National Seminar on ‘Gopabandhu and Emergence of Nationalist Literature’ at KISS

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A National Seminar on ‘Gopabandhu and Emergence of Nationalist Literature’was organised by Sahitya Akademi in collaboration with Gopabandhu Das Research Chair, KISS-DU on 27th May 2022. The inaugural session of the seminar was chaired by Professor Deepak Kumar Behera, Vice-Chancellor, KISS-DU. 

Inaugurating the seminar, Shri Niranjan Rath, Vice President, Lok Sevak Mandal, New Delhi, said that Gopabandhu Das is relevant in today’s world where anarchy is prevalent. He highlighted how Gopabandhu along with Nilakantha Das, Godabarish Mishra, Achrya Harihara and Krupasindhu Mishra made a constellation to serve for the greater cause of the nation and humanity. Shri Rath also admired KIIT & KISS Founder, Dr. Achyuta Samanta’s vision, mission and commitment towards the marginalized section of society.

In his keynote address, Professor Basanta Kumar Panda, Director, Centre of Excellence for Studies in Classical Odia expressed his concern over the fact that the Odias have confined Gopabandhu Das to Odisha. Such a great National hero should get his due across the country and the globe, he stated, stressing that Gopabandhu was not at all provincial but national and global. Gopabandhu was an education philosopher and thinker who wanted free and compulsory education for all, he added. 

Mr. Mihir Kumar Sahoo, Programme officer, Sahitya Akademi, in his welcome address, expressed his profound sense of gratitude to Dr. Achyuta Samanta who has been striving hard to materialise the dreams of Pandit UtkalaMani Gopabandhu Das. Highlighting the philosophy, ideology, sacrifice, patience and perseverance of Gopabandhu Das, he articulated the relevance of reading Utakal Mani in the 21st Century. 

Dr. Bijayananda Singh, Convenor, Odia Advisory Board and Chair Professor, Gopabandhu Research Chair, KISS-DU brought to light the major contributions of Gopabandhu Das in nationalist movement. He prudently proved how Gopabandhu was global first, then National and then native by citing some extract from his poems and essays.

Professor Deepak Kumar Behera, in his presidential address, highlighted Gopabandhu Das’s attempt to reform the human mind and society through his literature. He urged the audience to utilise the values of Utkala Mani in life. Organising such seminars will be fruitful if we internalise the philosophy and idealism of Gopabandhu and take a step forward to materialise his dreams, Professor Behera added. Dr. Prasanta Kumar Routray, Registrar offered words of thanks at the inaugural session.

The inaugural session of the seminar was followed by two technical sessions. The first technical session was chaired by Dr. Archana Nayak, veteran writer. Quoting a few lines from Gopabandhu’s literary works, she attempted to draw attention to his idea of Nationalism. Mr. Pabitra Mohan Das, an erudite Gopabandhu scholar and Mr. Sangram Jena, eminent writer and translator also participated in the deliberations.

The second technical session was chaired by Sj. Goura Chandra Parida, eminent writer. Mr. Aurobindo Ray presented a scholarly paper on Gopabandhu’s life and contribution to society. Lalatendu Das Mohapatra, writer and researcher, spoke on “Nationalism in Krupasindhu Mishra’s Writings”. Shri Prasanna Kumar Swain, in his presentation, stated some selected poems and prose writings of Gopabandhu.

The seminar concluded with a brief summing up of the session by the Chairman. Dr. Rasmita Tripathy, Dean, School of Comparative Tribal Languages and Literatures, KISS-DU proposed the vote of thanks.

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