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BHAKTA KABI MADHUSUDAN RAO

........................Madhusudan Rao was born in a Maharastrian Kshyatriya family in Puri. His ancestors were from the Maharashtriyan royal family of the Bhonslas from Nagpur. They came to Orissa during the rule of Marathas. After Orissa was ruled by the British many of these Marathas were left back in Orissa. He was born to one such family.

........................His father was an employee of Orissa police department. He was therefore transferred to different places. As a result Madhusudan Rao had gained education from different schools of Gop, Cuttack, Bhubaneswar and Puri. He passed FA from Revenshaw College in year 1871. During that period there was no scope for B.A in Orissa. So he had stopped his education from here. He served, as a teacher in various schools from 1871.He became the Deputy Inspector of Education in 1880 when Radhanath Ray was the Inspector. He became the Inspector of Orissa Schools Association in 1906. He retired from the Government service in 1907 and spent rest of his life in writing and taking part in the discussions held in literature. He came across various personalities and laureate like Radhanath Ray, Gopabandhu, Harihar, Pyarimohan, Fakir Mohan, Gangadhar Meher etc during his service period. There was no academic Oriya book in Orissa during his period. Looking at this miserable condition Radhanath Ray and Madhusudan Rao wrote first academic Oriya book. A book named Barnabodha was published in 1895, which was written by Madhusudan Rao. This book is a precious asset of Oriya language. This book was recognized and prescribed by the education department that served as a workbook in all educational institution for quite a long time. About one lakh twenty seven thousand copies of this book were sold during 19947-48 in a single year. Out of all different Oriya workbooks this book was most popular and prevailed all over Orissa. His other books Sishubodha, Balabodha, Sahitya Kusum, and Prabandhamala etc. laid a foundation stone of all the Oriya workbooks. He had gained expertise in writing on "child literature". Many magazines like "Sikhyabandhu", "Asha", 'Utkal Sahitya", "Utkal Darpan", etc. were published by his efforts.

........................He adopted Brahma Dharma in 1870 and played a major role in preaching of the same. He was the editor of Brahma Dharma Preaching Society in 1879. His essay, poem and literature reflect Brahma Dharma. He was a social reformer. He established an English medium school named Cuttack Town School in the year 1881. Later it was renamed as "Town Victoria High School" in year 1909. Now it is well known as "Bhakta Madhu Bidyapith". He established Alochana Sabha in Cuttack in 1890 which later in 1993 this institution was changed to "Utkal Sahitya Samaj". He was the first President of "Utkal Sahitya Samaj". This institution bears his honour and exists till date. He wrote many essay and poems. "Basanta Gatha" & "Utkal Gatha" is his best poems. He was the Janak of modern poetry. He was founder of essay. His writings are pure and reveals best of the language. His contribution to the Oriya literature is unfathomable. The Oriya language and literature will salute him till its existence. Being a non-Oriya his works carried for Orissa is admirable. He was a poet, philosopher and idealist.


Dated : 4/25/02

 



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