Madhusudan Das is one of the eminent personalities in Odisha. He was born on 28 April 1848. A well-known lawyer, social reformer, freedom fighter, minister, industrialist, he had all the qualities that was required for uplifting one’s nation. He completed his early education, and moved to Cuttack High School (later known as Ravenshaw Collegiate School) which offered English education. In 1864, he passed the entrance examination and went to Calcutta University. In spite of extremely challenging conditions he lived in Calcutta for almost fifteen years, from 1866 to 1881. In 1870, he became the first Odia to complete his B.A.
His work as a writer was extremely commendable and got huge recognition. “Utkal Santan”, “Jati Itihash” and “Jananira Ukti” are some his famous compositions. He could speak and was fluent in three languages Odia, English and Bangla. He showed his immense contribution in the creation of Orissa Province. Also known as Kulabruddha (Grand Old Man), Madhu Babu, and Utkala Gouraba (Pride of Utkal). His birthday is celebrated as the Lawyers’ Day on 28 April in Odisha. He was one of the famous person who founded Utkal Sammilani in 1903 to campaign for the unification of Odisha along with its social and industrial development. The year 1866 was the year of a acute famine in Odisha, called the “Naanka Durviksha” When more than one lakh people died of hunger.
Picture Credit : Kamalakant Nayak
This year he converted himself to Christian and changed his name as Madhusudan Das from his earlier name of Gobinda Ballav Choudhury. In 1897 he founded the Orissa Art Ware Works. With his support, the Tarakasi(filigree) work of silver ornaments achieved commendable feet. He is respected and his birthday illuminates the fire of love for nation within one till today.
By Subhechcha Ganguly
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