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‘Literature', A Potent Weapon For Social Change, Says Naveen Patnaik

22 September 2019


Bhubaneswar: He was never a career politician. An acclaimed writer who switched to politics under circumstances, Naveen Patnaik is truly an enigma of sorts. Be it for his spartan lifestyle or intolerance towards corruption, Naveen has carved an identity for himself which few in today's politics can manage to accomplish.

"I am very comfortable in my official car (a Maruti Ciaz), and shall use it till it is usable," said Naveen at a literary event here on Sunday. During a tete-a-tete with veteran journalist and Editorial Director of The New Indian Express, Prabhu Chawla, Naveen quipped that he is very much humane to situations.

"I smirk to a good joke or anything with a good sense of humour," the mostly reticent Chief Minister of Odisha said. Exhorting students of the nation, Naveen said that the youngsters should always aim towards achieving for self and for the country.

During his speech at the event, the Odisha CM highlighted the importance of literature as a potent weapon for social change. "Literature has since long been guiding our society." "The spark for major social changes across the globe has been ignited by revolutionary thinkers and writers. We all know how Voltaier and Rousseau had influenced the French  revolution," he said.

The Odia Mahabharat of Sarala Das was a transformative factor in the literary lanscape of Odisha. Sarala Das simply adopted the language of the masses and made it mainstream literature, said Naveen.

Similarly, Bhima Bhoi's attempts at fighting our class barriers, Fakir Mohan's role in awakening the society for girl child and Prativa Ray's celebration of woman power are a few of the innumerable instances as to how literature can bring in behaviour and social transformation, he added.

The Chief Minster concluded saying, "Today we are in an age of knowledge and empowerment. Literature is more important than ever today. Literature makes us question things, it makes us dream to transform. Without literature there would be no imagination or heart to do what we do in our daily lives, nor a quest to improve our future."