Bhubaneswar: The 39th World Congress of Poets was inaugurated with much joy and festivity at Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) Deemed to be University, Bhubaneswar on October 2, 2019. “In India, from ancient times, our poets have vividly depicted our social systems, values and have played a very significant role in socio-political transformation of our country”, said Shri Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister of Odisha, while inaugurating the five-day congress, being attended by poets and writers from 82 countries.
“Odisha is a land of cultural pluralism. It has a rich and enviable tradition of poetry”, he said, while citing great poets like Sarala Das, Jagannath Das, Bhimabhoi, Baladev Rath, Gangadhar Meher and many others. Welcoming the delegates to the temple city of Bhubaneswar, he said, poetry has the power to promote world cooperation and peace. It is a pleasant coincidence to inaugurate this Congress on the occasion of the 150th birth anniversary celebration of Mahatma Gandhi, the epitome of peace and non-violence, added Shri Patnaik, who, besides being the most popular and successful Chief Minister is also a writer and art connoisseur.
Earlier, Prof. Achyuta Samanta, President, 39th World Congress of Poets and Founder, KIIT & KISS declared the congress open. Welcoming the guests and delegates, he wished them a pleasant stay in Odisha.
Prof. Acharya Bhabananda, noted Gandhian and Professor of Anthropology (Retd.), Hartford Seminary Foundation, USA was presented Gandhi Prize for Literature. Padma Bhushan Shri Ruskin Bond, eminent writer and poet and Shri Ganesh Haloi, eminent artist were presented Honorary D.Litt. degrees. Honorary Diploma presented to Padma Shri Bhabani Charan Pattnaik, noted Gandhian and Freedom fighter. The awards were conferred by the World Congress of Poets and World Academy of Arts and Culture (WAAC), USA.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri Akhilesh Mishra said that India has an ancient tradition in poetry with Rigveda dating back to 1500 BC. “All religions originating in India believe that the real cause of suffering is ignorance. They also believe that a cosmic web connects all of us, humans as well as other living beings. Therefore, our daily prayers include a prayer for universal peace. This is very important in a diverse and pluralistic country like ours” Many delegates have travelled a long distance to attend this congress and poetry definitely has a role in promoting brotherhood, he added, while commending the host, KIIT Deemed to be University for excellent hospitality.
World Congress of Poets is a 50 years old organization and during this time it has organised 39 world congresses, informed Dr. Maurus Young. It shares a close link with India, a land of poetry, he said, while elaborating that this is the third time the Congress is being held in India. It was held in Madras in 1986 and Chennai in 2007, when it was inaugurated by Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, Former President of India. This year’s theme of ‘Compassion through Poetry’ will promote peace and brotherhood through poetry. He commended Prof. Samanta for dedicating his life to create KIIT and Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) and added that the 39th WCP is the most well organised session.
“World Congress of Poets is like a family, we are like brothers and sisters. We look forward to this annual event with great anticipation”, said Prof. Ernesto Kahan. Dr. María Eugenia Soberanis. The Chief Minister also released the souvenir of the Congress.