Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, April 28:
“It’s the mother who is the only irrefutable source of one’s identity and yet she never gets her due,” said eminent Odia litterateur Prof Chandra Sekhar Rath in a video-taped speech at an event organised at the state headquarters of Aama Odisha here, on the occasion of the 166th birth anniversary of the iconic leader of modern Odisha Utkal Gourav Madhusudan Das.
Prof Rath, who is unwell, could not make it to the annual event which is celebrated as Swabhiman Divas by Sambad and the Eastern Media group on the day of “Madhusudan Jayanti”. Instead his 40-minute long pre-recorded video speech was screened before a distinguished gathering.
Delivering the Swabhiman Divas lecture, Prof Rath said one should have the highest respect and deepest commitment for one’s mother.
“Today everyone’s identity is determined by a name, appearance and designation and it is always the father whose name is invoked when we identify ourselves in any official business. No one cares about the mother,” rued Prof Rath while saying every identity related document should carry the name of the mother along with that of the father.
He narrated the legend of Satyakam, son of courtesan Javali to drive home the point that the mother is the most important person in one’s life.
“One can not aspire to become a true Indian if he/she is not a true and worthy Odia in spirit. One has to love the language and culture of one’s motherland and strive to protect them,” he said while exhorting people to honour and protect one’s mother, mother tongue and motherland.
Towering personalities of contemporary Odia literature Ramakant Rath, Mohapatra Nilamani Sahu and Santanu Acharya who were the honoured guests on the occasion shared their thoughts on the life and philosophy of the Grand Old Odia Madhusudan Das while addressing the distinguished gathering.
Odias should strive to acquire self esteem
” There is a competition among people now to be identified as poor. We are vying with one another to grab the doles offered by the government, be it the Re 1 rice, an Indira Awas house or a few days of work under the MGNREGA. This has struck at the very roots of our identity as self-respecting people.” Soumya Ranjan said.
“How can you expect people, who have got into the habit of living on doles and bread crumbs thrown by the government, to live with a sense of dignity and self respect,” he asked.
Referring to the Swabhiman Rally that the ruling party staged in the national capital, he said it was not to bolster the honour and self respect of the Odia race but to beliitle it.
” In the Swabhiman Rally, the idea was to prove the state and its people were so poor and helpless that they deserved the crutch of a special category state status,” he rued while lashing out at the sick mentality that the present regime has perpetrated over the years.
” How can we think of a resurgent and forward looking Odisha when our government has stripped us of our right to dream and think big and reduced us to a people who deserve sympathy, not respect,” he asked.
Describing Madhusudan as as a great revolutionary who placed the self esteem of Odias and Odisha over and above everything else, Soumya Ranjan exhorted the young generation to take a pledge to liberate themselves and all Odias from the ‘pity-me-for-I-am-poor’ syndrome and look forward to a situation where Odisha would deserve respect and not sympathy from the rest of the world.
The event began with the welcome address by the secretary of Aama Odisha Swaraj Mishra while the end notes came from editor of Aama Odisha publications Asit Mohanty.