Authored By: Biraja Mahapatra
Year of Publication: 2018
|Pages: 150||Binding: Paperback(PB)|
Category: Poetry, Fiction and Short Stories
|Price in Rs. 206.50||Price in (USA) $. 16.52|
Audacity of Dreams is about a lively description of the author’s imagination of involving all Indians, irrespective of their faiths, languages and cultures, in a countrywide cultural activity and eliciting from them a promise that they keep the country’s interest paramount in their thoughts, words and action. The activity, named ‘Symphony of Harmony’ envisages a two-minute rendition in unison of conch bleats, crashing of cymbals, etc from the precincts of temples, sirens from mosques, bells from churches, drum beats from gurudwaras and other religious institutions across the country joining at an appointed time.
The rendition is to be followed by the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, a massive plantation programme and cultural activities on nationalism with a special emphasis on fundamental duties as enshrined in Article 51 A of the Constitution. Over 30 crore students in their mother tongue should write a pledge, obtain signatures from their parents and submit the same to their school authorities. Over 80 crore people could be involved in such an exercise and the pledge has been drafted in 15 languages with uniformity in content.
In chasing such a dream, the author has been experimenting for more than a decade with various educational institutions across the country the idea of a pledge festival in which students offered a written commitment to be good citizens. With its gradual success, a civil society organisation called the Build India Group (BIG), founded by the author in 2006, urged the government to declare November 26 as the Citizen’s Day.
According to the author, this is the most significant day in India’s history as on this day in 1949, the Constituent Assembly declared the people, who were earlier subjects in their respective 562 kingdoms, as sovereign owners of this country with the adoption of the Constitution. The government last year officially declared November 26 as the Constitution Day and it is now a statutory day.
In a narrative style, the author presents several anecdotes in eight chapters and envisions how the Constitution Day is to be celebrated on November 26. The book is accompanied by the pledge in 15 languages and text of speech of Rajya Sabha MP AV Swamy in Parliament urging the government to declare November 26 as the Citizen’s Day.
The book, which centres around the idea of cultivating good citizenry for the country, may be ideal for educational institutions.
New Delhi-based Biraja Mahapatra is a lawyer by profession. Born on June 2, 1966, in Sarangadharpur village in Odisha’s Nayagarh district, Mahapatra started his career as a journalist in 1987 with Sambad and Sun Times published from Bhubaneswar after completing his Masters degree in history from Utkal University.
He acquired a degree in law from the Utkal University Law College, Bhubaneswar, in 1991. After obtaining a diploma in mass communication from the Dhenkanal campus of the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) in 1994, he moved to Delhi and worked with Press Trust of India (PTI) as a journalist. He quit as its principal legal correspondent in 2001 to practice law.
In 2006, he founded civil society organization Build India Group for promoting citizenry consciousness and environment awareness among students and youth across the country.
Associated with various magazines and journals, Mahapatra penned Odia short poems collection Dinalipi ra Gitalipi in 2001, My Call in 2008, which offered a foundation to the mission of the Build India Group, and Odia non-fiction Aatanka ku Uttara in 2012, giving a call to reject violence in any form.
His idea of eliciting a written commitment to be good citizens from students in their mother tongue on the third Saturday of January every year took the shape of a Pledge Festival with nationalism as the theme. After witnessing the popularity of this festival in educational institutions across the country, he had suggested the government to declare November 26 as Citizens’ Day.
The present work is about his dream offering a quaint, hypnotic description of Citizens’ Day as if that has already happened.