Gangadhar Meher University, Sambalpur and KISS Deemed to be University, Bhubaneswar organized Bhima Bhoi Lecture Series in a blended mode on the topic ‘Mahima Dharma: A Distinctive Faith Among Many Faiths of Odisha’ on 11th February 2022. Professor Ishita Banerjee-Dube, Professor of History, Centre for Asian and African Studies, El Colegio de Mexico was the distinguished guest. This lecture witnessed an overwhelming response from faculty members and research scholars from both Universities.
In her address, Professor Ishita Banerjee-Dube made a historical approach to Mahima Dharma. She presented the journey ranging from 1866 to 1873 and brought to light some facts and figures basing the research done to date. Her deliberation focused on different parts of Western Odisha. Professor Banerjee added that Mahima Dharam taught belief in a single God and discussed how Mahima Dharma became a powerful force for liberation in India. As a traditional Indian religion, it stood uncompromising in rejecting the caste system. While talking about the practices, she added that the belief is monotheistic and opposes the caste system and idol worship.
Professor N. Nagaraju, Vice-Chancellor, G.M. University initiated the discussion on the lecture’s theme. “I had the pleasure of delivering a talk on the same theme thirty years ago and was happy to answer the curious minds of many research scholars and faculty members during the question-answer session,” he stated.
Professor Deepak Kumar Behera, Vice-Chancellor, KISS-DU expressed happiness that this lecture series is being jointly organized under the aegis of Bhima Bhoi Research Chair established at both universities. “I am sure that the MoU signed by the universities will take the collaborative research work on Bhima Bhoi to new heights,” said Professor Behera. He also highlighted the important areas of collaboration mentioned in the MoU, such as joint research activities, publications, and organizing seminars, webinars, and other academic events.
Dr Uma Charan Pati, Deputy Registrar, G.M. University, delivered the welcome address, while Professor Pradip Kumar Panda, Chair Professor, Bhima Bhoi Research Chair, G.M. University, introduced the lecture’s theme.
Key functionaries from KISS-DU, including the Registrar, Dr Prashanta Kumar Routray, joined virtually, and academicians from different universities across Odisha and other states: Professor Mohin Muhmmad, Smt Jugaleswari Dash, Professor Kalidas Mishra, Professor Kamdev Sahu, Professor Fanindum Deo, and Professor Sudarshan Pujari, Professor Minaketan Pathi, Shri Dhruba Panda, Durga Panda, Professor Kamdeb Sahu graced the occasion by attending in person.
Professor Harischandra Sahoo, Research Chair Professor, Bhima Bhoi Research Chair, KISS-DU proposed a vote of thanks.