Bhubaneswar: The 5th edition of Kalinga Literary Festival kick-started here on Friday with the presence of eminent personalities represents Indian literature, politics, media and public services.
Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan inaugurated the event and hoped that the event will ultimately become a platform for young budding writers.
“It is my sincere request to the organisers that KLF should not remain just an event only. There must be an intellectual outcome after each event which should inspire the society for generations to come. This festival must fulfil the dreams of our young writers who can represent Odisha and India one day,” he said at the inauguration ceremony.
Kalinga Literature Festival celebrates not just Odia but Indian as well as global literature with the presence of many non-Indian writers.
Minister Pradhan said this could be a perfect opportunity to showcase the rich heritage of Odia literature and literateurs.
“I propose that let there be a discussion on literary works of eminent Odia writers who have been felicitated with National Awards. Let us discuss, appreciate and critically analyse their works which will have an impact on many future writers,” he said.
He also requested the writers present in the event to write about rich Kalinga legacy.
Amish Tripathy, the Indian mythological writer famous for his books such as Immortals of Meluha, Shiva Trilogy said, “Ancient Kalinga had a rich legacy and was influential in not just east India but entire India. This legacy must be retold to new generations. As I had lived in Odisha in early childhood, it has become my duty to write about King Kharavela to showcase rich Kalinga culture.”
Pawan Verma, former bureaucrat and advisor to Janata Dal (United) president Nitish Kumar, in his keynote address said, “Language is not just a medium of communication, but a carrier of an entire culture.
Speaking of literature and culture he said if one is rooted in his or her culture, then it becomes easier to connect with others easily. And about literature, he said literature has to reflect the reality of life, not just the dreams”.
Eminent Odia writer Pratibha Ray said literature does not know any boundaries called language. It is an open sky where each writer can paint his or her imagination without fear of being judged.
Another prominent Odia writer Pratibha Satapathy said a writer may live in pain, but he or she gifts the readers a pleasurable feeling through the literary works and that is why literature should be celebrated, before ending her speech with a beautiful Odia poem.
During the inaugural ceremony, KLF 2018 felicitated eminent writers for the world standard inspiring work in the literary and professional world.
Padmaj Pal received Kalinga Sahitya Sanman (Odia), Amish Tripathy received Kalinga International Literary Award (writing in any global language) and Nirupama Rao accepted Kalinga Karubaki Literary Award (for women writers).
Besides, during the three-day event, young writers and poets from several districts of Odisha will receive Kalinga Literary Youth Awards for their excellence in literary fields. The youth awards have received great response and excitement around the small towns of Odisha.
The festival will see more 300 writers, poets, lyricists, journalists and public intellectuals speaking on the idea of a just society and how literature reflect this through the ideas of equality, equity and humanity.
The Kalinga Art Festival has attracted more than 40 artists from many states of India. There are dedicated sessions on understanding and appreciating art. The artists and expert art critics will be discussing the important concerns in their profession, the connection between art and literature and moreover, prepare a roadmap for future engagement.
Mystic Kalinga multi-lingual poetry sessions will see many senior poets reading poetry in different languages including that of Odia, Hindi, English and Bengali among others. Legendary names like Rajendra Panda, Harihara Mishra, Amaresh Patnaik, Paramita Satpathy Pavan Varma, Nirupama Rao, Jayshree Tripathi, Pravakar Satapathy, Hrushikesh Mallick, Hussain Rabi Gandhi, Mamata Dash, Ashutosh Parida and Kedar Mishra etc will read their poems.
KLF Founder and Director Rashmi Ranjan Parida believes that KLF 2018 is unique in many ways as it bridges the gap between the local, national and global literary dialogues. He believes KLF has attempted revolutionary steps to bring the legends and the emerging writers to one platform.
Debasish Samantray of KLF believes that the storytelling sessions will have interesting stories to attract the attention of literature lovers.
The three-day festival will see more than 10 books released. Leading names like Ramakanta Rath, Gourahari Das, Jatin Nayak and Swaraj Mishra will also join for book discussion sessions. The KLF has made unique arrangements to promote Bhubaneswar and the Golden Triangle among the delegates and speakers. Delegates will get rented cycles to roam around the city. Participation in Heritage Walk has been designed to explore the temple city and the natural surroundings of the old Bhubaneswar.