Gnanapith award to Prativa Ray was manipulated, states Bibhuti Patnaik

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Eminent academician and author Bibhuti Patnaik has stated that Sitakant Mohapatra “purchased” Gnanapith award for Ms. Prativa Ray by way of manipulation, similarly as he had misused his position to get her nominated to executive council of the Central Sahitya Academy in 2002.

cover of chithi_spring 14In a letter to Prof. Biswaranjan, published in the Spring 2014 edition of ‘Biswaranjananka CHITHI’, Bibhutibabu has expressed deep concern over aggressive spread of feudalism in the world of letters despite extermination of kingship and zamidari. Big industrialists and ultra-high wealth accumulators have emerged as new kings and zamidars in the world of letters by way of literary awards like Saraswati and Gnanapith they have created and control. Civilian Awards like Padma for literature and fabulous cash prizes for literary works are just the fripperies of literary feudalism, he has observed.

In penning an exposure, he has come down heavily on Sitakant Mohapatra, who, according to him, had misused his position as Chairman of National Book Trust of India to get Ms. Prativa Ray nominated to General Council of India’s National Academy of Letters and has again misused his position as Chairman of the Gnanapith Selection Committee to give her the Gnanapith Award.

Bibhuti Patnaik on literary awardsDeclaring that he shall tirelessly, even if alone, continue to fight against this cultural feudalism and literary anarchy, Bibhutibabu has said that such mess in literature, so discernible today, is generated by the diseased mentality of certain persons that pull back the writers from the front row, by any means, to snatch away awards like Gnanapith and Saraswati.

The fellows who, too deficient to win, are “purchasing” these awards to decorate themselves with; and the fellows who, despite being in selection committees, are helping them in this illicit work, are despicable, he has said, while deploring how, instead of condemning these fellows for their vileness, we are saluting them.

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