Our tradition should not get ‘infected’ by English: Jnanpith winner 

Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Feb 10:

Being one of the world’s oldest, richest and most diverse cultures, we should preserve the Hindu culture and tradition and device ways not to get influenced and infected by English literature and culture, Jnanpith award recipient Bhalchandra Nemade said in the Odisha capital on Monday.

Former Chief Minister JB Patnaik greeting Jnanpith award winner Bhalachandra Nemade at the 28th anniversary function of 'Katha' on Monday
Former Chief Minister JB Patnaik greeting Jnanpith award winner Bhalachandra Nemade at the 28th anniversary function of ‘Katha’ on Monday

“Our culture, tradition and heritage are old and are still going strong after 5,000 years. With colonial rule, we have developed a love for English language leaving our rich culture and heritage behind. We have opted for English over our mother tongue as the mode of education,’’ the eminent Marathi litterateur said.

“English language should be used as footwear. Use it when you move out of house and keep it outside when you enter your home.  It is  contaminating our literature. The new generation literati should raise the bar of literature through their mother tongue,” he advised the assembly of young and aspiring writers at the 28th annual day celebration of pioneering Odia literary magazine ‘Katha’.

Literature should play a pivotal role in shaping the society as its very objective is to unite the community. It should infuse bravado and uplift the pride of the race. Odia literature is no way inferior to other literatures. Present generation of litterateurs should produce work that would inspire the generations to come, former Odisha Chief Minister JB Patnaik, a litterateur in his own right, said.

A writer’s creation born in his heart and soul would always be one of its kind. Young writers should make this world beautiful and vigorous through their creations, Malayalam writer and film director C Radhakrishnan said.

“India has lost its multiplicity of religions, castes and linguistic diversity. The young writers should understand the demography and societal set up and focus on translated literature for cultural exchange and unity which would foster nation’s growth,” Radhakrishnan added.

‘‘A campaign should be initiated in Odisha to convert every literate person to a reader. Odia language and culture would thrive if every citizen of the state preserves the Odia culture and literature,’’ Editor of Odia daily ‘Sambad’ and Chief Editor of ‘Katha’ Soumya Ranjan Pattanaik said.

The Editor of ‘Katha’ Gourahari Das said literature has the potential to shape the outlook of a person.

As many as 11 poets were felicitated by the literary magazine on the occasion.

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