Gauhati University academic buildings to be renamed
GUWAHATI: After the names of major roads of the city were changed a few months ago, now the buildings of Gauhati University (GU) will follow suit. The Post Graduate Students’ Union (PGSU) at the university decided to submit a proposal against the government’s earlier decision to name upcoming model colleges after Deen Dayal Upadhyay - co-founder of Bhartiya Jan Sangh, member of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the ruling government’s ideologue.
The decision has come after a PGSU delegation met with the vice-chancellor (VC) of the university recently and submitted their memorandum for the same. The VC agreed to the proposal to change the names of the buildings.
“We have a number of eminent personalities from our state after whom the colleges can be renamed and we are against naming institutes after Deen Dayal Upadhyay as had been earlier decided by the state government,” informed Monjit Sharma, general secretary of PGSU.
He added that they had submitted the memorandum before the government could decide to name the GU buildings after Deen Dayal Upadhyay.
Talking to G Plus, Sharma said, “We wanted to show some respect for the scholars and eminent personalities who made their contributions towards establishing universities in the northeast and towards bettering the educational scenario in the state.”
Further, members of the PGSU added that they have made continuous efforts to retain the memories of these men of great repute. They mentioned that some of the steps taken in this regard include installing their busts at various places across the university in the past.
After the decision, names of four buildings at GU would be changed. These include the New Academic Building, Academic Building, New Arts Building and the Arts Building.
Authorities informed that this month, the executive council - the decision making body of the university - will conduct a meeting with the members of the students’ council and the members will decide on the future course of action to formally change the names of the buildings.
According to sources, the names would be changed next academic session onwards.
“The current names of the buildings sound a bit odd and are very generic in nature and since one building hosts as many as 10 and 12 departments, it makes sense to properly name them,” said a member of the students’ union.
As per the students’ demands, the New Arts Building will now be renamed as Surya Kumar Bhuyan Bhawan, the New Academic Building will be called Lakshminath Bezbaroa Bhawan, Arts Building will now be named as Dr Banikanta Kakoti Bhawan and AT Hall will be renamed as Bishnu Prasad Rabha Bhawan.
Interestingly, all the four figures after whom the buildings would be named belong to the field of literature.
Surya Kumar Bhuyan
Surya Kumar Bhuyan was a Padma Shri awardee writer, poet and scholar from Assam. He was also an elected member of the Rajya Sabha. Bhuyan wrote a number of books in English and Assamese. He was the president of the Asom Sahitya Sabha, a literary, non-government organisation formed in 1917. He began his career as a teacher in a Mission School in Jorhat and was then appointed as a lecturer in Cotton College. Bhuyan later became the first Assamese to be appointed the principal of Cotton College (now Cotton University), Guwahati after he completed his PhD from the London School of Oriental & African Studies.
Lakshminath Bezbaroa was a much-respected figure of Assamese literature and one of the foremost literary personalities of the state. He wrote different literary pieces including plays, historical works, farces, one-act drama, biographies and his autobiography. This apart, he also wrote for children. In his works, Bezbaroa often used satire to comment on the prevailing social scenario with a view to bring about some positive change through his works. He was conferred the title of ‘Roxoraj’ by the Asom Sahitya Sabha.
Dr Banikanta Kakati
Born in 1894, Dr Banikanta Kakati was a scholar and a prominent literary figure of Assamese language who made enormous contributions towards the language with the help of linguistics, cultural anthropology and literature. He excelled in his academics and topped the state in English in his matriculation examination. He completed his intermediate from Cotton College in which he scored the first position and later he completed two MA degrees in English Literature and English Language. He was also a well-known critic.
Bishnu Prasad Rabha
Bishnu Prasad Rabha was born in 1909 in Dhaka. He was best known for his contribution towards the indigenous Assamese communities. Rabha had also played a significant role in the country’s struggle for independence. He was passionate about the upliftment of indigenous communities as was also evident from his written works. For this, people belonging to the indigenous community called him ‘Kala Guru’ or the ‘master of the arts’. Apart from being a litterateur, he was also a singer, music composer, director and an actor.