Jayanta’s Padma Shri award return evokes mixed response

Bhubaneswar: Eminent litterateur of Odisha and poet of international acclaim Jayanta Mahapatra’s decision to return the Padma Shri award to express a voice of dissent against the “Moral Asymmetry” destroying the fabric of the society, has evoked mixed reactions from various quarters.

“I would like to thank Jayanta Mahapatra for a historical decision,” said Food Supply and Consumer Welfare Sanjay Das Burma.

Commenting on the decision of Mahapatra to return the award, novelist Bibhuti Patnaik said, “Intolerance is not a new thing. Not only India, it is happening across the world. Especially, communal intolerance is happening in the world. Only returning the award is not the way out. Mahapatra should present his views in his write-ups and through participation in discussions.”

“He never mentioned about intolerance. He has highlighted moral asymmetry plaguing our society and it’s sad to see such an observation. It should force us to rethink,” said litterateur Amresh Patnaik.

“He has not joined the bandwagon of litterateurs who are returning the awards. He is different and its shows in his letter wherein he has not mentioned about intolerance but about many other things hurting him. If one reads between the lines, his letter and observation has deeper meaning,” litterateur Annada Shankar Roy.

However, in his reaction, senior BJD leader and Cuttack MP Bhatruhari Mahatab said it is not right for a person to return the award given by the country.

“I believe that those who have received these national awards have upheld the significance of these awards. In my opinion, this is not a right decision. A person, who has been honoured by the nation, should upkeep the respect for the award,” he said.