Orissa High Court Steps In: Sahitya Award 2011 Stayed on Allegation of Manipulation

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Orissa High Court has stayed the Sahitya Award, 2011 to Kahani published Achihna Basabhumi in Oriya language, seemingly fixed through corrupt process.

The new dimensions of danger that the book posed to societal unity of Orissa were first discussed in these pages that gave birth to hot debates in print and tele-media, leading to complaints against its authoress before different police stations and Public Interest Litigation (PIL) before the High Court.

Credit goes to Barendra Krushna Dhal for having resigned from membership of the Akademi’s Language Advisory Board (LAB) in protest against manipulation in selection of the book for the Award; to Asit Mohanty for having tactfully eliciting from Jury member Chandra Sekhar Rath the inner picture of manipulation by the Akademi top brass and the convener; to Mukta Sahitya Manch for organized protests against the manipulation; to Sambad and its editor Soumya Ranjan Patnaik as well as to The Samaja and its editor Gopal Krishna Mohapatra for print media strength given to opposers of the manipulation; to Kanak TV and Kamyab TV for having educated the relevant public through panel discussions on the manipulation; to persons of letters of Orissa, who, personal relationship notwithstanding, came down heavily – individually and collectively – upon the nasty conduct of Jury members and Akademi officials in execution of the manipulation; and to Sricharan Pratap (Kanisk) for having preferred the PIL before the HC.

The book being the corpus delicti of the crime against Oriya language, it surely is a matter of solace for everybody affected by the offense against the mother tongue to see that the High Court has stepped in to stay the Award announced in its favor by the National Academy of Letters through manipulation.

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