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Eminent poets representing 24 Indian languages participated in an All India Poetry Festival was organised by the Sahitya Akademi here to commemorate World Poetry Day.
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In the inaugural session on Wednesday, Sahitya Akademi Secretary K. Sreenivasarao welcomed the participants and audience and talked about the uniqueness of poetry in all languages, Indian poetic traditions, relevance of poetry in the twenty first century and Sahitya Akademi's initiatives to promote poetry in all languages of the country.
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In his address, Sitakant Mahapatra, an eminent Odia Poet and Fellow of Sahitya Akademi, stated that the "world needs poetry as much as poetry needs the world since only poetry can mend the rupture of our civilization and address our anxieties". He talked about the values of poetic traditions and observed that in these dark times poetry should assert its traditional freedom and resist the prevailing debasement of languages which troubles all who care for genuine poetry.
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Nabaneeta Dev Sen, eminent Bengali writer and scholar, who was the Guest of Honour at the event, talked about "impact poetry makes on the poets and readers". She shared several anecdotes, recited her own poetry and shared the role poetry played in her life.
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Chandrashekhar Kambar, President, Sahitya Akademi, highlighted the unifying nature of poetry. He said that in a multilingual society like India with a large number of languages and cultural traditions, "poetry played and plays a huge role in uniting them transcending all the barriers".