CUTTACK: The classical status accorded to Odia has presented the State with a tremendous opportunity to further enrich the language and its culture and put it on a global stage, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said here on Saturday.
At the 67th Foundation Day function of Odia daily “Prajatantra,” Naveen emphasised collective efforts to accelerate development in the State.
Odisha has achieved a higher rate of growth and progress in the recent years but much more is needed to be done, he said.
The Chief Minister also recounted the significant contribution of late Dr Harekrushna Mahtab to Odia journalism and development of the State.
Delivering the keynote lecture, Editorial Director of The New Indian Express Prabhu Chawla said only an independent press and judiciary can protect the democracy from a collapse and turning into an autocracy
However, there is a serious need for introspection as media seems to have veered away from its prime objective of disseminating news to help the common man and is increasingly driven by commercialisation, competition and overt political leanings, he pointed out.
Chawla said, “It is a shame that media is now termed as ‘Paid Media’. There was a time when newspapers and journalists were ready to lose everything in bringing truth to the people. Journalism acted as a strong check on the executive. Things seem to have changed now.”
The greatest challenge before India’s media, he said, is to resurrect its image and reestablish itself in the eyes of the people. Chawla also hailed late Dr Mahtab and Biju Patnaik as the real Bharat Ratnas.
Naveen and the guests felicitated persons from different fields on the occasion. Jenamani Laxmikanta was given the Minabazaar Children’s Literature award, actor Pradip Panda was presented the Prajatantra Kala Award and Dutee Chand the award for sports. The sixth edition of Odisha History written by Dr Harekrushna Mahtab was also released.
Among others, former Justice of Supreme Court AK Patnaik, Industries Minister Debi Prasad Mishra, Cuttack MP and Prajatantra Editor Bhartruhari Mahtab also spoke.