"Maheswar Neog" on His Eighty First Birthday

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Navamalati Neog Chakraborty
Maheswar Neog Publ. Trust, 1995 - Authors, Assamese - 127 pages
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Professor Maheswar Neog was one of the leading humanists and scholar of contemporary India .He was an outstanding Indian scholar of 19th Century unique in his command of just every discipline of the humanities and social sciences. Professor Neog combined in himself the rare insight of a creative writer, the critical acumen of a philologist and a historian of literature and a meticulous writer on any topic on Assam and Assamese .For several decades he was one of the foremost figure in the nation’s academic and intellectual life. Professor Maheswar Neog was a versatile scholar and visionary thinker with encyclopedic range. His interest was multifarious. Arena of his studies covers all disciplines of Indian studies, language and literary history, lexicography and orthography, epigraphy and ethnography , historiography and hagiography ,fine arts and paintings ,music, dance ,drama ,religion and folklore apart from critical editions of a number of important ancient and medieval texts in Sanskrit and Assamese. Professor Hiren Gohain had rightly observed in his tribute , “ Inevitably Dr Neog had also to be an organiser.He edited journals,organised learned societies and circles, guided research,helped manfully in the mass-movement for the establishment of the first university in Assam,sterred the Asam Sahitya Sabha, joined the struggle against all attempts to destroy the integrity of Assam,while taking classes and doing a lot of drudgery for the infant university, and so on.And all the while he could count on very few people who could understand the importance of what he was doing. In fact he was doing things “ normal’ people has no time for !......He is the first Assamese scholar to have made plea for modern textual scholarship (in his Address as the President of the Asam Sahitya Sabha).I think the pursuit of that discipline spilled over later into a major work in epigraphy Prachya- sasanavali.” “ A scholar of such versatile genius and at the same time,profound erudition is rarte” is what Professor Suniti Kumar Chatterjee had said in appreciation of the range,depth and intensity of his scholarship. Dr Kapila Vatsyayan while delivering the First Professor Maheswar Neog Commemoration Lecture had observed ,” A great son of an indispensible part of India –the chronological details of his life now point out how the person was looking at his own soil, his roots and the world around him.I believe him to be the last generation of the renaissance in this age of specialization.”  

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