Gangtok, 13 July (IPR): The 204th birth anniversary of Adi Kavi Bhanu Bhakta Acharya was celebrated at Manan Kendra with much enthusiasm and exuberance. The theme for this year’s Bhanu Jayanti was “Jatiya Sadbhavana”. Hon’ble Chief Minister, Shri Pawan Chamling, was chief guest for the day with Gangtok MLA, Shri Pintso Chopel Lepcha, as guest of honour.
The programme began with the lighting of the ceremonial lamps and prayer song. President- Nepali Sahitya Parishad, Shri Rudra Poudyal, delivered the welcome note and stated that being a poet himself, he understood the significance of pushing the vernacular language forward in the literary scene and he thanked the Chief Minister for leaving no stone unturned in doing the same.
The Chief Minister in his address thanked everyone for coming together to celebrate Bhanu Jayanti as it was an essential and relevant occasion for the Nepalese speaking community.
“A man like Bhanubhakta needs no introduction. He is the very reason that we are able to sit here today with pride when talking about Nepali Literature,” he said.
He then added that it wasn’t the language alone but the cultural aspect that should be highlighted during a celebration like this.
He addressed the students asking them to take their creative roles with responsibility and to use their capabilities to the best of their abilities. He reminded them that there was no substitute for hard work and that failure was one of the keys to success. He urged them not to lose heart and to face obstacles with courage. He reminded them that our thoughts make us who we are and to be innovative and altruistic to build a bright future for themselves.
He then stated that as the longest serving Chief Minister in the country, he had done his best to promote and push Nepali language forward in every way. He said that from this year the state government has also appointed Nepali Graduate Teachers and from next year Primary Teachers for Nepali will also be appointed.
Similarly, people from the Nepali community can even write UPSC examination in Nepali language as it comes under the 8th Schedule of the Constitution, he informed. The Chief Minister expressed his woe over the negligence and the abandonment of Nepali by some people. He urged all to come forward and learn the language as it would be the only tool to carry forward the legacy of one of the prominent languages of the Himalayas.
Addressing the Bhutia-Lepcha community, he gave them credit for the roles they have played in forming the identity of Sikkim and to all, he expressed his gratification of the example they have set by living in harmony. He asked the people to take examples and lessons from history and to take ownership and identity by not depending on others because each community has a rich contribution to the nation.
During the occassion, he announced for the construction of Bhanu Bhawan in Gangtok and requested the concerned organization to look for a suitable land.
The Chief Minister concluded his address by advising everyone not to be a victim of caste and religion based politics and to aim for expanding one’s knowledge through intellectual dialogue and communication.
Earlier, students from various schools in and around Gangtok performed dance and songs and recited extracts from Bhanubhakta’s translation of the Ramayana.
There was poetry recitation and felicitation of various poets and writers who have contributed to the Nepali literary scene in Sikkim. Those who were felicitated were Mr. Chunilal Ghimirey, Smt. Meena Subba, Mr. Kiran Rasaily, Mr. Uttam Pradhan, Mr. T. Lachungpa, Mr. B.K Rasaily, Mr. Bijay Bantawa and Mr. Hari Dhungel. Late Shri Radhakrishna Sharma was awarded the prestigious Bhanu Puraskar posthumously.
In the morning, homage was paid to Bhanu Bhakta’s bust at Zero Point where all the guests and people offered garlands and khada, paying their respects and remembering him for his contribution to Nepali language and Literature.
Mr. Pintso Chopel Lepcha gave the welcome note on unity of the various communities of Sikkim and the peace and progress the State has maintained under the guidance of the Hon’ble Chief Minister. He apprised the gathering about the various incentives that the government has decided to provide the sports clubs and literary associations as encouragement. He also spoke on the power of the Nepali language that can bring together all the people of the Himalayan region. He advised the people to respect each other’s culture and traditions and ended his address, asking all to use social media responsibly in disseminating information and news.
Mrs. Kalawati Subba spoke concisely on the importance of Bhanu Bhakta’s translation of the Ramayana and the impetus it has given the Nepali language in the modern world.
Mr. Parasmani Dangal, former President, Nepali Sahitya Parishad, delivered the vote of thanks. The procession then began from Bhanu Path towards Manan Kendra via Tibet Road.
The programme had in attendance Smt Kalawati Subba, Former Speaker-Sikkim Legislative Assembly who was the Chief Guest, Mr. Pintso Chopel Lepcha, M.L.A, Gangtok, Mr. Shyam Pradhan, M.L.A, Arithang, Mayor- Gangtok Municipal Corporation, Mr. Shakti Singh Chaudhary, Deputy Mayor (GMC), Mrs. Lassey Doma Bhutia, Secretary- Tourism & Civil Aviation Department, Mr. C.P Dhakal, representatives of the various community associations and boards, members of the Nepali Sahitya Parishad, students, TED-X members and the media.