Vivekananda Kendra Institute of Culture (VKIC), Guwahati observed its 27th Foundation Day with a program on 31st January 2024 at VKIC premises with around 300 invited guests

Handloom Exhibition of Padmashri Smt. Hemaprova Chutia

The program started at morning 10:30 with the inauguration of Handloom Exhibition of Padmashri Smt. Hemaprova Chutia who has intricately woven the entire Bhagawat Gita on cloth in Sanskrit and English. Additionally, she also crafted the Gunamala of Srimanta Sankardeva and Naam Ghosa of Sri Sri Madhavdeva. Her extraordinary journey and insights into creating these masterpieces was exhibited at Utpal Memorial Yoga Hall at VKIC. 

Shri Gulab Chand Kataria

The Honourable Governor of Assam, Shri Gulab Chand Kataria, welcomed with Shantipath and Vedic Aikya Mantra. Subsequently, he appreciated the Handloom Exhibition curated by Padmashri Smt. Hemaprova Chutia at Yoga Hall.

The Honourable Governor of Assam graced the program where the audience extended their greetings, acknowledging him and other dignitaries with National Anthem followed by the State Anthem. 

Shri Gulab Chand Kataria

As customary, VKIC Foundation Day program commenced with auspicious Mangalacharan recited by Smt. Monika Mahanta, Karyakarta, Vivekananda Kendra (VK). Dr. Joram Begi, Chairman, VKIC welcomed all and presented VKIC Annual Activities 2023-24. Extending greetings to the dignitaries and esteemed gathering, he highlighted VKIC’s initiatives including honouring individuals dedicated to preserving, protecting and promoting traditional faith and culture across Northeast India. Subsequently, the Honourable Governor of Assam, Shri Gulab Chand Kataria was felicitated by Shri. Kailashji Lohia, well-wisher, adorned with a Phulam Gamusha, traditional shawl from VK Rural Development Program, Khatkhati, and a set of VKIC publications. 

Guest of Honor, Lt. Gen (Retd.) Rana Pratap Kalita was felicitated by Sri B. L Purohit ji, Executive Council Member, VKIC, with Phulam Gamusha, traditional shawl from VK Rural Development Program, Khatkhati, and a set of VKIC publications. The Citation of the VKIC Sanmanee Shri Thunbui Zeliang from Nagaland was read by Dr. Jyotirupa Sarma, member of Research Advisory Council, VKIC. 

The main aspect of celebrating the VKIC Foundation Day every year is to honor an individual working for the protection, promotion and preservation of traditional faith, culture, and this time the coveted VKIC Sanman was conferred on Shri Thunbui Zeliang from Nagaland by Honorable Governor of Assam, Shri Gulab Chand Kataria.   The award carries a citation, a plaque, a set of VKIC publications, Rs. 50,000 and a traditional community shawl weaved by VK Rural Development Program, Khatkhati, Golaghat is given as a mark of respect. 

Padmashri Hemaprova Chutia

Padmashri Hemaprova Chutia, a renowned Indian weaver and artisan from Moran, Dibrugarh, Assam was felicitated by Lt. Gen (Retd.) Rana Pratap Kalita for her significant contribution to sustaining and showcasing the Indian artistry in weaving with a Phulam Gamusha, traditional shawl from VK Rural Development Program, Khatkhati, and a set of VKIC publications.  

VKIC Sanamnee, Shri Thunbui Zeliang

VKIC Sanamnee, Shri Thunbui Zeliang in his acceptance speech talked about the philosophy and influence of Ma Rani Gaidinliu and that he is a part of Zeliangrong Heraka Education of Akhil Bharatiya Vanawasi Kalyan Ashram since 2001. He is the Jt. Secretary of Zeliangrong Heraka Association and Liangmai Welfare Society. By profession, Shri Thunbui Zeliang is a teacher in Kohima from Nzau village of Peren district of Nagaland. He works for preservation, protection and promotion of traditional faith and culture of Zeliang community not only of Nagaland, but also of Manipur, Meghalaya, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh. He also cited the examples of Bir Bikram Bahadur Jamatia, Rang Pha movement of Arunachal Pradesh by which he was inspired and drew his motivation. VKIC Sanamn mentioned about his contributions as social activist across the region.

He said “the traditional faiths of the region should be encouraged and protect each other to overcome the challenges”. 

