Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar: Feb 24:
Padma Shri Dr Debi Prasanna Patnaik was conferred with the first Kalinga Sahitya Samman award at the inaugural edition of the Kalinga Literary Festival (KLF) organised by orissadiary.com, the leading Odisha-centric English news portal at Jayadev Bhavan here on Monday.
Dr Patnaik, it may be noted, was the head of the team that prepared the exhaustive document that ultimately won the coveted classical language status for Odia, only the sixth Indian language and the first from the Indo-Aryan language stable to get the distinction.
The KLF was inaugurated by Padma Bibhushan Dr Sitakant Mohapatra. A host of dignitaries from the Odia literary world assembled on the dais on the occasion. They included Prof Natabar Satapathy, Dr. Arun Rath, Odisha Sahitya Academy President Satakadi Hota, Poet Fani Mohanty and poet Manorama Biswal Mohapatra, besides Dr Patnaik.
Rashmi Ranjan Parida, the Editor of Odisha Diary and the Director of KLF, introduced the guests and speakers. The inaugural session highlighted the importance of language and literature in human life.
Prachee Naik, Co-Director of KLF, in her welcome speech, outlined the objectives and vision of the KLF and thanked the guests and speakers for having agreed to grace the event. She acknowledged the great curiosity that KLF has created globally and expected it to become an annual platform that would attract global leaders in literature.
Some interesting books by both reputed writers and new talents were released during the function. They included 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 impressive presentations, discussion and interactions on many important issues related to literature, with a particular focus on Odia language and literature.
Focusing on Odia short stories in the 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 all the disciplines.
Everyone acknowledged the classical tag as the greatest development in the recent history of the language. They hoped that as the focus and funding on the research in Odia grows, bright young minds will pursue literature and take to writing in Odia.
Leading Odia writer Gourhari Das, young talent Asish Gadanayak, well known writer Paramita Satpathy spoke on Odia short stories in new millennium. The session was moderated by Debaprasad 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 an interesting recap of the history of Odia poetry through an entertaining session of poetry reading.
The last session saw senior journalist Prasanta Patnaik, poet and journalist Manorama Mohapatra, editor Prasanna 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 possibly bridge that gap in providing a platform for students, researchers and professionals in language, literature and media.
Guests and speakers expressed happiness over being part of the KLF, identified a few action points for future and wished it would become an annual event.
Convenor of KLF Ashok Palit offered the vote of thanks.