Shree Rajkishore Pattnaik

Born :- 08-Apr-1917
Died :- 02-Mar-1997
Place of Birth :- Grey Street, Kolkata

Rajkishore Pattanayak, the forerunner of the Navnatya movement in Odisha, was born in 1917 in the Gray Street in the then Calcutta. Although he was a college teacher by profession, he gained reputation as an Odia story writer, novelist and playwright. His father, Sribatsa Pattanayak, was a government official. His mother's name was Sundaramani Devi. His ancestral village was the erstwhile Rasulkonda near Bhanjanagar in Ganjam district. He was a gifted student and a great player. He graduated from Ravenshaw College with a degree in science and studied law. He became a champion in bicycle racing and held a record for 40 years. He began practicing law in Cuttack in the 1940s. He also taught law for some time.

Rajkishore was a staunch opponent of government intervention in the field of literature. He strongly opposed the establishment of the 'Odisha Sahitya Akademi' under government administration. He was married at the age of forty-two. His wife, Shailbala, was also a lawyer.

Rajkishore's literary life began in March 1934. He wrote his first novel at the time. But that was incomplete. While studying at Ravenshaw in 1937, he began writing a serial in the ‘Navbharat’ magazine under the title ‘My Letter File’. These serials were later published as a book under the title ‘The Caged Bird’. He was awarded the Atibadi Jagannath Das Award, the Jhankar Award and the Shukdev Sahu Novel Award for his historic and contemporary literary creations.

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