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Society should rise to preserve, promote and propagate art & literature: Mukherjee

The President, Shri Pranab Mukherjee presenting the 52nd Jnanpith Award to Prof. Sankha Ghosh, in New Delhi on April 27, 2017.
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President Pranab Mukherjee has called upon society as a whole to rise to the task of preserving, promoting and propagating art and literature since efforts on the part of the government alone could never be sufficient.
 
Conferring the 52nd Jnanpith Award on eminent Bengali poet, critic and academician, Prof. Sankha Ghosh here yesterday, Mr Mukherjee called upon philanthropists and the corporate cector takes the leadership role.
 
“Such efforts are indeed a part of corporate social responsibility and I exhort the captains of industry to take a keen interest in this aspect of literary advocacy,” he added.
 
The President said the French, the Russian, the Chinese, the Japanese or the Spanish establish beyond doubt that societies overwhelmed by non-indigenous languages seldom achieve greatness. “Our nation is many notches above in this aspect since it has, over the centuries, had the capacity of not only surviving but assimilating the foreign into the indigenous.
 
“It is therefore, necessary that while we keep our minds open to all linguistic influences, we continuously strive to promote and perpetuate our indigenous linguistic and literary heritage,” he added.
 
“Gurudev Rabindra Nath Tagore’s Geetanjali enthralled the world. There is a need to take the creative genius of Indian languages to the world audience. There is a vast international audience that awaits exposure to our vernacular literature and it will be only natural for us to respond to their urge,” Mr Mukherjee said.
 
“I remain hopeful that we will leave no stone unturned and the Bhartiya Jnanpith will play a leading role in achieving that,” he added. The President also referred to the contributions of Sahu Shanti Prasad Jain and late Rama Jain, whose efforts in promoting Indian languages and literature and establishing the Bhartiya Jnanpith remain exemplary.
 
About Prof. Sankho Ghosh, the President said as a poet and critique par excellence, a teacher of reputation, a recipient of the Sahitya Akademi award, way back in 1977, he was indeed the most deserving recipient of this award.
 
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A professor of Bengali and an authority in his own right on the works of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, Padma Bhushan award winner Prof. Ghosh “represents the fluid brilliance that characterizes India’s multifarious literary genius. It is indeed an example of his brilliant fluidity that an author who strove to master Bengali academically, expressed himself in perhaps the most difficult literary genre of poetry,” he added.
Mr Mukherjee said that in conferring the award on Prof. Ghosh, the selection board noted that his poetic idiom and experiments with various poetic forms mark his greatness as a creative talent. They also observed that his poetry, while conveying messages, remained free from polemics. 
 
“One look at his works, be it Adim Lata- Gulmomay, Murkho Baro Samajik Noy or Baborer Prarthana, to name a few, and one would be left in no doubt about every word of the observations mentioned by the selection board to be to the point and correct,” he added.
 
As an ardent writer of Bengali poetry, his literary works reflect a rare poetic style that encompasses not only a lyrical style but also a deep reflection of the social milieu. His poetry often takes on superficiality in the society and provides a candid commentary on contemporary issues, Mr Mukherjee said.
 
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