New Delhi, Mar 18 (ANI): President Pratibha Devisingh Patil on Thursday presented the prestigious Moortidevi Award of Bharatiya Jnanpith to Union Minister of Law and Justice Veerappa Moily for his outstanding work on Shri Ramayan Mahanveshanam.
An established writer in Kannada, Moily has authored, to date, four novels, three collections of poetry, three plays, collections of essays, besides his five-volume magnum opus 'Shri Ramayana Mahanveshanam'.
Addressing the gathering after receiving the award, Moily described his work as a unique structure.
"My Sree Ramayana Mahanveshanam, I humbly state, is in such glorious tradition of texts with a unique structure and a fresh context," Moily said.
"Its unique structure is the result of pondering over many Ramayana texts in the Jain tradition, Kannada retellings, and folk traditions; its fresh context is that of the challenges faced by modern Indian Society, especially in the period of globalisation on the one hand and rise of fundamentalism on the other," he added.
In his address, Moily expressed concern that even after achieving greater scientific and material developments man appears to have his animal instinct intact.
"Even though human civilization has attained greater scientific and material development, man has not changed much; and many a time, he appears to have his animal instinct intact," he said.
"This epic poem is an attempt to discover or rediscover the values and ways of thinking which make it possible for mankind to move upwards in the path of creative evolution," he added.
Moily said that his work is concerned with an exploration of the various facets of human psyche.
"My epic is primarily concerned with an exploration of the various facets of human psyche; and my attempt has been to change and reorient modern psyche towards the values and ways of life of our ancient Upanishads," he said.
Moily described his passion for writing as his source of energy
"Writing is my oxygen and source of energy in sorrows and joys. Nobody writes for an award. But awards function as incentives for the writer to have confidence in himself and continue his work more zealously," he said.
He was also awarded Second Father Kamil Bulke Ramayana International Award 2007.
He is currently penning another epic poem on Draupadi titled 'Shrimudi Parikramanam', which is likely to be published within a year.
His two volumes of 'Musings On India' is a collection of essays and lectures on Indian history, culture, and society.
He has launched a Magna-Opus-Unleashing India in five Volumes. First two volumes 'Road Map for Agrarian Wealth Creation' and the second the 'Water-Elixir of Life' have already been published.
On of his major novels, 'Kotta', has been produced as telefilms in both Kannada and Hindi, directed by M. S. Sathyu.
His novels 'Kotta' and 'Tembrare' have been translated into Hindi, English, and many other Indian languages; parts of his ambitious epic have been translated into Hindi and Tamil. The English translation of the entire work is currently in the press.
As a writer, Moily is noted for his concern for the marginalized classes, authenticity of depiction, and skilful craftsmanship. His major works are always preceded by extensive research and discussion with concerned experts. Hence his works have a distinct place of their own in Kannada.
Many awards and honours have come seeking him, a few of which are: 'Al Ameen Sadbhavana Award' (2000), 'Devaraja Urs Prashasti' (2001), 'Aryabhata Award' (2001), and 'Dr. B. R. Ambedkar Award (2002). Honorary Doctorate Degrees by Mangalore University (2009) and Russian Academy and National Law School University, Hyderabad have been bestowed on him.
Moily received the 21st edition of the Moortidevi Award, while the 20th edition of the award went to Krishna Bihari Mishra for Kalpataru ke Utsav Leela.
Moily and Mishra were earlier chosen unanimously for the honour at a meeting of the award selection board held under the chairmanship of T. N. Chaturvedi.
The selection committee comprised former Sahitya Akademi secretary K. Satchidanandan, Jnanpith awardee Sanskrit scholar Satyavarat Shastri, former Moortidevi Award winning Oriya writer Pratibha Ray, eminent linguist Vrishabha Prasad Jain, Sahu Akhilesh Jain and Ravindra Kalia.
The Hindi version of Moily's book has been brought out by Rajkamal Prakashan Pvt Ltd, and is translated from Kannada by Pradhan Gurudatta. (ANI)