Ramnathji believed in literature’s power: Manoj Kumar Sonthalia

The reason behind instituting the Ramnath Goenka Sahithya Samman is to celebrate and honour literary excellence amongst both the veteran and the debutant, said Manoj Kumar Sonthalia.
Chairman and Managing Director of The New Indian Express Group Manoj Kumar Sonthalia speaking at the Odisha Literary Festival in Bhubaneswar on Sunday | DEBADATTA MALLICK
Chairman and Managing Director of The New Indian Express Group Manoj Kumar Sonthalia speaking at the Odisha Literary Festival in Bhubaneswar on Sunday | DEBADATTA MALLICK

BHUBANESWAR: The reason behind instituting the Ramnath Goenka Sahithya Samman is to celebrate and honour literary excellence amongst both the veteran and the debutant, said Manoj Kumar Sonthalia, Chairman and Managing Director of The New Indian Express Group at the Odisha Literary Festival 2023 here on Sunday.

More importantly, he emphasised, it was launched in the memory of the Founder of The New Indian Express, Ramnath Goenka. “Ramnathji believed that literature has the power to craft the trajectory of the society we live in. Literature, he believed is of paramount importance for the development of modern society as it possesses the capability to transport the reader’s mind into a completely different universe,” he stated.

Irrespective of whether it is fiction or non-fiction, literature gives us unique insights, helps develop critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills along with helping us explore new ideas and giving us a better understanding of ourselves and others, the TNIE chairman said.

While he mentioned that the award carries a cash prize, citation and a trophy, he drew special attention to the trophy, explaining that it was personally chosen by Ramnath Goenka for excellence in journalism. The motif of the award, he pointed out, is serendipitously inspired by the Sun Temple at Konark. He also thanked author and economist Bibek Debroy, the chairman of Economic Advisory Council to the prime minister, for chairing the jury which chose the winners.

“The New Indian Express deems it a privilege to remain committed to continue the legacy of the great Ramnath Goenka in promoting the ethos of free liberal thought manifesting in diverse impulses that flourish in this great country of ours,” he shared and concluded.He congratulated the winners for their contribution to literary excellence and wished them many more years of igniting minds through their writing.

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