New institute for Ramayana studies 13 Jan 2008, 1103 hrs IST , PTI
NEW DELHI : People across the globe interested in studies on the Ramayana can now look forward to Assam's main city of Guwahati where an institute devoted to research on the epic will come up later this month. "The institute will be solely devoted to research on the Ramayana," noted Assamese litterateur Indira Goswami, in whose residence the institute will be set up, said. "At the beginning two students -- from anywhere in the world -- will be admitted for research work on the epic," Goswami told reporters over phone. The institute will be declared open on January 20. "Assam has a vibrant cultural tradition and the Ramayana and the Mahabharata have linked the state with the rest of the country in a strong way," she said. Goswami had approached the Assam government seeking sponsorship of scholarships for the researchers and the state promised to extend all possible help to her endeavour, she said. "The government's response has been positive," she said. There has also been an attempt to get affiliation of the studies at the institution with the Gauhati University. Goswami, given the Jnanpith Award in 2000, acquired her PhD in 1973 from Gauhati University for her thesis "Comparative Study of Goswami Tulsi Das' Ramcharita Manas and Madhab Kandali's Assamese Ramayana ". The first-ever Ramayana in the modern Indo-Aryan languages is believed to have been written in Assamese in the 14th century by Kandali.