Sonada, September 22, 2020: Salesian College hosted an on-line lecture on making sense of contemporary Indian scenario, on 22 September 2020.
An alumnus of Salesian College Sonada in the Darjeeling hills currently professor at Salesian University Rome gave the 11th Verzotto Memorial lecture on the theme: Education to Cultural Values.
The event was relayed live from Kallingal Auditorium (Sonada) in the New Block powered by the Hydro Power Station (given power cut due to storm) sponsored by German and Italian friends of the College.
In the on-line lecture attended by both students and professors of Salesian College Sonada and Siliguri campuses, alumnus Prof Scaria Thuruthiyil spoke from Rome.
Eminent professor of Philosophy for over over 30 years at Salesian University Rome, Thuruthiyil deftly touched upon the various aspects of the topic with reference to Fr Giuseppe Verzotto and the current socio-political scenario in India.
The Verzotto Memorial lecture is dedicated to the memory of the Italian missionary Fr. Jospeh Verzotto who spent over 28 years in Gorabari village near Sonada at Salesian College and endeared himself to the people who called him Fr. Joseph J. Pradhan.
“That was the height of inculturation,“ Thuruthiyil pointed out.
Presenting the rise of Fascism in Italy and Nazism in Germany, Thuruthiyil who has lived in Europe for some 40 years, cautioned the listeners on the dangers of monoculturalism engulfing the socio-religious fabric of India.
Principal Fr George Thadathil corroborated Thuruthiyil`s thoughts with a note from Ramchandra Guha`s recent webinar organised by Salesian College History department comparing 1920 Italy and 2020 India with allusions to the rise of Fascism and Hindutva.
Incidentally, Fr. Verzotto who died in Kolkata in 2009 at the age of 82, never went home to Italy in the last 30 years of his life. This year marks his 93rd birthday.
From 1960 to 1989, besides teaching ethics, metaphysics, psychology, epistemology and Indian philosophy, he was the college`s librarian, counselor, postman, fundraiser, and philanthropist. He was also a biographer, literary essayist, film critique, translator, religious instructor. Rector of Salesian College Sonada Dr Tomy Augustine coordinated the 90-minute lecture.