Bhubaneswar: VK Pandian, Chairman of 5T and Naveen Odisha, highlighted the significant role of litterateurs in addressing societal issues to foster transformation. Speaking at the valedictory program of a discourse on Odia language, literature, and culture at Siksha ‘O’ Anusandhan Deemed to be University (SOA), he emphasized that literature acts as a reflection of societal injustices and serves as a catalyst for change.
He noted that throughout history, litterateurs have been instrumental in raising their voices during times of societal challenges, citing examples such as the French Revolution and the uprising in Iran. Mr. Pandian referenced Fakir Mohan Senapati’s renowned work ‘Rebati’, a favorite of Odisha Chief Minister Mr. Naveen Patnaik, which spotlighted injustices prevalent in society at that time.
In addressing contemporary concerns, Mr. Pandian urged litterateurs to identify areas of societal worry, including declining values, the adverse influence of social media, the rise of drug-related issues, and changes in the traditional Indian family structure. He stressed that while bureaucrats or technocrats might not effectively tackle these issues, litterateurs possess the unique ability to address them through their work.
Recognizing the contribution of eminent novelist Mr. Bibhuti Patnaik to Odia literature, Mr. Pandian presented him with a citation, shawl, memento, and a monetary award of Rs. one lakh. In response, Mr. Patnaik commended the state government for organizing the 1st World Odia Language Conference, initiated by the Chief Minister, which he believed would raise awareness about the Odia language.
Mr. Pandian highlighted the swift conceptualization of the conference and praised SOA for effectively organizing the discourse on Odia language, literature, and culture. He was felicitated by SOA Founder President Prof. (Dr.) Manojranjan Nayak.
The welcome address was delivered by Dr. Gayatribala Panda, Head of SOA Centre for Preservation, Propagation, and Restoration of Ancient Culture and Heritage of India (PPRACHIN), while Prof. Jyoti Ranjan Das, Dean (Students’ Affairs), conducted the program.