Gopabandhu Das Research Chair, KISS-DU organized a webinar on ‘Gopabandhu: Life and Philosophy’ on the occasion of the 93rd Death Anniversary of Utkalmani Gopabandhu Das on 9th July 2021. The occasion was graced by the Chief Guest, Adhyapak Biswaranjan, an eminent litterateur.

Professor Deepak Kumar Behera, Vice-Chancellor, KISS-DU, in his welcome address, briefed about the aims and objectives behind establishing the four Research Chairs in the University established since 2018 to propel research on the life, philosophy, writings, and works of persons of eminence and great sons of the soil, namely: Utkalmani Pandit Gopabandhu Das, Utkal Gourab Madhusudan Das, Santha Kabi Bhima Bhoi, and the Legendary Biju Patnaik. He said, “The life of Utkalmani Gopabandhu Das is a life of sacrifice, social service, and promoting rights and duties and responsibilities attached with it. Despite many personal losses and struggles, Utkalmani Gopabandhu Das emerged as a social worker, philosopher, reformer, political activist, journalist, poet, and essayist. His notable literary works include ‘Bandira Atma Katha’ and ‘Dharmapada’. Utkalmani Gopabandhu Das had a significant contribution in the field of education particularly in establishing the Satyabadi Bana Bidyalaya. He believed that education was inevitable to make people aware of their innate freedom and their duty towards their country”.

Introducing the Chief Guest on the occasion, Dr. Prashanta Kumar Routray, Registrar, KISS-DU said, “It is an important day in my life as it is an honour to introduce my revered teacher on this important occasion. Professor Biswaranjan popularly known as Adhyapak Biswaranjan is a reputed teacher, noted writer and public activist. Adhyapak Biswaranjan wears many hats: a political scientist, litterateur, orator, editor, and a crusader taking up the cudgel on behalf of the common man.” Dr. Routray linked the contribution of Gopabandhu Das to education, with the idea propagated by Dr. Achyuta Samanta, Founder, KIIT & KISS that “Education is the third eye of a child”. He also added education is something which can make the youth responsible citizens, which KISS has been doing since its inception in 1992-93.

Prof. Pitabasa Sahoo, Pro-Vice Chancellor, KISS-DU in his address paid tribute and respect to Utkalmani Gopabandhu Das and said: “I have had the opportunity of listening to the Chief Guest in different forums. I agree that there is no substitute for Quality Education which is one of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations and our Founder, Dr. Achyuta Samanta has been selflessly providing education to more than 30,000 tribal children belonging to Odisha and neighbouring states”.

Professor Biswaranjan in his address said: “It is an honor for me to be here in such a magical place created by Dr. Samanta. I am impressed by listening to the mellifluous recital of the song by Gopabandhu Das by the team members of the Cultural team of KISS-DU. He emphasized the idea conceived by Gopabandhu Das to make Odisha dream by making Satyabadi Bana Bidyalaya and he expressed his happiness that steps have been taken by different forums to revive the same. The future depends on education and studying the syllabus is not education. As Pluto rightly said, “Education is a means to achieve justice, both individual and social justice.” I am elated to learn that KISS is leaving no stone unturned to provide education to students from unreachable areas even during the pandemic.”

Speaking on the occasion, Prof. Jugal Kishore Mishra, Chair Professor, Madhusudan Das Research, and Dr. Harish Chandra Sahoo, Chair Professor, Bhima Bhoi Research Chair co-related the ideology and philosophy of Madhusudan Das and Bhima Bhoi in sync with the ideas of Gopabandhu Das.

Prof. Bijayananda Singh, Chair Professor, Gopabandhu Das Research Chair, while delivering the Vote of Thanks, paid his respects for Utkalmani Gopabandhu Das and summarized the key points of all the speakers. He expressed his gratitude to the Chief Guest Adhyapak Biswaranjan for elaborating on the life and philosophy of Gopabandhu Das. He also thanked the Vice Chancellor, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Registrar, Chair Professors, Cultural Team Members for making this webinar a success. Last but not the least, he thanked Dr. Achyuta Samanta, Founder KIIT and KISS for establishing the Gopabandhu Das Research Chair which has created avenues and opportunities to undertake research activities under the aegis of the Chair.