By Satya Pattanaik, Dublin, USA:
Through www.odishastory.com, I came to know about the discussions related to Sahitya Akademi related activities. I personally do not know any of these people and do not feel to respond on their wall. I am responding them through Odishastory.com. As far as I am concerned, those posts have no merit to be discussed because I did not see any recommendation or solution to the issue. Sahitya Akademi is an organization. It should function on policies, processes and principles. If the current policies are not working, those should be revamped. This is high time to take our literature to the next level. Here are my suggestions for the Akademi.
Sahitya Akademi : few suggestions
The fundamental responsibility of Sahitya Akademi (both Center and State) should be to propagate literature. When I say propagate, it is making literature people friendly. And this goal should be achieved in a structured way through policies and processes. I have the following suggestions for both the Sahitya Akademis to consider.
- Develop policies and processes regarding every activity of the Academy and implement. That will stop the backdoor entries and things will be visible and transparent to the public.
- Promote and propagate good literature through discussion forums, publications and making those publications available to common man. Discussion forums should be state-wide and year’s plan should be made available ahead. Sahitya Akademi may open retail centers (or collaborate with district level book sellers) to make all of their books available to common man all the time.
- Educating writers: Sahitya Akademi should conduct (may collaborate with colleges/local sahitya anusthans) to conduct literary workshops on regular basis. It should be on district/block level. A year’s agenda should be available before-hand.
- Translation: Sahitya Akademi should collaborate with Universities, publishers and start project based translation work. Sahitya Akademi should fund those projects and monitor the work. Also they should publish those books (may collaborate with publishers) and market world-wide. This will help our literature to create it’s niche in global level. Each good book should be translated into English and published within two years of its original publication.
- Publication: Sahitya Akademi should play a major role in book publication collaborating with University Press and private publishers.
- Engaging high school students: Sahitya Akademi should create and implement plans which would bring awareness in high school levels. Each writer and poet should adopt a local school and give seminars, workshops etc. on regular basis (may be an hour a week). There should be literary competitions on district, region and state level which would encourage students to write. After 10/20 years we will have a good number of readers and writers.
- Library system: Improve and use all the libraries across the state. Let the libraries play a major resource center to use and promote literature.
- Using technology: Sahitya Akademi may collaborate with National Informatics Center, Odisha Computer Application Center (OCAC) and other private information technology farms to embrace computer systems in book digitization projects, availability of digitized books to readers, creating Wiki pages for all Odia writers, creating website to promote poetry a day program etc.
- Writers/Poets should keep themselves alert to issues and suggest/advice to the government and local bodies.
I can share many such progressive ideas. But I opted to keep it in single digit. From time to time I have been talking to Sahitya Akademi members, Secretaries, Ministers etc. But unless we thing out of the box and implement these as projects, nothing much would happen. I do not see any difference between now and when there was no Sahitya Akademi. Criticizing others is the easiest task and that won’t result anything. Every citizen, poet, writer should be diligent enough and contribute towards the progress of literature, language, community and think beyond self-level. Let’s think and act together and create a better community for our generations to come and make ourselves visible in global level.
Satya Pattanaik is an non-resident Odia, working as Consultant at State of Ohio in USA. He also edits an Odia Magazice Pratisruti and writes and translates poems.
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