My friend Ravindra Nath Tripathi, an Advocate practising in the courts of Azamgarh has sent me an invite to the annual conference of Uttar Bharat Darshan Parishad, which is being held on the campus of the prestigious Children College and Schools Azamgarh ( Yes, this is the name). In a way, it is the most appropriate place to hold the annual conference. This conference will impel the new generation of students to develop and broaden the horizon of scientific and rational thinking. The conference place is situated a few kilometres away from the din and bustle of the town in a tranquil ambience of the village Belaisa. It is being organised for three days from 15th to17th July.   It may be noted that Azamgarh is the land of Rishi Duravasa. A village named after Rishi Durvasa is located on the confluence of rivers-Tamsa and Manjhui and has acquired the status of a pious pilgrim centre, where people from far-off places assemble for three days in the month Kartik every year for holy dips in the Sangam.     Azamgarh has been systematically impoverished by the Moghuls and Britishers. It is also said that the water of the river Tamsa has the ingredients of rebellion, which is traced back to Rishi Durvasa. That is why there is a popular feeling that an Azamgarhi flows into a rage on any injustice done to anybody.  It was the centre of the first war of Independence of 1857 and also of the Quit India Movement of 1942. The place finds mentioned in the famous book of Vir Savarkar, wherein he described the valour and the bravery of the people under the leadership of Babu Kunwar Singh, who had set up his camp at Atraulia some 35 km away in the west of Azamgarhwhile marching towards Lucknow.
Azamgarh was found in 1665 by one Azam, the son of VikramajitSingh. a descendant of Gautam Rajput of Mehnagar, who had embraced Islam. He had a Muslim wife who bore him two sons Azam and Azmat. While Azam gave his name to the town of Azamgarh. Azmat constructed the fort and settled the bazaar Azmatgarh of Pargana Sagri. Another famous Muslim Rajput was Shibli Nomani, who had worked hard for Pan Islamism and set up the ShibliNational College and Darul Mussanfin in Azamgarh. His brothers were educated in England and one of them even became the Judge of the Allahabad High Court.  Shibli Nomani had although taught at Aligarh Muslim University yet had serious differences with its founder Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and always found the atmosphere of the Aligarh intellectually very suffocating. Shibli was inspired by the progress of science and education in the West, but his attitude was sectarian and was confined to Muslims only.
The name of Kedarnath Pandey aka Rahul Sankrityayan, known for his itinerary and philosophical writings is also associated with the district. But those who gave new heights to literature and philosophy were Pandit Ayodhya Singh Upadhyay Hariaudh, Pandit Shyam Narayan Pandey and Pandit Channu Lal Mishra. My classmate at Banaras Hindu University and an aficionado of Indian Philosophy Dr RK Mishra, who expired last year due to COVID would have been the happiest person to have participated in this philosophical congregation as he, like me, was also from Azamgarh.
Although I am in not able to participate in the programme due to personal reasons, it would have been a celebratory occasion for me as it was going to provide a good opportunity to meet and listen to philosophical expositions of renowned scholars. Moreover, it is being held in my native district, where eminent thinker-teacher of Philosophy Dr Sabhajit Mishra is being honoured by the Parishad.  I send my best wishes to Tripathi ji, one of the organisers for the roaring success of the annual conference, being organised under the illustrious guidance of Professor BajrangTripathi.
Parmanand Pandey


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