First Kalinga Literary Festival brought great literati of Odisha on one platform

Report by Odisha Diary bureau, Bhubaneswar: The capital city saw hundreds of literati assemble at Jaydev Bhawan to celebrate the life and spirit of language and literature at Kalinga Literary Festival (KLF).  The celebration was doubly significant as Odia has been accorded as a classical language on 20 February 2014 making it the only and first language in the Indo-Aryan language group to have such a status.
Organised by OdishaDiary, the leading online media of the state, the KLF was inaugurated by Padma Bibhusan Dr. Sitakanta Mahapatra, Prof Natabar Satapathy, Dr. Arun Rath, Odisha Sahitya Academy President Shri Satakadi Hota, Padma Shri Debi Prasanna Patnaik, Poet Fani Mohanty, poet Manoram Biswal Mohapatra and KLF Director Rashmi Ranjan Parida.
Mr. Rashmi Ranjan Parida, the Editor of OdishaDiary and the Director of KLF introduced the guests and speakers. The inaugural session highlighted the importance of language and literature in human life and thanked KLF team to have taken such a brilliant initiative. KLF conferred the First Kalinga Sahitya Sanman on Padma Shri Prof Debi Prasanna Patnaik. Prof Patnaik was the head of the team that researched and submitted a report to the government of India and strongly argued in favour of the classical language status for Odia.
Prachee Naik, Co-Director of KLF, in her welcome speech outlined the objectives and vision of the KLF and thanked the guests and speakers to have agreed to grace the event. She acknowledged the great curiosity that KLF has created globally and expected KLF to become an annual platform that would attract global leaders in literature. Some interesting books by both reputed and new talents were released during the function. Antarctica Diary by Dr Arun Rath, Tamanna A Wish by Bilina Pattanaik, REPORTING-Kichhi Akuha Katha’ by Saumya Parida, Saphalata Ra Abhibyakti by Barendra Kumar and English Mantra by Janardan Mishra.
The day saw great presentations, discussion and interactions on many important issues related to literature with a particular focus on Odia language and literature.  Focussing on Odia Short Stories in New Millennium, Renaissance in Odia poetry, Odia Journalism and Odia Literature, leading writers and academics analysed the past trends and expected a bright future for Odia. Everyone acknowledged the classical tag as the greatest development in the recent history of the language and they hoped that as the focus and funding on the research in Odia grows, bright young minds will pursue literature and writing in Odia.
Leading writer Shri Gourhari Das, young talent Asish Gadanayak, well known writer Paramita Satpathy spoke on Odia Short Stories in New Millennium. The session was moderated by Debprasad Dash. In the second session Dr. Aparna Mohanty, Arjun Charan Hembram, Manorama Mohapatra and Manguli Charan Prusty discussed Renaissance in Odia poetry. The session saw brilliant coverage the history of Odia poetry through an entertaining session of poetry reading.
The last session saw senior journalist Prasanat Patnaik, poet and journalist Manorama Mohaptra, editor Prasana Mohanty, journalist and activist NA Shah Ansari and OdishaDiary senior editor Kamala Kanta Dash discussing the critical intersections of media and literature and how KLF can bridge that gap in providing a platform for students, researchers and professionals in language, literature and media.
Guests and speakers expressed happiness in being part of the KLF, identified a few action points for future and wished it to become an annual pilgrimage.   Senior Editor and Convener of KLF Mr. Ashoka Palit offered the vote of thanks. Mr Palit thanked the guests, delegates, sponsors and the KLF team for the grand success of the inaugural edition of the Kalinga Literary Festival.

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