Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Sep 24:
State’s prominent minority body, the Odisha Minority Forum has come out in support of the decision by noted poet and writer Jayanta Mahapatra to return his Padma Shri to the President of India, terming it as Mahapatra’s dissent owing to “moral asymmetry” in the society.
“Odisha Minority Forurn strongly feels that Jayanta Mahapatra has responded to the ‘voice of his conscience’ and this decision of his should open forums for greater debate into the form of intolerance narrative that is being played out in trie country over the past several months,” Dr.Sasmit Patra, President, Odisha Minority Forum said.
“India is a secular country but the right-wing discourse of intolerance being played out in the country today is unfortunate. The discourse of development in India has changed over the past one year. Elements of right-wing fundamentalism are seen gaining passive support from people who should be instrumental in suppressing them. The 88-year-old poet has the conviction and courage to stand up against the growing intolerance. The lens of looking at the growing intolerance has to change from one of passivity to strong dissent as exhibited by Mahapatra,” Patra added.