Celebrating a Life long learner : The legend known as Acharya Devendra Nath Sharma
Between the story of 'rags to riches' and being born with a silver 'spoon in their mouth' the social narrative is greatly deficient in the chronicling of the those life stories of people who were neither born in penury or nor were born rolling in wealth. These are stories of persons born in ordinary circumstances of wealth but with a huge tradition of scholarship or indeed family environment which truly encouraged human growth. The deficiency of narrative in this area has eschewed the building of sound role models which reinforce robust and well rounded social growth.
The effort of Centenary Celebrations of the Acharya is anchored by DK International Foundation which is a registered no profit society with a track record of over ten years of unbroken service.
Acharya Devendra Nath Sharma, birth Centenary Celebrations were launched on July 6, 2017 at the India International Centre, Delhi by the renowned scholar and statesman Hon'ble Dr. Karan Singh, ex-ruler J&K Riyasata; former Union Minister. As many are aware Dr. Singh has a doctorate for his work on Shri Aurobindo and not an honorary PhD! The turnout in such events is often described a glittering because of the turnout of glamour personalities, psychedelic lights and often laced with music fit for glamour parade. This function had a large impressive turn out of well known names and some not so well known names. It was a somber event with an unusual mix of academics, researchers, beauracrats, service personnel, media, police officials, corporate executives, diplomatic core, entrepreneurs and more. They came from many walks of life and there was at least a 1 nine year old and a few over 75. The range and depth of those attending was like the multi - dimensional personality of the Acharya.
The Acharya was educated in institutions form Motihari to London. Born in 1918 he was amongst the first crop of Indians who went abroad in 1950, for what was then referred to as 'higher studies'. Acharya had felicity with 7 Indian languages and 5 European languages which included French, German and Russian. His literary and scholastic contributions range from theatre, personal essays to poetics and linguistics. He touched many lives. He was like several of his generation, a product of lifelong learning, largely, self induced and driven by a desire to excel.
The audience was addressed by the Patron of the Advisory Council of the Centenary Celebrations the Union Mininster Hon'ble Shri JP Nadda. He recalled his family associations with Acharya and how the youth of the time of the doyen were over awed by his huge sense of discipline and integrity. HE the High Commissioner of Rawanda to India Hon'ble Ernest Rwamucyo was eloquent in highlighting how persons such as Acharya Devenra Nath Sharma enhance and embellish the legend of a family (Acharya Devendra Nath Sharma's father Pt Shiv Sharan Sharma was invited by Pt Madan Mohan Malaviya to BHU to be the first Acahrya of Literature). He in his unique remarks highlighted the role of transfer of knowledge and how such celebrations create bench marks.
Padma Bhushan Shyam Saran, former special envoy of the Prime Minister and Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs spoke of the interfaces he had in his youth with Acharya's personality and he called him a true 'renaissance man'. The Hon'ble Consul General of Cabo Verde HE Shri Sanjay Dewan dwelt upon the global value of the contributions of Acharya Devendra Nath Shrama with special emphasis on international humanism. He highlighted how so many great men are also products of lifelong learning; how indeed, Cape Verde is a rare example of a country with visa on arrival for all. This is practicing 'globalism'.
All put together, it was a wonderful evening. One can look forward to the unfolding of Centenary Celebrations planned in Kochi, Mumbai, Jubbalpore, Ranchi, Patna, Lucknow, Agra and more. May the principle of lifelong learning be strengthened by examples, such as that of Acharya Devendra Nath Sharma!