Subhas Pattanayak’s NABAKALEBARA: LEGENDS AND REALITY would help the world understand Sri Jagannath, says Soumya Ranjan Patnaik


Pictorial input: Laxmi Prasad Pattanayak

Journalist Subhas Chandra Pattanayak’s two historic books – (1) Orissa Pradesh Srustire Ganamadhyam and (2) Nabakalebara: Legends and Reality – were released in the evening of December 29 in the jampacked auditorium of Red Cross Bhavan, Bhubaneswar by eminent author Dash Benhur.


Addressing the event chaired by Prof. Jayant Kumar Biswal, editor of Orissa’s largest circulated daily ‘The Sambad’ and Chief Guest of the event, Sri Soumya Ranjan Patnaik said that, had the book – Nabakalebara: Legends and reality been published at the time of Nabakalebara, it could have become best-seller. Yet, written in English, it is well set to help the world understand SriJagannatha in the perspective of history and social evolution. It is a speaking endeavor to bring out the reality from beneath the heaps of legends; and hence, as much a book of reference, it opens gateway to in-depth research on the topic, he said.

Discussing the book, Chief Speaker Prof. Biswaranjan strongly endorsed Sri Pattanayak’s deeply researched determination that Sri Jagannatha is a deity of agro-magic, originally conceived as the torso of a mother in consonance with Bouddha Tantra, which the practitioners of Brahmanya Dharma have changed into a male deity Vishnu of Hindu pantheon to wipe out the Buddhist tenets in Cult of Jagannatha. Sri Pattanayak’s work is of utmost relevance to study of Jagannath in proper perspective, he said, citing profusely from the book and comparing the same with observations of various scholars.

Famous orator and editor of Subartta, Pradyumna Satpathy gave a scholarly analysis on Pattanayak’s other book – Orissa Pradesh Srustire Ganamadhyama (Role of Mass media in creation of Orissa). Contextualizing the book with the ongoing movement for governance of Orissa in Oriya, he strongly stressed upon use of this book as a backgrounder to the current language movement.

Both the books were offered respectively to Surjyaprava editor and author Rabi Kanungo and to Columnist and thinker Tusarkanta Satpathy by the author Sri Pattanayak as a token of Lokarpana (presentation to public). In reply to the offering, both of them spoke of the relevance the books for Orissa.

Guest of Honor, eminent poet Dash Benhur held both the books as thought-provokingly relevant, when editor of the daily newspaper Sanchar Prasanta Patnaik lauded the focus the books have laid upon Orissa’s cultural excellence in advancing the zeal for governance of Orissa in Oriya and in projecting the unseen facets the cult of SriJagannatha.

In his Presidential address, Prof. Jayanta Kumar Biswal lauded the scholarly pursuit behind both the books and their value of reference.

Political Scientist Dr. Netaji Abhinandan (Ravenshaw University), quite close to the author as his son’s intimate friend, welcomed the guests, with Chief Executive of Shabdasparsha Pabitra Mohan Maharatha initiating the event. Major Dr. Kumudini Barai proposed the vote of thanks.

Leaders of Orissa Bhasa Sangram Samiti and language activists – poet Sankarshan Parida, poet Umakant Raut and Dr. Subrat Kumar Prusty were felicitated by the Chief Guest Sri Soumya Ranjan Patnaik on behalf of Shabdasparsha. Felicitations were also given to poet Gajanan Mishra and to Prof. Natabar Satpathy in absentia for their role in the language movement.

Poet Saroj Bal graced the event by reciting his poem on magnificence of Oriya language.

A Poem from Dr. Sudhansu Dash

Dr. Sudhansu Dash


Dr. Sudhansu Dash, a higher education teacher in English, belongs to my place Athgarh, with his ancestral home in Tarading. The Athgarh Sub-Division has given tremendous contributions to the world of letters. I find a fine incarnation of the literary excellence of my area in him. Hence, I feel it a pleasure to share one of his poems with my esteem readers. It is captioned ‘Moving with the Crowd’




Dr Sudhansu Dash

I am walking with the crowd with my mind
It is always with me
Many moving with me
On the Solid and concrete highway
I think
The crowd is going somewhere
It gives me a feeling of security with the calculated map
In fact
It is moving but not moving anywhere
No crowd has ever reached any goal
Excepting a secured falsity
I am disillusioned of it.
It goes on moving and moving before I was born
It will move after my death
The moment I start falling towards the heart
I fall to the abyss of my being
Go astray
With my heart I am alone
All that is dangerous comes out of it
Fear grasps me, possesses me
‘Where are you going
Carrying the most dangerous thing in the world?’
Nobody is with me
But me and my total loneliness.
I am at the centre of my being
Unmapped , unmeasured and fearless
From every dimension
The center without any circumference.

Orissa’s poetic tradition is oldest in India

In Orissa Sahitya Akademi’s series of Prof. Arta Ballav Mohanty Memorial Lectures this year, India’s eminent poet Ashok Vajpayi lauded Oriya language as the language that bears the country’s oldest poetic tradition.

Not only poetry had blossomed in Oriya matchlessly early, but also it had made an unique pattern of its own. The richness of lucidity, rich also in diversities in style of presentation, makes Orissa’s old poetic tradition unique. The vastness of vocabulary covering cross-referred subjects on every facet of life and society as marked in the works of Adi Kavi Sarala Das is not found even in Hindi literature of those days, said Vajpayee.

