BHUBANESHWAR: The sixth edition of Odisha literary festival kicked off to a rollicking start with the Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan singing paeans of the Odia civilisation.
Inaugurating the 6th edition of Odisha Literary Festival-2017 organised by The New Indian Express here, Pradhan said many historical events of the State have not been properly chronicled. Even though Odisha has many firsts, the State has not got its due in the pages of history. Pradhan, who has been championing the cause of Paika Rebellion of 1817 as the First War of Independence and demanding its recognition in the textbook, said the historians have not done justice to Odisha. "Even we have to fight for getting the classical status for Odia which is one of the oldest language in the country," he added.
"I am happy that the literary festival is organised in the State which is celebrating 2017 as the bi-centenary of Paika rebellion which was led by legendary freedom fighter Buxi Jagabandhu Bidyadhar Mohapatra," Pradhan said. Since many historical events of Odisha, the first State to be created on linguistic basis, has not been properly documented so far, the Union Minister said the literary festival is the right forum to discuss such issues.
He further appealed the intellectuals gathered on the occasion to do the needful to showcase Odisha in proper perspective to reclaim the lost glory.
Terming Odia as the grand grandmother of literature, Editorial Director of TNIE Prabhu Chawla, said Odisha is the symbol of literary capital of the country. The State may be poor in terms of money but it is very rich in terms of knowledge. The basic USP of the OLF is not the gathering of socialites, this is a genuine debating forum for voices of all kind.
"The purpose behind organising the festival is to make Odisha a literary destination and to some extent we have succeeded in achieving that goal," he said.
In his welcome address, Resident Editor Srimoy Kar said the literary festival as an annual event has gained immense popularity not only in the State but has tuned out to the biggest literary extravaganza in this part of the country.