Kolkata (West Bengal) [India] May 22 (ANI): Under the aegis of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav (AKAM), the Ministry of Culture held an inaugural ceremony to commemorate the yearlong celebration of the 250th Birth Anniversary of Raja Ram Mohan Roy on Monday in Kolkata. It will continue till next year May 22, informed the Ministry of Culture.
The inaugural ceremony took place at Raja Ram Mohan Roy Library Foundation, Salt Lake, Kolkata, and at Science City Auditorium, Kolkata. The programme was organized by the Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre (EZCC), the Ministry of Culture, and the Government of India.
Union Minister of Culture, Tourism and Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) G Kishan Reddy joined the ceremony virtually. The Governor of West Bengal, Jagdeep Dhankhar was also present on the occasion. Today is the 50th foundation day of Raja Ram Mohan Roy Library Foundation also, said the ministry in its press release.
Reddy unveiled an iconic statue of Raja Ram Mohan Roy in virtual mode at Raja Ram Mohan Roy Library Foundation, Kolkata.
The Governor of West Bengal, Jagdeep Dhankhar, said that future generations must continue to follow the ideas of Ram Mohan Roy.
During his address, the Union Minister said, "Today, on the 250th birth anniversary of Raja Ram Mohan Roy, on behalf of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Central Government, I would thank and pay my regards for his great contribution for the emancipation of our Indian society. It is a wonderful coincidence that today is the 250th birth anniversary of the great social reformer and the Historical 50 Years of Raja Ram Mohan Roy Library Foundation is also being completed".
He further said, "As we all know that "Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav" is an occasion to pay respect and remember our great men and heroes who sacrificed their lives for the independence of our country. The installation of the idol of Raja Ram Mohan Roy is our way of paying a true tribute to him. I congratulate the Raja Ram Mohan Roy Library Foundation for this important step. The statue of this great man will inspire us and our younger generation. It will remind all of us about the great deeds, high ideals, and the philosophy of his life".
While remembering the contribution of Raja Ram Mohan Roy the Union Minister said, "On taking his name the image of an independent and visionary thinker who was not only a great social reformer but he was also a great philosopher, an educationist, and a great journalist. His scholarly mind can be gauged from the fact that he learned Bengali, Persian, Arabic, and Sanskrit languages at the age of 15. Later he also learned Hindi and English. The work he did for education and the improvement of conditions of women is incomparable. On child marriage, he clearly believed that the age of marriage for women should be increased and women should get the right of remarriage. In true sense, he was the architect of Modern India and the father of Bengal Renaissance".
Reddy hailed the efforts of the Ministry of Culture for promoting and upgrading the libraries across the country. He said, "The Ministry of Culture provides assistance for one State Central Library and one District Library under the National Library Mission. They have also provided more than 54 crores to 50 libraries across the country. We are continuously trying to expand and modernize the libraries across the country".
"Today I appeal to the Authorities of the States and the Union Territories, that the Public Library System should be strengthened more in the "Azadi Ke Amrit Mahotsav". Active participation in the programs of the National Model Library should be ensured and we should also move in the direction of E-Book and digital library. I think only knowledge and skills will make India a strong and self-reliant nation. We all need to make new resolutions and move in the direction of making this great nation a Vishwaguru once again," he added.
Several other events were arranged at Science City Auditorium, Kolkata. A seminar and quiz program was also organised for children. A multimedia presentation on various facets of the life of Raja Ram Mohan Roy was also presented too. (ANI)