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Salute on writer centenary

A three-day programme at National Library from Tuesday will mark the birth centenary of Hindi literature icon Sachidananda Hirananda Vatsyayan, or Agyeya, who had a deep connect with the city.

Prabha Khaitan Foundation, in collaboration with Sahitya Akademi and Raza Foundation, has organised the programme to remember the iconic poet, writer and journalist.

With over 50 scholars and senior journalists from across India on the list of participants, the event promises to deepen Calcutta’s relations with Agyeya’s works and his memories.

“Agyeya started his career here in the 1930s and lived here for the better part of his life. He was so deeply in love with the city that when he was chosen for the Jnanpith award, he demanded that the prize be given to him in the city. He had learnt Tagore’s Gitanjali by heart and had translated Saratchandra Chattopadhyay’s Srikanta into Hindi. What better place than Calcutta for the event?” said Sundeep Bhutoria, a trustee of Prabha Khaitan Foundation.

The event has been split into three sessions — “Agyeya ke sarokar”, “Agyeya ke shahar” and “Agyeya ke yayawari” — that will be attended by a number of literary stalwarts, including Giriraj Kishore, Mridula Garg, Prayag Shukla and Nand Kishore Acharya.

Vice-President Hamid Ansari will be the chief guest on Day Two. The events will start with a song by actress and MLA Debasree Roy followed by recitation of Bengali translations of Agyeya’s poetry by actor Soumitra Chatterjee and actresses Arpita Chatterjee, Rituparna Sengupta and Moon Moon Sen will read Agyeya.

The other highlights of the festival include the screening of a film on Agyeya and the release of a book on him edited by Om Thanvi.

Passes for the programme are available with Prabha Khaitan Foundation and Sahitya Akademi on a first-come-first-served basis.