Swareena Gurung, EOI, DARJEELING,13 Jul 2016: Jubilation erupted among the Kami, Damai and Sarki communities when chief minister Mamata Banerjee today announced their respective development boards at Chowrasta in Darjeeling. The chief minister made this announcement at a programme organised to celebrate the 202nd birth anniversary of illustrious Nepali poet, Bhanubhakta Acharya
To mark a momentous event, President Pranab Mukherjee today joined the people of Darjeeling. The programme was organised by the West Bengal information and cultural department, where also in attendance were West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi and GTA chief Bimal Gurung. The celebrations took place at Chowrasta where a temporary dais was set up and television screens placed to broadcast the event. The birth celebrations were kicked-off by the garlanding of the statue of Bhanubhakta Acharya by the President, chief minister, Governor and other guests. Ethnic communities such as the Rai and the Mangar presented cultural performances, while Karthik Das and his troupe presented a Baul performance.
In keeping with the occasion, school children presented a Saraswati Bandana and read the Ramayana paath. President Mukherjee praised Bhanubhakta Acharya by saying his message was for the entire world and to humanity. Bhanubhakta was instrumental in bringing together various princely states in Nepal during his time through his message to thus create modern day Nepal, he said. The bonding between India and Nepal remains unique, remarked the President. Mukherjee said, “We have a good relationship with Nepal and would like to strengthen this unity… Many of you are representatives of this solidarity. We take this opportunity to remember the great contribution of the Nepali poet who was born 202 years ago.”
Bhanubhakta Acharya, considered as the foremost Nepali poet, was born in 1814. He is attributed with translating the epic Ramayana into Nepali and is addressed by the honorific ‘Adikavi’ (first poet). Governor Tripathi said the form, the respect and the status accorded to the Nepali language by Adikavi Bhanubhakts was unique. He noted that the work of taking the Ramayana, respected and worshipped in every Hindu household, to the masses in their mother tongue, has been very commendable work. Chief minister Banerjee announced her government would hold meetings of the state cabinet in Darjeeling from time to time.
During the occasion, four Sahitya Academy recipients were felicitated by the state government. They included Gupta Pradhan from Darjeeling, Shankhar Pradhan from Bagrakote, Sanjeev Chettri from Kurseong and Shankhar Deo Dhakal from Gangtok.