Shree Binod Chandra Nayak

Born :- 02-Sep-1919
Died :- 15-Nov-2003
Place of Birth :- Village of Telipali, Sundergarh

Binod Chandra Nayak, who enjoys a special position among Odia poets for his unique language and style of writing, was born in the village of Telipali in the Sundergarh district. His father's name was Narayan Nayak. His ancestors came to Odisha during the Marhatta rule. Under the patronage of the then king of Gangapur state, his ancestors could become Gauntia – an estate holder representing the king; As a result, they gained money, prestige, and power. They also led discourses on Odia culture and religion. Mahima Babaji, folk singers and music bands from the south, coastal musical and theatre groups were entertained by the family. In addition, there were so many collections of palm leaf books (Pothis), various books in Bengali and Odia in their home that it had virtually turned into a small library. The collections included the works of poets like Kabisamrat Upendra Bhanj, the Bagmi Bishwanath, Kabibara Radhanath, Bhaktakabi Madhusudan, Prakrutikabi Gangadhar and Pallikabi Nandkishore besides the works of Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar and the world-famous Rabindranath Tagore.

The foundation of Binod’s primary education was laid in the village primary school (Chatshali). After  completing secondary education at Sundargarh High School, Binod did his graduation from Ravenshaw College and then Patna University  with Honours in English and later did his post-graduation there both in English (1943) and Odia (1950). While doing MA, he married Yajnaseni Devi in ??1941.

 His professional life was also varied. He began his career as an Assistant Civil Supply Officer in 1944. Then he shifted to Jajpur College as an English professor and later as an English and Odia professor at Jharsuguda High School, Sundergarh College and Gangadhar Meher College. In the final round, he was in the Odia department. He joined the Department of Culture of the Government of Odisha in 1968. He served as Secretary of the Odisha Sahitya Akademi for five years (1968-73). He resigned from the government job and went back to teaching at Jharsuguda College. Then he joined as Principal of of Brajrajnagar College and later, took responsibility as the vice-president of the Odisha Sahitya Akademi.

While pursuing a professional career, Binod Chandra Nayak sincerely devoted his time to reading literature and writing poetry as well as literary essays; his literary criticisms focused on the theory of literature, literature and society, poetry and art which were published in different literary journals of his time such as Navbharat, Naveen and Bhanjpradeep. His one-act plays and musical plays were published in magazines like Dagar and Jhankar. His writings enjoyed a special place in the context of those of other writers for their emotion and style of expression.

Binod began writing poetry at the age of eleven. When he was in sixth grade, he sang the prayer of Ganesh in Chokhi style while offering his prayers to Lord of Learning on the day of Ganesh Puja. He started writing poetry in high school - right on the day of Saraswati Puja – a devotional poem, but romantic. A teacher is the heroine of the poem. He sent the poem, captioned ‘Aascharjya Arghya’, to ‘Naveen’ edited by Krupasindhu Jagadev in Ganjam. It was published in 1933. After entering college, he gained thorough knowledge about English romantic poets, and later, about all the theories of Western poetry and their application. There is no medieval poet and contemporaries who he did not read or understand. A 15-year-old boy - Binod – was given recognition by the ‘Naveen’. Via ‘Ebam’ and ‘Naveen’, his poems were published in almost every contemporary journal - Dagar, Navbharat, Aarti, Jhankar, Nabjiban, Asantakali and Diganta.

His works include: Haimanti (1933), Chandra O Tara (1951), Nila Chandrara Upatyaka (1951), Sarisrupa - Lark Books (1969), Ilabrutta - Bikash Pratishthan(1969), Nandadebi - Bikash Pratishthan (1962),  Sata Tarara Deepa - Sarasvata Pustaka Bhandar (1962), Pohala Dvipara Upakatha - J. Mahapatra (1970), Anya Eka AAsarapi – 1977, Rajakiya Nisangata - Grantha Mandir (1989) and Kanchana Kuntalara Tarabari - Cuttack Students Store (1990).

All of these books have been published in five volumes under the title ‘Binodnayak Kavita Sanchayan’ by Odisha Book Store in 1987. Some books carry forewords written by the poet’s friends. Eminent novelist Surendra Mohanty authored the foreword to ‘Nilchandrara Upatyaka’ which, though a brief discussion, is said to be a fair assessment of Binod Chandra's poetic talent.

Binod's poetry has resorted to the use of poetic devices like images, metaphors and myths like his contemporary poets, but his awareness of application is the important aspect of his poetry and his literary style. He has accepted both free verse and rhythm. As a result, one can feel the inner flow of music and emotion in his poetry. Apparently, it was a subconscious expression of his experience in medieval literature as a child. Binod, who established his personality in the field of education, administration and organisation at various times in his life with creative work, has gained immense readership and popularity, and awarded by the Odisha Sahitya Akademi as well as the Kendra Sahitya Akademi. He was awarded an honorary D.Litt. by the Sambalpur University.

After a successful life and making rich contribution to Odia literature, Binod Chandra Nayak breathed his last on 15 November, 2003.


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