’s stories, extending a cross-sectional intervention and interactive session on literature across Assam. He enthused youths to be make good use of internet and collect knowledge from the human library across the world, and most importantly, be a good human being. The session was ended by ‘shayari’ and poems reflecting life.