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UTKAL GOURABA MADHUSUDAN DAS

........................Madhusadan Das took birth in a village Satyabhamapur of Cuttack district to rich and well to do family. After gaining primary education from the village school he passed entrance (matric) from Cuttack high school in the year 1864. After that he worked for sometime as a teacher and clerk in Balasore and then moved to Calcutta in 1866 for higher studies. He passed his B.A in 1870 and later completed his MA, LLB in 1873 from Calcutta University. He started his practice as an advocate for fifteen years in Calcutta and then returned to Cuttack in 1881. He took up law as his profession to earn his livelihood. He was Lecture in law in Revenshaw College for sometime.

........................At that time northern Orissa was with Bangladesh. Later from 1st April 1912 it was with Bihar. He was a member of administrative council of Orissa, Bihar and Bengal for around thirty years from 1896. He was also a member of "Imperial council" from 1913 to 1916. He took active part in the meetings of the council. He was an administrator of high caliber. He served as a minister for self-administration and health for Bihar and Orissa from 22-04-1921 to 09-03-1923. The British turned down his suggestion that a minister should serve without taking any salary. He therefore resigned from his post of minister. He was the first person to resign as a minister citing an example during the British rule. He was the first person from Orissa to be honoured with C.I.E. in 1904. He was also Senate and syndicate member of Calcutta and Patna University. He was an admirable personality holding many high positions and honours in his entire life span. He was “the uncrowned king of Orissa”. During the British rule the Oriya people were neglected having been divided into four different states. So his main aim was to bring all the Oriya under one independent rule. He therefore organised "Utkal samilani" in the year 1903 and started a revolution called "Desha Mishrana Andolan". He was able to unite all the Kings, Jamindars (landlords), government employees, farmers and the general public and could bring them under one roof. He submitted his proposal at Bengal, Bihar and Central Administrative council in front of the British authority. In 1907 he had also been to England to discuss over this matter with the high command. He had arranged many public meetings so that the general public would also be aware of the matter. As a result the British declared in the year 1933 that Orissa should be a separate state. But in 1st April 1936, at last Orissa emerged as a new state. At that time Madhusudan Das was already dead. In the meetings of the "Utkal Samilani " the agenda also included advertisement for the use of those products that were made in India. He himself had established a shoe factory, silver filigree, horn works (products made of horns), cloth mill. In 1925 Mahatma Gandhi saw this and was pleased with the work of Madhusudan Das. Das also had love for sports and games. He was the first to build up a sports association. He also introduced the sports and games in the educational institutions.

........................He was also a journalist. He used to write in various magazines like "Utkal Dipika", "Utkal Hitaishini", "Star of Utkal Samaj" etc. He also published an English magazine in the year 1917 named "The Oriya". His poem "swalpa hele sudha" revealed love for the Oriya community. He took part in the struggle for Independence and also took part in the meetings of "National Congress" held at Mandraj, Bombay, Calcutta etc. But when he found out that the congress was not in support, for Orissa to be declared a separate state he resigned from the congress. He was the President in the Utkal Samilani held in the year 1913 and 1918. His aim was to recover and revive the culture of Orissa and financial & political honour of Orissa. He had a major role in creating self-respect, self-confidence, and nationality in the hearts of the Oriyas. He adopted Christianity in the year 1869. During 1873 while he was studying in Bethun College of Calcutta he got married to the daughter of a revolutionary Christian priest. His wife died five years from the date of marriage. After that he did not marry. He had adopted a girl as his daughter. Although he was a Christian he had love for Hindu religion. He fought for the King of Puri claiming for his rights over the Jagannath temple at the court and won the case. Although a Christian he had never forgotten the age-old pride and importance of the Oriya culture. In a single sentence he was a lawyer, administrator, patriot, politician and industrialist. He had sufficient talent, money and honour to his credit. But he had never done anything for his own self. Till his last moments he dedicated his life for Orissa. Although he had earned enough money but he died penniless. He will always be remembered as the founder of "New Utkal".


Dated : 4/27/02

 



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