Bhubaneswar: In what may be perceived as a pacifier to the recent language row, Vice President of India M. Venkaiah Naidu has called for dedicated measures to preserve, protect and promote mother tongues.
“More and more people should be encouraged to write poetry, stories, novels, and dramas in their native languages. Poetry can serve as a powerful catalyst to hasten the process of social transformation,” he told the 39th World Congress of Poets (WCP) here in Odisha.
Addressing the valedictory session of the Congress, Naidu said poets have the capability to be influencers and opinion-makers and urged them to use their unique ability to shape people’s thoughts, feelings, and attitudes to build a better world.
Poets from various nations participated in the Conference.
Congratulating the Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) and Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) for organizing a confluence of talented poets, the Vice President said that he was deeply touched by the theme of the poetry conference– “Compassion through Poetry”.
Observing that compassion was innate to all of us, he said “we must realize this and practice it consciously till it becomes our habit and all our actions, subconsciously, exhibit compassion, kindness, and positivity. ‘Compassion begets compassion’, he added.
Shri Naidu said that poetry was one of the finest expressions of human emotions and conveys the deepest insights, a wide range of emotions and elevates the human experience to the highest levels of consciousness. ‘Poetry has a great impact on the inner chemistry of human emotions. How we perceive, how we respond and how we behave – all this is shaped by literature and fine arts to a large extent’, he added.
The Vice President said that India’s tryst with poetry was as old as its civilization. He spoke of the great Indian epics Ramayana & Mahabharata and said that they were among the finest specimens of poetry ever written, the celebrated world over for the grandeur of their themes, their extraordinary literary heights and the depth of messages they convey.
Vice President said that Indian tradition has relied on poetry for transmission of wisdom and even scientific knowledge. He urged schools to make poetry reading and appreciation a compulsory part of the curriculum. He also asked universities to encourage literature, arts, and humanities education.”We need poets and writers and artists and singers as much as we need doctors, engineers, and scientists”, he underscored.