MSM Demands Withdrawal of Kendra Sahitya Akademi Award and Dismissal of Oriya Advisory Committee Convener

Mukta Sahitya Mancha, Orissa’s forum of writers addressed to protect Oriya literature from clouds of corruption and degradation, has, in a convention over controversy on selection of Kalpana Kumari Devi for Central Sahitya Akademi Award 2011 on her novel ‘Achihna Basabhumi’ , demanded today that the Award be withdrawn and the Convener of Oriya Advisory Committee Bibhuti Pattanaik, who architected this selection, be dismissed from his post for the discernible nepotism he resorted to.

Conveyed by Ms. Ratnamala Swain, editor of Chitra, the convention was presided over by earlier award winner poet Fani Mohanty when the agenda was introduced by editor of Paurusha Asit Mohanty who also had won the award earlier.

Eminent writers including former editor of Asantakali Kalicharan Das, Columnist Barendrakrushna Dhal, editor of Sambad Soumyaranjan Pattnaik, editor of Subartta Pradyumna Satpathy, editor of Khabar Adhyapak Biswaranjan, editor of Bijaya Kedar Mishra, Prof. Bauribandhu Kar, Prof. Nityananda Satpathy, author and artist Dinanath Pathi, translator Jugal Kishore Dutta and Uttam Nayak etc expressed dismay over degradation of the sanctity of Central Sahitya Akademi award as witnessed in the instant case.

That 11 out of 14 books shortlisted for the award were published by a single publisher is indicative of favoritism in selection process, the speakers said. To their information, the book ‘Achihna Basabhumi’ was published in 2011, not 2009 as projected and hence its selection was blatantly illegal.

Therefore, the convention called upon the Central Sahitya Akademi to withdraw the award and to dismiss the convener of the Oriya chapter advisory committee for his discernible deficiency and acts of nepotism.

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