Odisha Sits in the Crown of Shreshtha Bharat Right at the Centre: Dr Sonal Mansingh at CUO’s Webinar

Koraput: The Central University of Odisha organised an Online Talk on ‘Philosophical Dimensions of Odisha in Odissi’ under Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat, a flagship programme of the Ministry of Education, Govt. of India. Padma Vibhushan Dr Sonal Mansingh, Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) and Founder-President, Centre for Classical Dances, New Delhi, delivered the talk.

The welcome address was given by Dr Sourav Gupta, Nodal Officer, Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat & Faculty, Dept. of J & MC. Where he introduced the philosophy of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat programme as the celebration of India’s cultural diversity in unity. Dr Gupta informed that Odisha & Maharashtra are paired and the CUO is paired with MGAHW, Wardha, and student exchange programmes have been carried out. Dr Gupta introduced the speaker, Dr Sonal Mansingh, as an artist of international repute.

Dr Mansingh in her speech started with describing Odisha as the land of ancient religion confluence or ‘Sanatana Dharma’. The ancient monuments like Rani gumpha from the ages of King Kharabel have been bearing evidence to the existence of Pantha, Jaina, Vaishya, Sourya and Shakta forms of religion. In this context, she also spoke about the temples of Odisha. Explaining the Jagannath culture of Odisha she said that Jagannath as envisioned by Prabhu Shri Chaitanya shows a path from darkness to light.

Odissi dance is an ‘Oudra-Magadhi’ school of art where she explained the various geometrical postures and ways of locomotion also known as ‘Chouka’. She deeply remembered her Guru Pandit Kelu Charan Mahapatra and also explained gender perspectives citing ancient texts like ‘Laxmipurana Shria Chandaluni’. She went on further to analyze Odia way of music, literature, cuisine, paintings and rock-cut caves and explained the philosophy of Odia art to be a journey towards attaining the divine.

The gravitas of Dr Sonal Mansingh has enhanced the culture and music of Odisha via her pioneering Odissi dance exposition and erudite scholarship with refreshing insights. Inspiring as she was, she has motivated the young faculty and students to appreciate and adapt to the nuances of Odia culture. Her in-depth knowledge and passion for Odia culture are seamless, instructive and motivating. The tenets of Sanatana Dharma have been shared lucidly by her with the messages of Lord Jagannath and the spirit of inclusiveness. The ancient relics and the past glory of the Odisha Kingdom hold lessons for a pious and purposeful life now, is her core message. Her uncanny ability to recite the Hindu Shlokas and interpretation of their messages was accomplished by her with consummate ease in her discourse on the occasion of the Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat Celebrations at the Central University of Odisha, Koraput.

Prof. I. Ramabrahmam, Vice Chancellor, CUO is his Presidential address, appreciated Dr Mansingh’s efforts to promote Odissi and expressed his desire to start a Centre for Research in Culture and Fine Arts. He requested Dr Mansingh to support the cause of CUO.

The vote of thanks was proposed by Dr Phagunath Bhoi, PRO of CUO. The programme was attended by a large number of the audience comprising Prof S K Palita, Dean, SBCNR, Prof Akshay Rout, Prof KC Pradhan, Senior Faculty Members, Students and Research Scholars.

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