The University of North Bengal at Siliguri has decided to honour one of Bengal’s greatest modern novelists, Mani Sankar Mukherji, popularly known as Sankar,with a degree of D.Litt. (Honoris Causa) at its 46th Convocation to be held at Siliguri on February 18, 2016.
The West Bengal Governor Kesari Nath Tripathi, the Chancellor, will preside at the convocation.
Born on December 7, 1933, Sankar’s first book Kata Ajanare was serialised in a well-known literary weekly in 1954-55. Based on life around law courts and the last days of the last English Barrister practising in Calcutta, the book has been acclaimed as a masterpiece and continues to be translated in many languages. Sankar is currently penning a non-fictional piece on 11 Bengali sadhus who led india to America in the late 19th century and early 20th Century. The book “Ekadosh Ashwarohi” will be published during the Kolkata Book Fair by Dey’s Publishing.
There are now more than 80 novels, short stories, travelogues, biographies and history books to Sankar’s credit till date. His books on Swami Vivekananda and Ramakrishna Paramhansa are current best-sellers. The translations of his novels and biographies have appeared in many languages across the country, as also in UK, France.
The author of the Bengali classic, Chowringhee(1962) is also remembered for his graphic account of the lives of managers, employees and guests at Shahjahan, “the Orient’s oldest hotel” as seen from the eyes of “its youngest staff” – Sankar.
Chowringhee was translated into English in 2007. It inspired a film by the same name, a play and, most recently, a BBC radio play. The semi-autobiographical novel is actually the second part of a trilogy with Kato Ajanare (his first book) and Gharer Madhye Ghar. Critics say that Sankar has written India’s corporate story in Chowringhee.