Lokmanthan 2022 in the grand inaugural session was opened by the Hon’ble Vice President of India, Shri Jagdeep Dhankar in the august presence of Governor of Assam Shri Jagdish Mukhi and the very reputed and popular CM of Assam, Shri Himantha Biswa Sarma, Pragna Pravah National Convenor Shri J. Nand Kumar, and Shri Dattatreya Hosabale, Sar karyavah, RSS at Srimantha Shankar Dev Kalakshetra in Guwahati, Assam on 22nd september 2022. Shri Nand Kumar invoked maa bharathi, shri Shankar Dev and Bharata Ratna Shri Bhupen Hazarika. He invited and welcomed all the delegates. He said the word lok is not synonymous with folk. Lok is derived from Vedas, we can understand that this nation’s knowledge traditions – lok gyan parampara continues to this day and inspires us all.
Sri Himantha Biswa Sarma, the much loved CM of Assam said it is a significant day for the people of Assam as Pragna Pravah is conducting this remarkable conclave today. He welcomed Shri Jagdeep Dhankar, the hon’ble Vice President and said his intellect and wisdom will guide us in the future, especially youth, farmers, women. He is happy that Pragna Pravah is conducting the 3rd edition, Lok Manthan in Guwahati. Invaders and colonials depicted our sacred land as disparate groups and communities. However the western nation state is very different, from our civilizational state with its cultural unity, territorial integrity, knowledge traditions which are derived from the civilizational nation which spreads across from Kashmir and Kanyakumari and Arunachal to Gujarat. Vishnu Purana mentions the geographical entities and represents Bharat matha as our sacred mother and a living entity, where great rivers flow, and where people look upon every geographical appearances of mountains, rivers and trees as divinities, it makes us a living civilization. In the 15th century, Mahantha Srimantha Shankar Dev interacted with great saints and scholars all over Bharat, and reflected in the Assamese culture, that we are all part of the ancient Bharat Varsh. Bhakthi Ratnakara was translated into Assamese giving a depiction of glorious Bharat matha, in this sacred land, even gods and goddesses desire to be born as human beings. Srimantha Shankar Dev not only intertwined the Assamese culture with Bharat, he saw the reflection of the same culture everywhere. The glorious tradition and pride in 5K year old culture and civilization is reflected in the nation, which is going towards making the country a superpower and Viswa Guru. Entire north-east has largest bio diversity,, and has huge number of ethnic communities with an enormous range of cultures, customs tribal regional ethnic forms, reflecting in its song dance, costumes and folk cultures. In Assam, Bihu festival worships cow, nature, agriculture. Today we have a renewed interest and commitment to explore and study various cultural ethnic and tribal communities, today we have depts in academics and govt which study all these aspects. He welcomed all Lokmanthan delegates to the land of Maa Kamakhya and Mahatma Shankardev who shower their blessings on the civilizational entity of bharat. Our civilization is much ancient, we are not just a constitutional entity, but a civilizational continuity.
Assam Governor Shri Jagadish Mukhi welcomed all delegates and said our country has a tradition of knowledge sharing and public discourse, a land of wealth and wisdom, science and technology, from Vedas Upanishads, trade commerce and culture. He hoped that deliberations will be fruitful and successful and help us in the revival of our glorious cultural legacy.
Two books were launched on the occasion.
‘Lok parampara’, a compendium of life and lore of all people of North-East India, the 8 states -ashta lakshmi. Attempt has been made to write on all the north eastern states, a land of more than 185 languages, and various ethnicities. ‘In pursuit of a dream’, authored by the hon’ble CM of Ahom, Shri Himantha Biswa Sarma, is a compilation of his talks speeches and his vision. In this insightful book, he has envisioned his thoughts on the grand revival of our traditional culture and legacy.
Shri Jagdeep Dhankar, hon’ble Vice -president of india delivering his inaugural address said he’s honored to be part of the 3rd edition of lok manthan, the national level colloquium, which is celebrating the north-east traditions and ethos. India has an unrivalled tradition of public discourse, debate and dialogues on philosophies, texts and scriptures. Historical dialogue -samvad of Rishi Yagnavalka- Rishika Gargi on the insights of Upanishads is to be remembered. Thriving space of dialogue and debate which once existed needs to be revived. Intolerance of the others views is antithetical to a vibrant culture. Media should encourage positive discourses and not sensationalize trivial issues. Societal morality and propriety needs to be preserved, the silence of intelligentsia is baffling, they need to come out and lend their positive voices. Institutions whether from civil society, academia, thinkers intellectuals and others need to synergize for the functioning of institutions, and not allow the upsetting of apple cart of a functioning democracy. Event created and media created cacophony shouldn’t be allowed to monopolize public discourses. The amazing success story that 90 crores of people were fed and are still continuing to be supported during covid, or 250 million people included in digital transactions, and vaccination story of india has stunned the world but public discourse obliterates it. Padma awards are now going to genuine grassroots people, society rose in one that right persons have been given padma awards, they are no longer dependent on patronage and privilege. The culture of songs reflects in the agricultural season all over the country. The traditions have been crystallized and developed over thousands of years. The affirmation policies which give a space to all people including for marginalized communities creates the positive ecosystem for all to prosper. Samskruthi of Bharat is very enriching, the ethnic diversity of the North East is amazing yet there is harmony which draws from our cultural ethos resonating our universal values of peace, harmony and brotherhood. Sane voices of leadership emerging from india are respected world over, which is becoming more chaotic. He hoped that the 3-day deliberations will help in preserving and consolidating our traditions. Dr Gargi saikia, the assam convenor of lokmanthan presented the vote of thanks.