Bhubaneswar: Litterateurs have the onerous task of focusing on the various ills affecting the society so as to ensure its transformation, VK Pandian, chairman of 5T and Naveen Odisha, said on Monday.
“Literature holds the mirror to the society as it reflects the injustices in it and raises its voice against the same,” Pandian said while addressing the valedictory programme of the two-day discourse on Odia language, literature and culture at Siksha ‘O’ Anusandhan Deemed to be University (SOA) here.
Whenever society has faced challenges, it were the litterateurs who raised their voice, he said adding literature played a role in all revolutions whether it was the French revolution or the uprising in Iran. Referring to celebrated Odia novelist Fakir Mohan Senapati’s famous work ‘Rebati’ which focused on the injustices in the then society, Pandian said it was the favourite book of Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik.
“The need today is that litterateurs should point out areas of concern in the contemporary world which may include the decline in value system, adverse impact of social media, growing drug menace and dismantling of the Indian family structure,” he said.
Stating that the family used to be India’s strength, Pandian said it was changing with time and could go the western way in 50 years time. “These are issues which bureaucrats or technocrats could not be expected to tackle but litterateurs can address the same,” he said.
Pandian also felicitated eminent novelist Bibhuti Patnaik on the occasion for his contribution to Odia literature. The writer was presented a citation, a shawl, memento and Rs one lakh.
Pandian said the 1st World Odia Language Conference was conceptualised about 50 days ago by the chief minister. “We had asked SOA to be part of it and conduct a discourse on Odia language, literature and culture which the university had organised with aplomb,” he said.
SOA’s founder president Prof (Dr) Manojranjan Nayak felicitated Pandian on the occasion. Dr Gayatribala Panda, head of SOA Centre for Preservation, Propagation and Restoration of Ancient Culture and Heritage of India (PPRACHIN), delivered the welcome address while Prof Jyoti Ranjan Das, dean (Students’ Affairs) conducted the programme.