Shree Radhanath Rath

Born :- 06-Dec-1896
Died :- 11-Feb-1998
Place of Birth :- Radhanaathpur, Aathagarh, Cuttack

Dr. Radhanath Rath, who was completely dedicated to journalism and social service, was born on 7 December, 1896 to parents Raghunath Rath and Kamali Devi in village Radhanathpur Sashan of Aathgarh under Cuttack district. He started his education in the Jubilee School of Balasore where his uncle Lokanath Mohapatra was a Sanskrit teacher. He did his matriculation in 1916 from Ravenshaw Collegiate School of Cuttack.

On completion of his education, Radhanath joined the Forest department of Singhbhum district as a Clerk. Advised by Utkalmani Pandit Gopabandhu Das he left the job and joined the 'Satyabadi press' at Cuttack in 1919. He started his career in Journalism as Manager and Assistant Editor of the Odia weekly ‘The Samaja founded abd edited by Gopabandhu himself. After the death of Gopabandhu Das in the year 1928, Pandit Lingaraj Mishra worked as its editor. In the year 1930, the Weekly was published as a Daily. During 1946–1952 Lingaraj Mishra was the education minister of Odisha, facilitating Radhanath’s promotion as editor of the daily.

He joined the Quit India Movement in 1942 and was imprisoned for two years. He was elected five times to the Odisha Legislative Assembly. In 1946, he was first elected to the state Assembly from Athgarh. Except the period between 1961 and 1967, Radhanath remained a member of the House from 1946 to 1977. He was appointed cabinet minister in charge of Finance, Education, Forestry and Agriculture from 1952 to 1961. He became Finance and Education Minister in the Nabakrushna Choudhury Cabinet for the period 1952 to 1959. In the year 1959 he held the post of Minister of Development & Forest department in th Cabinet of Harekrushna Mahatab.

Radhanath Rath was a lifetime member and President of the Odisha branch of the 'Servants of  People Society' founded by Lala Lajpat Rai of Punjab. He was president of the Society for over a decade from May 1981. He was the head of the All India Scout and Guides Association, Odisha. He was also related to many other organisations like the Hind Leprosy Eradication Group and the Gopabandhu Daridra Narayan Seva Sangha. For a few years he was Deputy Din of the Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology.

Radhanath has written poems, stories and some biographies. ‘Mo Jel Smruti Lipi’ is one of his famous works.

His illustrious life came to an end on 12 February, 1996 at Cuttack. His body was laid to rest with full state honour at Satyabadi in Puri district.

Radhanath received the Odisha Sahitya Academy Award, 1967,  the Padma Bhusan in 1968, Critic Circle of India award in 1987, All India Anubrata award in 1988, Utkal Ratna Samman by Utkal Sahitya Samaj in1993, and the Degree of Doctor of Laws (LL.D) by the Berhampur University in 1976.

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