Bhubaneswar: “Poetry is one of the finest expressions of human emotions, ” said Vice President, M Venkaiah Naidu at the valedictory ceremony of 39th World Congress of Poets (WCP) at Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) in Bhubaneswar.
Congratulating KIIT for being awarded the ‘Status of Eminence’ for its dedication to the cause of quality education for all, the Vice President also congratulated and appreciate the dynamic founder of KIIT, Achyuta Samanta for his relentless endeavors towards reforming and transforming lives of millions of Adivasi people.
“It is a matter of great pride for us that the Congress is happening in India this year, in the beautiful and historical state of Odisha. I am absolutely touched by the theme of this conference -Compassion through Poetry,” Naidu said.
The first verse of the Adi-Kavya, Ramayana starts with the utterance of ‘ma nishada’, Sage Valmiki’s compassionate appeal to the hunter to spare the life of a bird. It is his ‘shoka’ or his despair at the loss of a precious life that became ‘shloka’ or poetry.
Welcoming poets who have come from all over the world to Odisha, the Vice President said: “Poetry is one of the finest expressions of human emotions. It conveys the deepest insights, wide range of emotions and elevates human experience to highest levels of consciousness. What is however important is to recognize its 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. Among the literacy forms, poetry has a specially profound influence.
Poetry is not just expression; it is an expression that has beauty in it. Poets do not just express themselves in mere words but paint images with their words. They breathe life into words with rhyme, rhythm and melody. Poetry speaks of deep feelings, creates stunning images and beautiful lyricism and blends truth with beauty,” Naidu added.
India has a long illustrious poetic tradition and includes such luminaries like Kalidasa, Mira Bai, Tulsi Das, Amir Khusro, Kabir Das, Sarojini Naidu, Subrahmania Bharati, Mirza Ghalib and Shri Rabindranath Tagore mesmerized one and all with their poetic genius.
Poetry is a powerful vehicle of intergenerational transmission of values and knowledge. Songs and poetry have been used to pass on traditional wisdom and lessons in morals and values from generation to generation. Indian tradition has relied on poetry for transmission of wisdom and even scientific knowledge.
More than anything else, poetry has the capability to change attitudes, mindset and social norms. If we aim at a more compassionate world, poetry can be one of the most powerful instruments.
Poetry should promote peace, motivate people to cultivate universal brotherhood, social harmony and tolerance. Poetry can serve as a powerful catalyst that could hasten the process of social transformation.
Urging the schools to make poetry reading and appreciation a compulsory part of the curriculum, the Vice President 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. Promotion of literature is also an impactful method to preserve and promote languages, a cause that is very close to my heart,” he said.