National Seminar on ‘Bhima Bhoi: Ethnographic Histories’ at KISS-DU

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A National Seminar was organised by Bhima Bhoi Research Chair KISS-DU on 21st December 2022 in blended mode on the theme ‘Bhima Bhoi: Ethnographic Histories’. The day-long seminar featured talks by Professor Pabitra Mohan Nayak; Professor Ishita Banerjee Dube, E L Colegio de Mexico; Sri Bishupada Sethi, IAS and other distinguished speakers. The inaugural session was graced by Professor Deepak Kumar Behera, Vice Chancellor, KISS-DU; Professor Harischandra Sahoo, Chair Professor, Bhima Bhoi Research Chair, KISS-DU; Professor N. Nagaraju, Vice Chancellor, G. M. University; and Dr. P. K. Routray, Registrar, KISS-DU.  

In his talk, Professor Pabitra Mohan Nayak deliberated on the history of Mahima Dharma and Bhima Bhoi. He expressed his views for undertaking more research work to unearth the unexplored areas of Bhima Bhoi. Professor Ishita Banerjee Dube presented her lecture on ethnographic studies on Bhima Bhoi advised the scholars to carry on research work without any bias and prejudiced beliefs. She also expressed the dire need for procuring the monumental works of Bhima Bhoi written on palm-leaf and to bring out the unpublished works to the limelight. Sri Bishupada Sethi, IAS mentioned the steps taken by him to restore Bhima Bhoi Ashram at Khallipalli.

Professor Dube, Professor Nayak and Sri Sethi were felicitated by Bhima Bhoi Research Chair for their commendable work in the field of life and literature of saint-poet Bhima Bhoi. ‘Dibyadrasta Bhima Bhoi’, a book edited by Professor Harischandra Sahoo was also released on the occasion.  

The theme of the Second Session was ‘The Road Traversed and The Road Ahead’. It was chaired by Professor Ishita Banerjee Dube who initiated the discussion on the developing an action plan to be undertaken in future by Bhima Bhoi Research Chair, KISS-DU. Professor Harischandra Sahoo presented the details of various programmes undertaken by the Chair, including field study, guiding research scholars, collection of books and research materials on Bhima Bhoi, books published, seminars organized, preparing syllabus for inclusion of Bhima Bhoiin the course curriculum and participating in seminars on Bhima Bhoi.

Participating in the session, Sri Kedar Mishra, noted journalist, said that contradictory legal documents on Bhima Bhoi should be cross–examined. Dr. Fanindum Deo, Retd. Principal, Khariar College Nuapara emphasised on field study to know more facts about Bhima Bhoi and Mahima Dharma. Professor Sarat Chandra Panigrahi, Professor Emeritus, KISS-DU stated that the words used by Bhima Bhoi in his poems and bhajans need proper connotation and an exhaustive dictionary should be prepared. Professor Jatindra Kumar Nayak, Professor Emeritus expressed the requirement of preparing an annotated bibliography. Professor Pradip Kumar Panda stressed the exploration of different dimensions of Bhima Bhoi’s life and literature.

Dr. Chittaranjan Bhoi, Head of English Programme, KISS-DU summed up the discussion and proposed the vote of thanks. Ms. Saswati Jena, faculty, KISS-DU coordinated the programme.

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