BHUBANESWAR: It is necessary to put a brake on the misguided policy of ‘mainstreaming’ tribal people, who are being steadily driven out of their habitats and merged with the general mass with a gradual loss of their linguistic, cultural and ecological identities, said renowned heritage historian Kalyan Kumar Chakravarty here on Saturday.
He called upon all to respect the commitment of tribals who do not cross the threshold limit imposed by nature, which is essential for survival of human beings. Delivering the 28th Gopinath Memorial Lecture organised jointly by Odisha Sahitya Akademi and Gopinath Mohanty Memorial Trust here in memory of Gopinath Mohanty, Chakravarty said “Mohanty’s work should be read into the future by protecting the culture of those tribal communities who are the first to be affected by the adverse ecological changes.”
During his early posting in Koraput district as an administrator, Mohanty had come in close contact with the tribal groups and learnt their language, studied their socio-cultural practices and worked in safeguarding those practices.“Gopinath Mohanty had embraced the philosophy of treating the natural and human capital in tribal custody as an inaccessible trust fund instead of trying to convert it into a currency of high and immediate value,” Chakravarty said.
“His life and work have to be understood for their poignant significance by appreciating the history, philosophy and struggle of the tribal people of Odisha,” said the Director General of National Museums and Chairman Lalit Kala Akademi.
On the occasion, event organisers released two books titled ‘Hidden Ganga & Other Stories’ a compilation of eight short stories of Gopinath Mohanty by Sudeshna Mohanty and ‘Koraput Anchalara Adibasinka Bhasha O Samskruti’ a compilation of five books related to tribal culture and grammar by Mohanty. Chairman of Gopinath Mohanty Memorial Trust Omkar Mohanty and Secretary of Odisha Sahitya Akademi Jayanti Rath were present.