KISS Deemed to be University, Bhubaneswar organized a seminar on ‘Some Doubts and Ambiguities in the Discourses of Bhima Bhoi’s Life and Literature’ in collaboration with Gangadhar Meher University, Sambalpur under the aegis of Bhima Bhoi Research Chair instituted at both the Universities on 12th March 2022. Shri Bishnupada Sethi, IAS, Principal Secretary, Department of School and Mass Education, Government of Odisha and Professor Debendra Kumar Dash, a noted literary critic delivered the distinguished lecture. Shri Sethi also unveiled a book titled ‘Philosophical Reflections on Bhima Bhoi and Mahima Dharma’ edited & published by Dr Harishchandra Sahoo, Bhima Bhoi Research Chair, KISS-DU.
Shri Bishnupada Sethi described how Bhima Bhoi’s attempt for a new social order is unique in the history of mankind while urging the need for extensive research on Bhima Bhoi. Speaking on the relevance of the studies on Bhima Bhoi, he shared that even UGC has introduced the life and works of Bhima Bhoi in the curriculum and various hospitals and institutions are being named after the legend. Addressing Bhima Bhoi as a social reformer, Shri Sethi said that he could feel the pain and sufferings of the people of the society and hence started various movements so that the coming generation does not suffer. “The endeavour of educating 30,000 tribal students at KISS is commendable, and it is a reflection of the vision of Bhima Bhoi. I am grateful to Prof. Achyuta Samanta, Founder, KIIT & KISS for his efforts”, he added.
In his address, Professor Debendra Kumar Dash focused on various contradictions and anomalies related to the early life of Bhima Bhoi, the number of texts, authorship of some of the texts, and publications of his writings. “The practice of writing on palm leaf was gradually declining, but scholars who edited or compiled the writings of Bhima Bhoi have claimed that they have retrieved their writings from his palm-leaf manuscripts, and scholars differ on issues like a number of his texts and the authorship of some texts ascribed to Bhima Bhoi”, he elaborated.
Speaking on the occasion, Professor Deepak Kumar Behera, Vice-Chancellor, KISS-DU expressed his gratitude to Professor N. Nagaraju, Vice-Chancellor; G.M University, Sambalpur; and Professor Pradip Kumar Panda, Chair Professor, Bhima Bhoi Research Chair for collaborating for this important seminar. Voicing the need for thinking out of the box, he strongly suggested the need for jointly preparing research-based and evidence-based documentary movies on the life, works and philosophy of Bhima Bhoi.
“I thank KISS Deemed to be University for making G.M University a part of this seminar, and we shall continue to work collaboratively. We need to jointly decide how the Research Chairs at both the Universities need to go beyond general publications and focus on actionable points accrued in the future and take up term papers”, stated Professor N. Nagaraju.
In his introductory remarks, Dr. Prashanta Kumar Routray, Registrar, KISS-DU, said, “We have received university status for carrying out innovative research work. The establishment of seven Research Chairs in the names of legends is a shining example of innovation. The aim is to undertake innovative work that will be reflected in the research and documentary activities of the University”.
Dr Harishchandra Sahoo, Bhima Bhoi Research Chair, KISS-DU presented the concept note of the seminar and Professor Pradip Kumar Panda, Chair Professor, Bhima Bhoi Research Chair, G.M University, proposed the vote of thanks.