New Delhi: The Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Mishra Friday batted for freedom of speech and said that he is against the idea of banning movies, books and media.
Justice Mishra was addressing a gathering during the Prabasi Odia Samman organised by the Odisha Forum, a think tank of eminent Odia people living in the national capital.
“I am against the idea of banning movies, books and even the media. I support freedom of speech. That is why I ordered against banning the movie Padmavat when the case came up for hearing in Supreme Court,” he said.
The CJI, meanwhile, also talked about the literary works of luminary poets like Jayadev and Kalidas as well as other literary works of Odia writers and writers from different parts of the world.
Justice Mishra gave away the Prabasi Odia Samman to the awardees. The awards were given as a part of the annual function of the Odisha Forum.
The awardees include Swarup Ranjan Mishra, entrepreneur Sushmita Mohanty, Pinaki Panigrahi, actor-activist Nandita Das, Odissi dancer Sharon Lowen, and ICAR DG Trilochan Mahapatra.
Speaking on the occasion, Gokul Patnaik, president, Odisha Forum, said, “We had been holding meetings of the forum periodically and discuss issues like on culture, economics and others. It has now become a focal point for Odias living here. Some Odia SC judges, civil servants and dignitaries are now part of the organisation.”
In his deliberation, Sitakant Mahapatra, eminent poet and member of the forum, talked about the rich Odia literature and the Kalinga architecture. He also presented two books penned by him to the CJI. A satirical song on the Rasagola controversy was also released during the event.
Organisers said that the forum was started in 1998 with assistance of Odia intellectuals, especially noted Odia painter Jatin Das, and it was envisioned to deliberate on issues related to Odias and act as an advocacy group and to bring Prabasi Odias under one umbrella.
On receiving the Odia Prabasi Samman, Nandita Das said, “While I never lived in Odisha, my father has instilled in me his own passion for Odia food, craft, arts and culture. In my childhood, I was visiting Odisha every year. Though I feel like a global citizen, I still feel deeply connected to my roots in Odisha,” she said.