Sundeep Bhutoria

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Kolkata hosts Agyeya Centenary Celebrations

VP Hamid Ansari, Governor, M K Narayanan and Firhad Hakim, MLA
Thursday, February 23, 2012: I was busy with the Agyeya Centenary Celebrations organised by Prabha Khaitan Foundation, in collaboration with Sahitya Academy and Raza Foundation, on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (February 21st to 23rd).
About 50 scholars from across the country participated including, Arvindakshan - Wardha, Ashok Vajpeyi-Delhi, Chandrakant Tripathi-Agra, Giriraj Kishore-Kanpur, Kedar Nath Singh-Varanasi, Madhav Chaturvedi-Delhi, Madhukar Upadhyay-Delhi, Mridula Garg-Delhi, Om Thanvi-Delhi, Pankaj Bisth-Delhi, Prayag Shukla-Delhi, Rajendra Upadhyay-Delhi, Ramesh Mehta-Jammu, Ramsaran Joshi-Nagpur, Tribhuvan -Jaipur, Viswanath Prasad Tiwari-Gorakhpur, were in Kolkata for the same and the scholars from Kolkata who participated Kripashankar Chaubey, Shri Krishna Bihari Mishra, Shri Mritunjay Kumar Singh, IPS, Neelkamal, Shambhu Nath, Vimlesh Tripathi and others.
There were three different sessions besides the main function which was graced by none other than the Vice President of India, His Excellency., Shri M Hamid Ansari, Shri M K Narayanan, H.E. The Governor of West Bengal, Shri Firhad Hakim, Minister Of Urban Development, Shri Hari Mohan Bangur, Shri Ashok Vajpeyi, Executive Trustee, The Raza Foundation, Shri Sunil Gangopadhyay, President,Sahitya Akademi, Prof Kedarnath Singh, Shri Om Thanvi, Editor, and myself were there on the dais.
This three-day event took place at the historical premises of the National Library. The National Library, located on a 30-acre of green patch in the city's heart, is one of the largest libraries in Asia and the largest library of India in volumes and for public record under the Department of Culture, Ministry of Tourism & Culture, Government of India.
There were quite a few heated discussions among the scholars at the panel discussions.
I felt happy that Kolkata has hosted such an important historical event in Hindi literature as Kedarnath Singh said, “In the past three centuries the country hasn't seen a Hindi programme of this scale and stature.”
The person I missed in this whole event was Dr Kapila Vatsyayan, who is not only a Rajya Sabha MP and one of the country’s top cultural personality, but also the wife of Sachhidananda Vatsyayan ‘Agyeya’.
She is personally known to me. I have great respect for her and really looked forward hoping she would grace the event. She wrote a letter to me which was read out in the main function. In the letter she wrote about Agyeya's connection with Kolkata, “It will be recalled that Shri S H Vatsyayan came to Kolkata soon after his period of imprisonment in the mid-thirties, to take up the editorship of Vishal Bharat at the request of the late Pandit Banarsidas Chaturvedi. His long and distinguished literary journey as also his editorship, in a manner of speaking, began in Kolkata. My earliest memories go back to this period when he was house guest of my parents for many months in this town.”
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