(S. S. DOGRA)
Poetry has the capability to change the world, said Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu, Vice President of India at the valedictory session of 39th World Congress of Poets (WCP) at KIIT on 6th October 2019. He said, “Compassion begets compassion. This is an extremely important idea, when propagated through the powerful medium of poetry”.
“It is a matter of great pride for us that the Congress is happening in India this year, in the beautiful and historical state of Odisha. I also commend Dr. Achyuta Samanta for envisioning poetry as the best medium to promote brotherhood and peace. It his vision that has brought all of us here together to celebrate thoughts, words, languages, rhythm and meaning”, Shri Naidu stated.
This year the Congress was held on the theme ‘Compassion through Poetry’. “I believe compassion is innate to all of us. We just have to realize it and practice it consciously till it becomes our habit and all our actions, subconsciously, exhibit compassion, kindness and positivity. Compassion is central to poetry. The first verse of the Adi-Kavya, Ramayana starts with the utterance of ‘ma nishada’, Sage Valmiki’s compassionate appeal to the hunter to spare the life of a bird. It is his ‘shoka’ or his despair at the loss of a precious life that became ‘shloka’ or poetry. Poetry speaks of deep feelings, creates stunning images and beautiful lyricism and blends truth with beauty”, he said drawing link between poetry and compassion.
Biologists have argued that the development of creativity was the most important step in human evolution, and that society cannot move forward without creative people. The events such as the World Conference of Poets will serve as platforms for sharing poetic masterpieces with the world. At the same time, I am confident that this event would inspire budding poets to get inspiration from other poets, he added.
Addressing the gathering, which included poets and writers from 82 countries, Prof. Ganeshi Lal, Governor of Odisha said, Odisha is a divine land the philosophers of spirituality from all over the world have said that this land has the power to liberate. It is such a land where everyone is the representative of Lord Jagannath. The Lord says, I’m here to liberate you. The beauty of this land is its caste-less, creed-less and colorless nature. Besides, sweetness, love and compassion enrich the land. This land belongs to everybody, because Lord Jagannath lives here. As far as the Poetry is concerned, Lord Jagannath is also a Poet.
In his speech Shri Pratap Chandra Sarangi, Union Minister of State for MSME, Animal Husbandry, and Fishery said, “I pay my respect to all the poets coming from all over the world. I’m inspired by this august congregation. Poetry is nothing but compassion. The earliest poetry of the world belonged to Valmiki when he saw the agony of the world. Quoting William Wordsworth, Shri Sarangi said, poetry is emotional overflow of feelings and emotions collected in tranquillity. Poetry comes from the compassion of the heart.
Dr. Maurus Young, President, WCP said, “Time goes very fast. The 39th WCP in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India comes to an end. In the past five days, we are impressed by the Culture of Odisha. It’s a land of poetry. I found many talented young poets in Odisha. It’s the most well organized and successful one in the history of WCP”.
Speaking on the occasion, Prof. Ernesto Kahan, First Vice President of World Academy of Art & Culture WAAC), USA said, “I am in a great country and great democracy, India. I found that it is also a country of Poets”. Dr. Achyuta Samanta, Founder, KIIT & KISS and President, 39th World Congress of Poets delivered the welcome address. Among others, Dr. Maria Eugenia Soberanis, General Secretary, WAAC; Shri Jyoti Prakash Panigrahi, Minister of State (I) for Tourism & Culture, Odia Language and Literature, Government of Odisha, and Prof. Sasmita Samanta, Pro-Vice Chancellor, KIIT Deemed to be University were present.
On the occasion, the highest honour of WCP, ‘Golden Gabel’ was conferred on Dr. Achyuta Samanta by the Vice President of India, while Honorary D. Litt was conferred on Prof. Ganeshi Lal, Governor of Odisha, Shri Santanu Kumar Acharya, Eminent Odia Writer and Dr. Prasanna Kumar Patasani, Former Member of Parliament, and Eminent Poet and Writer.
‘Prodigy Author’ award was given to Anantinee Mishra, the author of ‘Treasure of Short Stories’ and Most Promising Writer award to Atmika Patnaik, Author of ‘The Journey of a Thousand Miles’.