He pointed out that a poet’s strength of memory linked to empirical knowledge and societal tradition makes his work utmost relevant and of permanent value. This is seen in Sarala’s works. And, this is also reflected in works of Prof. Mohanty under whose able editorship Sarala Mahabharat could enter from the ranks of palm leave manuscripts into the modern world of print.

The memorial lecture was witnessed by Orissa’s Minister of Culture Prafulla Samal in the auditorium of Utkal Sangeet Mahavidyalaya, Bhubaneswar amongst hundreds of persons of letters and intellectuals on Sunday.

I have good news to share…

Eminent publishing house Bharata Bharati that has published all my books so far has brought out two of my new titles, one a poetic translation of the famous songs of immortal Maithili poet Vidyapati, compiled under the caption VIDYAPATINKA PREMAGEET, wherein, for scholars, I have made breaking discussions on socio-political environment of his writings.  And the other one, titled as SMRUTIREKHA is poetic presentation of the intricate feelings of a lover to whom his requited love was lost. These are my contributions to Oriya literature outside my professional cocoon.

Modern Orissa’s most celebrated poet Sri Ramakant Rath has given his kind consent to inaugurate the books. Dr. Pramod Kumar Mohanty would discuss on VIDYAPATINKA PREMAGEET, and Dr. Sneha Das on SMRUTIREKHA whereas Dr.H.P.Pariccha Pattanaik, Secretary of Orissa Sahitya Academy would speak on both the books on the aspect of lucidity vis-à-vis modernity. Adhyapak Biswaranjan shall chair.
The event will take place in the auditorium of Red Cross Bhawan at 6 PM on Sunday, December 6, 2009.
It would be cherished for ever if any of you happen to be present at Bhubaneswar and find it convenient to attend the function.

– Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

“Sabita Paeen Kabita” – An Immortal Tribute to Love and Literature

on the podium

Linguistic Survey of India has unambiguously declared that Oriya, amongst Indian Languages, is so rich in vocabulary that “neither Bengali nor Hindi nor Telugu can vie with it”. Naturally, therefore, Orissa’s contribution to the world of poetry has remained superb. But contribution of the newly launched poetic compilation “Sabita Paeen Kabita” by Subhas Chandra Pattanayak to the world of Oriya poetry would remain forever matchless.

So far poetic works depicting love between paramours have enthralled human hearts. But this book is totally different. It is a magic canvas of loyal love where spousal joy has been painted live as lucidly and elegantly as magnificent is the poet’s mother tongue Oriya.

Written in 1974, around his marriage held on 24 June 1974, the anthology begins from betrothment and proceeds through pre-nuptial and post- nuptial ecstasies captured in beautiful sonnets.

sabita pain kabita

Amidst the presence of finest laureates and scholars of Oriya literature, “Sabita Paeen Kabita” – the anthology of immortal love poems by Subhas Chandra Pattanayak – was released yesterday.

release of sabita paeen kabia

The book received critical acclaim by distinguished guests and audience alike at a function held at Orissa State Scouts Conference Hall.

Bibhuti Pattanaik launching the book

Bibhuti Pattanaik launching the book

Eminent author Bibhuti Patnaik released the book and rendered his views on the author. He said this wonderfully lyrical work is unlike something which could otherwise be expected of a ruthless journalist Subhas Chandra Pattanayak.

Dash Benhur on SCP and his poems

Dash Benhur on SCP and his poems

Furthering on this unconventional marriage of objective journalism and surrealistic romanticism in SCP’s works, Dash Benhur shed lights on poet’s contributions to Oriya literature.

Dr Hara Prasad Paichha Pattnaik addressing the audience

Dr Hara Prasad Paichha Pattnaik addressing the audience

Secretary of Orissa Sahitya Akademi and esteemed poet Dr Hara Prasad Parichha Pattanayak declared “Sabita Paeen Kabita” as the first book of this kind in entire India.

Adhyapak Biswranjan speaking on the uniqueness of the book

Adhyapak Biswranjan speaking on the uniqueness of the book

Acclaimed wordsmith and literary activist Adhyapak Biswaranjan presented a noteworthy keynote address dwelling on various facets of the poet and his work, judging the book as exceptionally unique and refreshingly beautiful.

SCP on his work

SCP on his work

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak reflected upon his poems and drew attention of the audience to a rather natural connection he has always found between his public activities and his inspiring conjugal life.

Barendra K Dhal rendering presidential speech

Barendra K Dhal rendering presidential speech

Dr Netajee Abhinandan welcomed the guests and august audience on the ceremony while former president of National Union of Journalist and renowned man of letters Barendra Krushna Dhal presided over the meeting.

Eminent scholars in the audience

Eminent scholars in the audience

The audience at the ceremony included notable scholars and authors, including Central Sahitya Akademi awardee Pramod Mohanty, renowned poet Prof Fani Mohanty, Prof Sashi Bhushan Biswal, Dr Abhinna Chandra Sahoo, Gaurahari Das, Dr Asoka Misra, among others.

Major Kumudini Borai proposing vote of thanks

Major Kumudini Borai proposing vote of thanks

The guests thanked the publisher Umesh Sahoo of Bharat Bharati, for bringing out the book. Historian and authoress Major Kumudini Barei conveyed the vote of thanks to conclude the meeting.