Bhubaneswar played host to the 11th Odisha Literary Festival, where Odisha’s Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik, graced the occasion under the theme of ‘Ideas of Identity.’
Addressing the audience, Patnaik pondered, “What truly defines us in today’s world of rigid binaries? Odias, however, cherish the richness of our multiple identities. I firmly believe that a society’s identity is rooted in its core values.” He went on to highlight the historical significance of Odisha, tracing it back to the Kalinga War, a turning point that spread the message of peace and non-violence.
Patnaik reminisced about the challenges Odisha faced in the past, including administrative divisions, and how they resolved them, ultimately gaining recognition for the Odia language as a classical language.
He emphasized the spiritual aspect of Odisha, deeply intertwined with the worship of Lord Jagannath, showcasing a culture of respect for all religions and cultures. Patnaik took pride in the state’s social cohesion, a significant asset.
Looking ahead, Patnaik expressed the state’s commitment to transformation, with advancements in education, healthcare, and agriculture. He highlighted the empowerment of women and the growing self-confidence of the people. This newfound confidence, he noted, contributes to the core values of the society and the vision of ‘Ama Odisha Naveen Odisha.’
Patnaik welcomed new ideas as essential components of Odisha’s evolving socio-economic and cultural identity. He affirmed that peace, non-violence, and social cohesion remain eternal values at the heart of their identity.
In closing, Patnaik commended the spirited discussions at the festival, affirming Odisha’s commitment to dialogue and expressed hope that The New Indian Express would continue fostering this tradition of dialogue in the city and state.