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Address at the Presentation of the 'Twelfth and Thirteenth Ramkrishna Jaidayal Dalmia Shreevani Alankaran, 2005 & 2006', New Delhi, 18 January 2007.

Justice Ranganath Mishra; Dr. L.M. Singhvi; Shri Sanjay Dalmia; Shri Mridu Hari Dalmia; Swami Rambhadracharya; Prof. Hari Narayan Dixit; Dr. Sharma; Dr. Vasishtha; and Ladies and Gentlemen:

It gives me great pleasure to be here today at the Presentation Ceremony of the Twelfth and Thirteenth Ramkrishna Jaidayal Dalmia Shreevani Alankaran for 2005 and 2006, being one of the most prestigious awards conferred for excellence in Sanskrit language and literature. I heartily felicitate Swami Rambhadracharya and Prof. Hari Narayan Dixit who have been conferred this rare honour. I also take this opportunity to compliment the Ramkrishna Jaidayal Dalmia Shreevani Nyas, which, ever since its inception, has been contributing significantly to the development and promotion of Sanskrit language and literature.

Late Ramkrishna Jaidayal Dalmia was a multi-faceted personality who strengthened our national fabric by his manifold contributions. The Dalmia industrial complexes are a living testimony to the entrepreneurial skills of the Dalmia family. Ramkrishna Jaidayal Dalmiaji was not content with creating wealth but wanted to make a difference to the lives of the people of the country. His philanthropic contributions were legendary and many have benefited from the charities he set up. More than anything else, Dalmiaji took great pride in Indian culture, traditions and heritage. The promotion of Sanskrit language and literature was one of his prime concerns. As such, it is only appropriate that the Shreevani Alankaran is named after the Late Ramkrishna Jaidayal Dalmia. I take this opportunity to pay my tributes to his memory.

Maha Mahopadhyaya Swami Rambhadracharya, whose epic Sanskrit work Shri Bhargawaraghawiyam has been chosen for the Award for the year 2005, is a celebrated Sanskrit scholar and educationist of great merit and achievement. In spite of his loss of vision at a tender age, Swamiji overcame all hurdles in his way in the pursuit of knowledge. His academic accomplishments are many and several prestigious Universities have conferred their honorary degrees on him. A polyglot, he has composed poems in many Indian languages. He has also authored about 75 books on diverse themes having a bearing on our culture, heritage, traditions and philosophy which have received appreciation. A builder of several institutions, he started the Vikalanga Vishwavidyalaya at Chitrakoot, of which he is the lifelong Chancellor. By conferring the Ramkrishna Jaidayal Dalmia Shreevani Alankaran 2005 on Swami Rambhadracharya, the Nyas has indeed enhanced the prestige of the Award.

Prof. Hari Narayan Dixit who has received the Award for the year 2006 is another eminent Sanskrit scholar who has enriched the language and literature by his contributions and commitment. A devoted scholar and teacher, Prof. Dixit has spent a life time for the promotion of Sanskrit. I understand that he guided many research studies in Sanskrit and 55 scholars took their doctoral degree under his guidance and supervision. Prof. Dixit has authored many Sanskrit works, including the widely acclaimed Bhishma Charitam, for which he is being conferred the Shreevani Alankaran for the year 2006. Without doubt, this is a befitting honour for a reputed Sanskrit scholar.

There is no doubt that by honouring Swami Rambhadracharya of Chitrakoot and Prof. Hari Narayan Dixit, we are honouring our history, our culture and our philosophical, scientific and artistic traditions, of which Sanskrit language and literature have been an integral part. Sanskrit, which is the fountainhead of all our languages, has been enormously rich in all aspects of our cultural, philosophical and artistic traditions. The embodiment of our rich cultural heritage, Sanskrit is the language through which the Indian civilization has found its expression for thousands of years. It is in this language that ancient poetry, romantic prose, lyrics, dramas, fables and fairy tales flourished and thrived in our rich history.

Friends, Sree Aurobindo, while speaking on the importance of Sanskrit language once said: 'It is of the utmost value to a nation, a human group-soul to preserve its language and make it a strong and living cultural instrument. A nation, race or people which loses its language cannot live its whole life or real life.' Echoing similar sentiments, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, wrote in his Discovery of India, and I quote: 'If I was asked what is the greatest treasure which India possesses and what is her greatest heritage, I would answer unhesitatingly that it is the Sanskrit language and literature and all that it contains. This is a magnificent inheritance… . that whatever the shape of the future may take, one of the biggest, the strongest, and the most powerful and the most valued of our legacies, will be the Sanskrit language.' I am confident that by their untiring efforts, Swami Rambhadracharyaji, Prof. Hari Narayan Dixit and the Ramkrishna Jaidayal Dalmia Shreevani Nyas will continue to preserve and protect one of our cherished legacies.

With these words, I have great pleasure in conferring the Twelfth Ramkrishna Jaidayal Dalmia Shreevani Alankaran, 2005, on Swami Ramabhadracharya of Chitrakoot and the Thirteenth Alankaran, 2006, on Prof. Hari Narayan Dixit. I am sure they will continue to devote themselves to the cause of Sanskrit. I also take this opportunity to extend my best wishes to the Ramkrishna Jaidayal Dalmia Shreevani Nyas whose services to the cause of Sanskrit are highly commendable.

Thank you.



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