Odia Needs Support Of Stakeholders To Blossom, Experts Opine At SOA Programme

Bhubaneswar: Speakers at a discourse on Odia language, literature and culture opined that Odia, the sixth Indian language to be designated as classical, needs the support of all stakeholders to blossom.

Odisha’s minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Health and Family Welfare Niranjan Pujari inaugurated the two-day event, being hosted by Siksha ‘O’ Anusandhan (SOA) Deemed to be University in the backdrop of the first World Odia Language Conference.

The minister said Odisha was carved out as a state on the basis of language in 1936, and Odia boasted of a rich heritage and legacy.

The minister said the state government had planned the three-day World Odia Language Conference to create ripples and generate consciousness among the Odia youth and those living outside the state or country about their own language.

Among others who graced the inaugural session were literateur and former Odisha minister Rasbehari Behera, expert on culture Prof. Jagannath Das and media expert and editor Dr Umakanta Mishra.

Dr Gayatribala Panda, Head of SOA Centre for Preservation, Propagation and Restoration of Ancient Culture and Heritage of India (PPRACHIN) and Prof. Jyoti Ranjan Das, Dean (Students’ Welfare) delivered addresses at the programme, which was presided by SOA Vice-Chancellor Prof. Pradipta Kumar Nanda.

Pujari quoted extensively from the works of celebrated Odisha poets Gangadhar Meher and Bhima Bhoi, saying that their poetry contained deep philosophical value which needed to be studied and researched.

Chief guest Behera praised the government for showing positive intent to promote Odia language, and said this programme should have continuity and that there was a need to create passion for Odia among school and college students.

Dr Mishra felt that universities should take the lead in promoting Odia by popularising it among students.

The opening day’s discourses included subjects like ‘Jagannath Culture’, ‘Ancient Odia Literature’, ‘Medieval Odia Literature’ and ‘Puranic Literary Traditions in Medieval Odia Literature’. The subjects of the discourses on Monday will include ‘Odisha’s Tribal Culture’, ‘Odia Literature’, ‘Odia Culture’ and ‘Modern Odia Literature’.

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