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Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura Student Memorial Endowment at Presidency University, Kolkata

Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura Student Memorial Endowment at Presidency University, Kolkata

(Dandavats.com) – Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura Student Memorial Endowment at Presidency University, Kolkata

By Gopikā Rādhikā Devī Dāsī & Sundara Gopāla Dāsa

As an unprecedentedly unique offering to our illustrious Guru-paramparā and the Vaiṣṇava community, the Bhaktivedanta Research Center (BRC) established an endowment in honour of Śrīla Saccidānanda Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, at his alma mater—Presidency University, Kolkata, in September 2023. Over 150 years ago, in 1853, Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, then known as Kedarnath Dutta, attended Hindu College as a student. This historic institution, founded in 1817, evolved into Presidency College in 1855 and ultimately, Presidency University in 2010.

The Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura Student Memorial Endowment was offered by BRC to the department of Sociology at Presidency University. The endowment is aimed at supporting best academic practices related to courses on religion at the department.

At a ceremonious event held on 19th September, 2023 at the Department of Sociology of Presidency University, representatives of BRC presented the endowment check to Dr. Suhrita Saha, the Head of the Sociology Department. The event witnessed the presence of several distinguished academicians, including Dr. Upal Chakraborty of the Department of Sociology, Dr. Sukanya Sarbadhikari, and Professor of History at Belur Vidyamandir, Dr. Shantanu Dey.

During this event, Dr. Sumanta Rudra, the Academic Dean of BRC, emphasized Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura’s profound impact as a spiritual luminary and transcendental social reformer. He expressed feelings of deep joy and fulfilment in commemorating the legacy of Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura through this endowment. Dr. Suhrita Saha also addressed the gathering, emphasizing the historical significance of Kedarnath Dutt’s association with Hindu College and the importance of sharing his legacy with future generations of students.

To preserve the history of the university, an archive has been curated, containing records of the Hindu/Presidency College (now Presidency University) in collaboration with the British Library and the University of Chicago. An attendance register of the Hindu College bearing the name of Kedarnath Dutta was discovered in this archive. A facsimile copy of the same was ceremoniously presented to the Bhaktivedanta Research Center by Presidency University, as a token of appreciation for the endowment.

Needless to say, this endowment marks a monumental contribution to academia, perpetuating the transcendental legacy of Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura—an unmatched scholar and prolific author who penned and published over a hundred books on Vaiṣṇava philosophy, all while discharging his duties as a high-ranking magistrate and householder.

Notably, the Bhaktivinoda Thakura Student Memorial Endowment is the second such endowment established by BRC in 2023. In its unwavering commitment to perpetuate the legacy of our Guru-paramparā, particularly within academia, BRC previously instituted the Bhaktivedanta Swami Memorial Award at Scottish Church College, Śrīla Prabhupāda’s alma mater.

H.G. Gauranga Dāsa, the Administrative Director of BRC, expresses profound happiness at this latest development. He stated that BRC is steadfastly dedicated to preserving the transcendental legacy of our ācāryas through an ever-expanding variety of initiatives. The establishment of endowments in mainstream academia, in honour of our ācāryas, is just one such initiative among many. He humbly seeks the blessings of the Vaiṣṇava community that BRC may remain an effective instrument in serving our Guru-paramparā and perpetuating their invaluable legacy.

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