Novelist recalled in 100-yr gathering

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  • Published 14.01.07

Cuttack, Jan. 14: Jnanpith winner Sitakant Mahapatra joined a special gathering here on Saturday to mark the birth centenary of Oriya novelist Kanhu Charan Mohanty.

Mahapatra was a guest speaker at the inaugural session of a two-day national seminar titled “Kanhu Charan and the Rise of Indian Novel” here at Sarala Bhavan.

The event, organised under the aegis of the Sahitya Akademi and Sarala Sahitya Sansad, is the first of Kanhu Charan tributes this year.

Kanhu Charan’s most popular works include Kaa (Proxy, 1953) for which he received the Kendriya Sahitya Akademi Award in 1958 and Shasti (Punishment, 1946).

The birth centenary seminar is being held to remember Kanhu Charan’s contribution to Indian literature.

The discussion groups highlighted issues such as rural-urban transition, neo-realism, the eternal feminine, time and society, and the legacy of Kanhu Charan vis-à-vis rise of the Indian novel.

The National Book Trust had undertaken translation of one of Kanhu Charan’s works into English, Mahapatra said, adding that the Kendriya Sahitya Akademi should take up similar projects on a couple of his novels.

The Jnanpith winner said: “Kanhu Charan was the most prolific Oriya novelist in the post-Independence period and his forte remained the rural society.”

Professor Prafulla Mohanty said many of Kanhu Charan’s novels explored the problems of marriage and love, caste and economic exploitation of people.

“His books had a social commitment and sympathy for the insulted and the injured,” said Pravakar Swain of Sarala Sahitya Sansad.