Citation of SAFMA May 2007
Tribute to South Asia's "Cultural Ambassador"
Sh. Sanjay Godbole
The Honourable Shri Sanjay Godbole
You stand out as
a versatile scholar in today's communication
revolution, who reveals to us how the delicate
ties of culture, reflected in our languages,
literatures and the arts, have always bound the
world together, even in periods when not many
historical sources were available.
Your vision of
history has transcended the conventional
cataloguing of conflicts and coups, and the
chronology of dynasties. You have honed your
skills to relate closely to the people, the
times they lived in and what they spoke, wrote,
used and consumed.
You have the
magic gift of reaching out smoothly over
centuries of history, and entering into the very
lives of people of the time, assessing their
attitude, their values and the human condition.
Your painstaking research and investigations
into their artifacts and archives, sketches and
relics, earthenware and metal vessels, have
recreated for us even epochs wiped off from the
palimpsest of time and history!
embodiment of your single-minded and magnificent
obsession to converse with the past is your
well-preserved Museum and Library of over 2,000
precious and rare books and exhibits at home. No
wonder they have earned honourable mention in
the Limca Book of Records! Your wonderful
collection of books, precious manuscripts, rare
paintings and photographs of Pune and other
cities; terra-cotta vessels and some ancient
musical instruments reveals your eclectic
approach to the study of history.
Because of your
special interest in the evolution of West Asian
culture, and your abiding love for the Persian
and Urdu languages, you have written seminal
research articles on the nomadic Gypsy and
Baluchi tribes of the area. Your documentary
films (and short-film Naseem-e-Punah
in Persian) along with evocative photographs
of artifacts in your history museum in Pune,
have received appreciative notices in West Asian
cities of Teheran, Kabul, Istanbul and Turbat.
publications in Pakistan and Iran have
periodically published your well-studied
articles on Pakistan. Magazines there have also
published articles regarding your remarkable
home library and museum, in Pune.
We, in the South Asian Forum and the
Mumbai-Karachi Forum, respectfully salute a
'cultural ambassador' like Shri Sanjay Godbole,
who helps so much to strengthen bonds of
friendship and goodwill among people of India