200th birth anniversary of a legend celebrated

By Our Reporter

 Shillong: “The most important thing in life is to stop saying ‘I wish’ and start saying ‘I will.’ Consider nothing impossible, then treat possibilities as probabilities”-Charles Dickens.

A quote from Dickens’s acclaimed novel ‘David Copperfield’ though written over two centuries ago, yet still holds true, accurate and served as a source of encouragement for many till date. An English Victorian era author known to be one of the greatest writers of all times, Dickens was considered as the spokesman for the poor, for he definitely brought much awareness to their plight, the downtrodden and the have-nots.

Celebrating the author’s 200th birth anniversary, Women College Shillong organized a seminar on Charles Dickens and the art of novel on the college premises here on Saturday. A first of its kind seminar which celebrated the life and works of the famous person in the literary world, this seminar was attended by students of different colleges who gave presentations on Dickens as a critic and a social reformer.

“He is an observer of reality and his observations were always highlighted in his books exposing the ills of the society during the Victorian age”, a student of St Anthony’s College said.

Charles John Huffman Dickens was born on 7 February, 1812 in Portsmouth, Hampshire in England (now the Dickens Birthplace Museum).

During the presentation, Dickens was also depicted as a humorous and a tidy person who would comb his hair hundred times a day. He was also projected as a person who loved to use nicknames and used some on his children.

“Dickens had a reputation as a reformer. Many have credited him with creating the climate of opinion that facilitated the reforms in education, public health, and criminal law that helped to make Britain a safer and less strife-ridden society”, a student of St Dominic College said.

He was also well known as a critic of existing structures of power, puncturing the pomposity and self-delusion of politicians and other office-holders. His responses to particular issues were shaped by his abiding concern for decency and humanity, and not by any coherent doctrine of the proper role of the state. Britain during Dickens’s lifetime was undergoing changes unprecedented in speed and scope.

Earlier, Principal of the college D Choudhury highlighted on the importance of such seminars stating that a platform like this will enable the students to expose their knowledge and provide them a space to articulate their ideas and views on various topics.

“80 percent of the graduates still being unemployed is something very serious and it our job to ensure that these students are equipped with the basic skills and knowledge to fit the job market”, he said.

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