Having Failed To Cross The Labyrinth of Divinity, Oriya Poetry Is Unable To Guide The Society, Says Dr. Suchismita Pattanayak

Oriya poetry is far from playing its guiding role in society, as, despite progress, it could not cross the labyrinth of divinity, says scholar Suchismita Pattanayak, in a study on its trend of advancement between 1935 and 1970 that has brought for her the Ph.D. degree from the State’s premier University – The Utkal University.

These 35 years were the most crucial ones for shaping up its emancipatory character. But in reality it did not happen, she has said

Though poetry in this period had come out of the cocoon of elitism and become quite nearer to members of the society by way of freer verses and clear expressions leaving behind the burden of meters and jargons blossomed to the pick in the preceding era known in the name of Upendra Bhanja, yet it not only drew characters from epics that the Bhanja era had lucidly scripted, but also in works of nature and live events like Chilika or Darabar authored by the initiator of the modern era, Radhanath Ray, divinity rather than human society was more in focus, she has observed.

Similarly, according to her, in the succeeding era initiated by the Panchasakhas of Satyavadi – Gopabandhu Das et al – poetry became more patriotic than epic-centric. But yet, projection of divinity was sic passim their poetic works. Man was not the basic entity in their horizon, though to the poets of Satyavadi era, man was at the center of the Almighty’s schemes of creation.

The green group, which Annada Sankar Roy of Dhenkanal – later migrated to West Bengal – headed, in the next era named after them, viz. Sabuja Yuga – the era of the youth – had made a new experimentation of supernatural feeling in man’s natural being that eventually gained acknowledgment as the romantic era in Oriya poetic literature. But here also supernaturalism was the pivot of poetic expression, not the youth for which the group was known; and divinity was more recognized than man’s societal environment and/or identification.

Even in the era of progressivism begun with foundation of Nabayuga Sahitya Samsad by Bhagavati Panigrahi and his comrades of letters and enriched by Sachi Routray et al whose monumental works of revolutionary expression had the fountainhead in Marxian concept, divinity was not completely discarded. In his post revolutionary authorship, there are instances where Routray accommodates supremacy of time in an environment of loss and emptiness whereas other active founders of this era like Anant Patnaik were also seen on the brims of spirituality and divinity, says the scholar.

The post progressive era brought poets of excellent caliber. But depiction of despair and withdrawal, love and loneliness, dreams and disappointment – personal and societal – look more defined in their verses where divinity is more relied upon in search of solution than politico-economic reality.

Thus, Dr. Pattanayak says, emancipatory objective of poetry, which should have been made absolute for societal benefit after extrication from elitism could not be properly formulated during the pertinent period from 1935 to 1970, as a result of which, the present poetic literature of Orissa has remained far away from its expected societal relevance.

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Political Activities in Utkal University Must Be Banned

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The Utkal University of Orissa is in a shambles because of the sickening political game played by the shortsighted but shrewd scoundrels posing as leaders either of the ruling BJD or of the opposition party, the Congress. The Police officials know and the people know; the executive knows and the students know. Vani Vihar, the seat of the University, is burning.

A final year M.A. student in Sociology Parikshit Behera is hospitalized allegedly as Biju Chhatra Janata (student wing of BJD) leaders attempted to murder him. Students belonging to Chhatra Congress (student wing of Congress) are in hunger strike demanding criminal prosecution against the culprits.

Police has arrested a BJD aspirant of the post of Secretary of the Vani Vihar Students Union, Kalpataru Ojha after interrogating a group of leaders of the ruling party’s student wing.

Were the police not sure of the ruling wing’s attempt to murder a student in order to intimidate others in their attempt to hijack the election; it would never have booked Kalpataru.

The Chhatra Congress is no less responsible for the ongoing unrest in Vani Vihar.

Police action will not establish peace. Prosecution against any student will not restore study atmosphere.

An academician of world repute, who is not only an expert in social-benefit-cost-analysis but also has enriched Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow and Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, Prof. Binayak Rath is the Vice Chancellor, by using whose expertise the University could have immensely benefited. But the way political parties have been instigating students on party lines makes the climate so vitiated and anti-academic that his excellence and expertise goes unused.

We are shocked to see that the Chancellor being the Governor of the State is sitting silent.

The ethics behind making the Governor the Chancellor of the University is that he being above politics will ensure academic environment in the University is never infested with politics. But the Governor in the instant case has failed to act as the Chancellor.

Let him act and ban activities that spread the tentacles of political octopuses around the neck of the University.

He needs to know that student union elections are meant for equipping the students with the experience of democratic management of their affairs, not for equipping “political students” with opportunity to pollute study environment.

Students union in the University must be the union of students. It cannot be allowed to become the union of “political tentacles” enrolled as students.

Strong action against every student who acts as a political tentacle including rustication is necessary to save the study environment of the University.

The Governor is required to act as the chancellor and let him wake up and act.