Odia Samaj, New Delhi, a socio-cultural on Friday organised an online dialogue on Odia language and Literature. The topic for the webinar was “Odia Bhasha O Sahitya: Kichhi Drusti, Kichhi Chinta”.
Eminent icons from the world of Odia literature graced the webinar- 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. Paramita Satpathy, Writer & Principal Commissioner of Income Tax was the moderator of the webinar. Besides Sidhartha Pradhan, IRS (Retd.) President, Odia Samaj, Mridula Pradhan, wife of Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, members of Odia Samaj, New Delhi. Literature lovers, academicians from various universities and Odias living abroad participated in the webinar.
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.”
Dr. Pratibha Ray spoke about the past, present and future of Odia literature that dates back to 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 want to enrich our literature we need to take care of our self respect, self belief and self esteem. Our literature will continue to grow if we nurture it.”
Prof. Santanu Kumar Acharya gave insights on the subject of Odia literature. 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.
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. If literature reflects contemporary life, more and more people would be attracted to read literary works.
Concluding the session, Sidhartha Pradhan, President Odia Samaj presented the vote of thanks.