Eminent writer Mohapatra Nilamani Sahu was honoured with the Jadunath Das Mohapatra Sahitya Samman 2013 on the occasion of the 85th birth anniversary of the famous poet, playwright and former minister here on Friday.
The awards instituted by the Jadunath Das Mohapatra Foundation were also given to renowned litterateurs Brajanath Rath, Ramesh Prasad Panigrahi and Maheswar Mohanty for their invaluable contributions to the field of poetry, drama and children’s literature respectively.
The awards were given away in the presence of the octogenarian Jadunath Das Mohapatra himself, noted Bengali novelist Swapnamay Chakraborty and acclaimed Odia novelist Dr Bibhuti Patnaik.
On the occasion, Charkaborty said Odisha’s literary heritage was one of the most richest in the country. It was distinct from Bengali literature as it bore the scent of the soil and depicted a true picture of the contemporary society with characters in flesh and blood, with whom the readers could identify themselves.
Whereas, Bengali literature took time to come down from its romantic and fantastical bearings to root itself in the soil. “Even Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay took his time to delve in realistic writing,” Chakraborty said. Touching upon the tussle over legendary Sanskrit poet Jaydev’s birthplace between Odisha and Bengal, he also called upon the people to rise above the regional considerations to celebrate and enjoy writers and their works.
Patnaik saluted Das Mohapatra saying, he could have been great novelist but he chose to be a playwright. He called for revival and republication of Mohapatra’s old novels to not only preserve them but also make them available for the present generation. The former minister revealed that true fulfilment in his life lied in literature. “Though I have been a successful politician and minister in successive Governments, literature continues to be my religion and passion,” he stated.
Among others, Foundation president Dillip Harichandan spoke.