Shree Suryanarayan Das

Born :- 01-Jul-1908
Died :- 11-Jul-1982
Place of Birth :- Dashrathpur Sasan, Ganjam District

Mr. Suryanarayana Das is one of the few poets whose skills have been shined through the beauty of the Odia language and literature. He was born at Dashrathpur in the Ganjam district of Odisha. His father Sri Balunkeshwar Das was a renowned Pandit of Sanskrit and Odia and was also a proficient mathematician. His mother, Smt Kshiti Devi, was a homemaker. Balunkeshwar had a versatile career- he was a dedicated journalist,  writer, historian, and a research scholar. He completed his primary education from the village Chatashali and then went to Rajguru Sahir High School under the guidance of Pius Pandit Shri Gopinath Nand. Later he graduated from Vijayanagar College and had received royalties from the king of Ganjam for his abilities and excellencies. During his days as a student, he got associated with various students of Ganjam and Koraput district and entrenched Vijayanagar Odia Students' Association, and acted as special correspondent & editor of it.

It is said that this was the time when he started to write articles for media houses. With the passage of time, he vehemently opposed the menace of child marriage with the power of his pen. After earning his Bachelors in Arts, he moved to Cuttack, the then capital of Odisha, and adopted the city as his workplace and carried forward his research & professionalism.

Over there he came across many dignitaries, one among them was Shri Lakshmi Narayan Sahu, a member of Bharat Sevak Sanghar, and served as the editor of the Odisha Flood and Famine Help Committee from 1930 to 1933, helping the helpless and needy during natural disasters.
He earned a great reputation as a journalist by working for “Samaj”, “Dainik Asha”, “New Odisha'' and many more newspapers. After the establishment of renowned Utkal University in 1946-48, he earned Masters's in Odia language and literature there. His works garnered the attention of the journalist fraternity and the "Utkal Journalists' Association'', and he was soon recognized as an eminent personality in the field. He eventually became its first president in 1947-48. For a long time, he served as a member of the Indian Federation of Working Journalists. After the independence of Odisha, he became a member of the Committee headed by Dr. Harekrishna Mahtab for the purpose of creating history of the freedom struggle for the Government of Odisha. After the passing of the “Odisha Government Language Act'' in 1954, he became a member of the "Odia Definition Committee" which was chaired by Professor Shri Arthaballav Mohanty. As a result, with the release of the "Odisha Administrative Dictionary'' in 1955, the indomitable efforts of those talented personalities paved the way for the use of Odia language in the court and in government offices as the official language. His writings include the history of Odia literature, the history of Odisha, the grammar of the Odia language,  religious reformers & treatise on the Gita. He had a strange addiction to collecting the scrolls from various sources and reviewing them. Hundreds of his books are based on various subjects like literature, culture, religion, history, Jagannath theory, etc. His love for Odisha’s culture and literature is unrivaled and "History of Odia Literature'' is considered to be his timeless creation. For his contribution to the history of Odia literature, he was awarded prizes by the Odisha Sahitya Akademi and the Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi. While pursuing M.A. in Odia, he felt that the book ‘Odia Sahityara Itihasa'' had many deficiencies and wrote “Odia Sahitya Parichaya” (Volume 2) to make it holistic. This new book is considered to be an extension of it.

In addition to the literary criticism, he has also bagged many excellent biographies of eminent personalities and short stories. Some like "Shri Nimark" (1952), "Shri Ramanujcharit" (1952), "Jagannath Das Charit", "Immortal Man of the Earth", "Shri Balaram Das", "Deshpran Madhusudan", "Utkalmani Gopbandhu", "Yugajanmahatma Gandhi", Raja Ram Mohan Rai Katha and Kathamala" (7 volumes), "Tribal Stories" etc are some of his unforgettable contributions to the world of Odia literature. He did a lot of research on Lord Shri Jagannath and Shri Mandir (Temple) and gave the words of language to the books named as "Sri Jagannath Temple, "Sri Jagannath Temple  & Sri Jagannath Tattva", and "The Temple of Jagannath" (English). Similarly, in the history of Odisha, books like "Glimpses of Sepoy Rebellion in Odisha", "Pike Rebellion", "History of Freedom Struggle in Odisha", "Odisha of the 19th Century", "Floods and Disasters in Odisha", "Industries and Trade of Odisha" etc. prove his high-class literary search, excellence, and sanctity. Many prestigious institutions have recognized his talent for his literary pursuit.  Needless to say, he has been honored with the Prestigious Centre and State Sahitya Akademi Awards and has sung a golden chapter in the history of Odia literature.


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