Madhusudan Das

[Utkal Gourav] (28 April 1848- 4 February 1934 / Satyabhamapur, Cuttack, Orissa / India)

Biography of Madhusudan Das

Madhusudan Das poet

Utkal Gourav Madhusudan Das was born in a village called Satyabhamapur, 20 kilometres from Cuttack, Orissa. He was known as "Utkal Gourav" which means Pride of Utkal and was a Poet, Freedom Fighter. He was the first Graduate and Advocate of Orissa.

Family

He was born to father Choudhury Raghunath Das and mother Parbati Debi. They had initially named him Gobindaballabh. Later they changed his name to Madhusudan. He had two elder sisters and a younger brother named Gopalballabh. He had adopted a daughter, by name Shailabala, in whose name the famous Shailabala Womens college was founded. Shailabala was a Bengali, and her parents had left her in the care of Madhusudan Das and his wife at Calcutta. Madhubabu had taught Ashutosh Mukherjee, the former Vice-Chancellor of Calcutta University in Calcutta.

Early Life and Education

Madhusudan Das had his early education in the village school. He had studied many subjects, including Persian, from a Maulvi. After his early education, he 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 for Higher Education in the renowned Calcutta University. In spite of uttermost challenging conditions he lived in Calcutta for almost fifteen years (1866 to 1881). In 1870, he became the first Oriya to complete B.A. He continued his studies in Calcutta to complete his M.A. and B.L. degrees, thus becoming the first ever scholar of Orissa to achieve these feet.

Professional Life

After returning to Orissa from Calcutta in 1881, he started his legal practice. His insight knowledge on this field helped him to earn sufficiently and spend for the common.

Political Career

'Madhu Babu' as acknowledged by the common people, was a stupendous personality in politics. He worked untiringly for the political, social and economical upliftment of people of Orissa and served his mother-nation as a lawyer, social reformer and patriot. He founded Utkal Sammilani which brought a revolution in the social and industrial development of Orissa.

He has always been admired as a great Legislator and Journalist. He was the first Oriya to be the member of both Legislative Council and Central Legislative Assembly. He was the first Indian Minister. He was also the first Oriya to sail overseas.

He founded Utkal Tannery in 1905, a factory producing shoes and other leather products. In 1897 he founded Orissa Art Ware Works. With his support, the Tarakashi work of gold and silver ornaments achieved commendable feet.

Contribution to Literature

As a writer and poet, patriotism was always been the reflection of his works. He penned a number of articles and poems in both English and Oriya. Some of his important poems are “Utkal Santan”, “Jati Itihash” and “Jananira Ukti” etc. He was also a influential speaker in Oriya, Bengali and English.

Last Years

He sacrificed his whole life for the welfare of his country and people. He spent all his wealth for the sake of the country and declared himself as an insolvent. He died on 4 February 1934. Mahatma Gandhi described him as a great Indian patriot who wore himself out in giving shape and reality to various nation-building schemes.

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