New Delhi: Odia Samaj, New Delhi, a leading not-for-profit, socio-cultural organisation and an effective & neutral think tank today organised an online dialogue on Odia language and Literature i.e. “Odia Bhasha O Sahitya: Kichhi Drusti, Kichhi Chinta” through video conferencing.
The webinar was graced by icons from the world of Odia literature Padma Shri Dr. Pratibha Ray, Academician and Writer; Prof. Santanu Kumar Acharya, Writer; Prof. Manindra Kumar Meher, Writer & Professor Odia Department, Fakir Mohan University, Balasore, as speakers. Smt. Paramita Satpathy, Writer & Principal Commissioner of Income Tax was the moderator of the webinar. Besides Shri Sidhartha Pradhan, IRS (Retd.) President, Odia Samaj, Smt. Mridula Pradhan, wife of Union Petroleum Minister Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, members of Odia Samaj, New Delhi, and over 900 literature lovers including academicians from various universities and Odias living abroad participated in the webinar.
The evening began with a presentation on Odia Samaj, New Delhi and various programmes being carried out by the organization. Shri Ramachandra Nath, Chief Editor, Pallivani anchored the webinar and welcomed the audience, guests and speakers. Smt. Paramita Satpathy, moderator of the session started the panel discussion and said, “While Odia language has already got classical language status it is one of the most ancient languages. Literature is a path in which pure consciousness flows. Being a source of this flow, when a language or cultural ethos or social commitments flow with it together, they nurture rich literature.
Speaking about the past, present and future of Odia literature Dr. Pratibha Ray said that, Odia literature has its existence since 3rd century BC. One can find traces of Odia script in Shilalipi and Brahmilipi, inscripted during the time of King Ashoka besides minor inscriptions of Kharavela in the Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves, which gives first glimpse of possible origin of the Odia language. Adding to this, she said, “If we go into the depths of Odia language and its background, we can see that Odia language has played a significant role in our society. The process of creating literature gives peace to one’s soul. Literature has always been closely associated with our roots and our society. If we want to enrich our literature we need to take care of three important aspects- our self respect, self belief and self esteem. Speaking on the future of Odia literature Dr. Ray said, if we will nurture our literature it will continue to grow.
Speaking on the subject of Odia literature, Prof. Santanu Kumar Acharya said that, literature is considered as the engine of this world. Without literature the world can’t survive. Creation of literature is the reflection of one’s soul. He expressed disappointment that since 1913 after Rabindranath Tagore, not a single Indian writer has been awarded Nobel Prize for literature. He further added that literature can’t be enriched if we restrict ourselves in regional boundaries. We must give flight to our thoughts.
Giving a comparison between pre and post Independence literature, Prof. Manindra Kumar Meher said that, we can’t avoid ancient literature. The literature of post independence era is driven by our rich ancient literature only. He said, if a person reads literature of the earlier era his conscience will become pure and clean. Speaking on the popularity of today’s literature he said, if literature reflects contemporary life, more and more people would be attracted to read literary works. Adding to this, he said critics must use their strong analytical skills to inspire readers to read right kind of books.
Concluding the session, Shri Sidhartha Pradhan, President Odia Samaj thanked the esteemed guests for their valuable insights. Speaking about the theme of today’s webinar, he said, Odia literature and language are the testament of glorious identity of Odisha.