Historical Moment – Dangs“Dangi Bhashanu Vyakaran” (The Grammar Of Dangi [Tribal] Language), a voluminous and monumental book by Fr Raymund Chauhan was released by the Rajas (kings) of the Dangs on the 26 June in Shamgahan amidst a colourful, cheerful and Dangi tribal atmosphere. Frs Ishwan Gamit, Thomas Chamakala, the Sisters, students, staff and people had worked a lot and made it an historical day. The Collector of the Dangs Mr P.K. Solanki, who was to preside over the function and release the book, could not attend owing to ill health, but he conveyed his appreciation to Fr Raymund and expressed his best wishes to the public. As people from far and near started arriving on the campus they were welcomed by traditional Dangi tribal music and dancers.
Around 10.30 a.m., the three kings – Dhanrajsinh from Vasurna, Karansinh from Gadvi and Tirmakrav from Pimpri, guests, Fathers and Sisters were led in a procession accompanied by graciously dancing women in front and in the rear while, on either side, the enthusiastic boys and girls of St Xavier’s School, Shamgahan lined up from the Residence to the Hostel. At the hostel building, the kings inaugurated an exhibition, done professionally, on Dangi culture and life-style including some live scenes, and particularly the contribution by Jesuits to the first-ever Dangi literary tradition. Later the focus was shifted to the beautifully decorated stage and mandap for the book release. In a masterly presentation of the cultural programme, the boys and girls, and local tribal artistes showcased their inimitable and breathtaking talents through songs and dances (‘pawari', 'samblya' ). There was thunderous applause, unstoppable, when the book was released by the three kings. It could be easily perceived that a sense of pride and revelry had secreted into the whole crowd and the speakers for they knew it quite well that Fr Raymund has enshrined not only the grammar of Dangi but also their beautiful land, rich culture, history, and so on. Referring to the book, one of the speakers rightly said, “It is the treasure of our people and culture.” A true honour to a Jesuit who, perfectly aligned to his Jesuit heritage, has painstakingly brought out a monumental work. Unquestionably, a labour of love (Shekhar Manickam)