Suryakant Jena

A Commercial Court in Cuttack has put an interim stay order on publication of autobiography 'Mo Jibani' and some other literary works of the legendary poet of Odisha, Vyasa Kabi Fakir Mohan Senapati.

Hearing the petition filed by the great-granddaughter of the Vyasa Kabi, retired Professor Meenakshi Dutta in which she had alleged copyright violation in the publication of some manuscripts of the poet, the court in its interim order on August 17 pronounced that the publishers cannot go ahead with the publication of the autobiography till the final judgement.

Dutta had earlier stated in her plea before the court that she had initiated the process to publish some rare undisclosed literary works of the Vyasa Kabi in 2019. She had reportedly handed over six manuscripts including that of the autobiography of the great poet to two litterateurs for restoration and as per the agreement, the copies of the works were decided to be digitised first.

However, she later discovered that the duo has moved ahead for publishing the manuscripts even without her consent. Terming the development as heartbreaking, she had approached the court seeking an immediate stay on the publication.

Senior advocate Goutam Acharya who is representing Meenakshi in the case said that she has been possessing the century-old original manuscripts of the Vyasa Kabi since her childhood and her family is their rightful custodian.  

On the interim stay order by the court, Meenakshi said she is a bit relieved but will not back down till she gets justice and regains the rightful recognition of the legacy of the Vyasa Kabi.

“I had not discussed anything regarding the publication of the works of my great grandfather. I had only granted permission for digitization of the copies so that we would move forward for publication after necessary finalisation. It is the property of our family and generations after Vyasa Kabi. But I was shocked to see that they had moved ahead for publishing the works of the great grandfather without taking my permission. Those, whom I trusted so much and handed over the scripts, betrayed me by not mentioning that our family is the rightful owner of the literary works, said Meenakshi.

Fakir Mohan Senapati, often regarded as the father of Odia nationalism and modern Odia literature is renowned all over for composing some of the greatest literary works like ‘Chha maana Atha Guntha’, 'Lachhama'.