Book Release

The release of 3 books namely, VKIC’s Deori Sampradayar Paramporagata Bidhi Byavastha: Paribartan Aru Dharabahikata, Lecture in memory of Mananiya P. Parameswaran ji and Adarniya Dipok Kumar Barthakur: Indian Knowledge System and its Relevance and Swamiji in America by Asomiya Prakashan Vibhag was released by the dignitaries along with Deori Sahitya Sabha President, Dr. Saranan Deori and District President Sri Bharat Deori, Shri. Bipul Deori and Ramakanta Deori. 


Lt. Gen (Retd.) Rana Pratap Kalita, former General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Eastern Command, spoke on the theme, “Northeast of My Dreams” where he emphasized the paramount significance of the strategic location of Northeast India, sharing 95% of its boundary internationally and only 5% with ours. This strategic positioning holds importance not only to India but for the entire world. He pointed that natural boundary of the region with Myanmar, China, Bangladesh and the janajati communities which have distinct, culture and tradition help in security of the region. He highlighted the challenges like insurgency, landlocked region without sea port, lack of infrastructure, overuse and commercialisation of resources and internal border disputes acting as hindrance for development in the region. 
He pointed out the strength of women-human resources, tea and tourism as a potential economic resource and need of preservation of culture and way of life and also stated that time has come to fulfil the dreams of Northeast region by harvesting resources, rich biodiversity tourism, preservation of culture in the entire region and by ensuring peace and stability’.

He stressed about the sustainable economic development, education, health, tourism and handloom industries, where the need is to pursue trade with neighbouring countries. He cited the opportunities in development like environmental conservation and rich biodiversity hotspots tourism, strengthening transportation in and beyond the region, development in technology, encourage innovation, technology adaptation and adoption and proper marketing. In health care and education, reverse migration and zero hunger can play a significant role for the region’s progress. He said, “peace and stability in the region cannot take place without harnessing human resource in Northeast, fostering sustainable development, harvesting natural resources and tourism”. 

He emphasised that Ishankon is a reserved Shivathan with potential for hydro-diplomacy and development in handicrafts and handloom, drawing on its historical significance dating back to the times of Mahabharata and Ramayana. Lt. Gen (Retd.) Rana Pratap Kalita highlighted the significance of Vastu Shastra and spiritual environment of the region which was and will shape the region especially the youth. 

Shri Gulab Chand Kataria
Honorable Governor of Assam, Shri Gulab Chand Kataria addressed the august gathering stressing the need of unwavering commitment to prioritising the nation’s interest, unity and progress. He narrated how the young and dynamic leader Swami Vivekananda encouraged generations to contribute towards the nation. He encouraged to learn about Swami Vivekananda by quoting, “You can’t believe in God, if you don’t believe in yourself”. He added in the words of Swamiji, that one should worship the motherland and others which will help our hearts to be pure and God will be within us. 

He mentioned how Bharat was exploited by the British and had a distorted perception of Northeast India. Yet, the resilience and potential of her power shines through. Evident in the historical facts that even the Mughals could not establish their jurisdiction here due to sons and daughters like Lachit Barphukan and Kanaklata. He also highlighted the pivotal role of VKIC, serving as intellectual fountain-head of the region, and its commitment to identify and honour personalities dedicated to serving the motherland, bestowing them with due recognition and Sanman. He concluded with quote of Swami Vivekananda pointing out to Americans, “In your country clothes makes a gentleman, in my country character does”. 

Dr. Jonali Devi, Director, VKIC expressed her gratitude on behalf of VKIC to the Honorable Governor of Assam, VKIC Sanmanee, Chief Guest, Guest of Honor and all present in the auditorium for their time and support to make the occasion a grand success. 

During the program, the acclaimed Indian weaver, Padmashri Smt. Hemaprova Chutia recounted her life journey before delving into weaving. Discovering solace and purpose in the art of the crafting and the handloom, she found renewed strength and motivation. She emphasized that it wasn’t merely her desire but a divine force that bestowed upon her the purity and power to weave and contribute towards the society.  


The program concluded with the ritual presentation of Jaintia community by Seinraij Jowai Team, Meghalaya and were felicitated by VKIC members with a traditional community muffler weaved by VK Rural Development Program, Khatkhati, Golaghat as a token of respect to the team. A team of 20 members performed an elaborated birth rites and rituals of the Pnar community that holds special importance in spiritual and social milieu. 

The program was hosted by Dr. Jahnabi Goswami, Karyakarta and it was concluded with Shanti Mantra by Smt. Monika Mahanta.