Home » Literature » Eminent Litterateur, Editor, and Columnist Manoj Das passed away

Eminent Litterateur, Editor, and Columnist Manoj Das passed away

Balasore/Puducherry:27/4/21: Eminent Litterateur, Editor, and Columnist Manoj Das from Odisha passed away today evening while undergoing treatment at a hospital in Puducherry. He was 87.

Das was suffering from age-related ailments and admitted to the hospital for the past few months.

He was the foremost bilingual Odia writer and a master of dramatic expression both in his English and Odia short stories and novels.

Das edited The Heritage, published from Chennai in 1985-1989. He wrote columns in The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Hindu and The Statesman as well.

In 2000, Das was awarded with Saraswati Samman. He was awarded Padma Shri in 2001 and Padma Bhusan in 2020 for his contribution in the field of Literature & Education.

The Kendra Sahitya Akademi awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award Fellowship to Das.

Das had been an inmate of Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Puducherry since 1963. He was teaching English Literature and the Philosophy of Sri Aurobindo at the Sri Aurobindo International University.

Das was born on February 27, 1934, in Shankari village in Balasore district.

‘The Escapist’, ‘Tandralokara Prahari’, ‘Aakashra Isara’, ‘Amruta Phala’, ‘A Tiger at Twilight’, ‘Bulldozers and Fables and Fantasies for Adults’, ‘Cyclones’, ‘Godhulira Bagha’, ‘Kanaka-Upatyakara Kahani’ and ‘Sesha Tantrikara Sandhanare’ have been some of the widely-read works of the Litterateur.

In 2000, Das was awarded with Saraswati Samman. He was awarded Padma Shri in 2001 and Padma Bhusan in 2020 for his contribution in the field of Literature & Education.

The Kendra Sahitya Akademi awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award Fellowship to Das.

Das had been an inmate of Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Puducherry since 1963. He was teaching English Literature and the Philosophy of Sri Aurobindo at the Sri Aurobindo International University.

EARLY LIFE

Manoj Das was born in the small coastal village of Shankari in the Balasore districts on February 27, 1934, of Orissa. His father, Madhusudan Das worked under British Govt. He had started writing early. His first work a book of poetry in Odia, Satavdira Artanada published in 1949 when he was in high school. He launched a literary magazine, Diganta in 1950. He graduated high school in 1951. His first collection of short stories Samudrara Kshudha (Hungry sea) that year. He was influenced by left-wing ideology in college. He was active in student politics while studying for BA at Cuttack College. He was a youth leader with radical views in his college days and spent a year in jail for his revolutionary activities. In 1959 he was a delegate to the Afro-Asian students’ conference at Bandung, Indonesia. He did not complete his degree in Cuttack. He ultimately finished his graduation from Samanta Chandra Shekhar College, Puri in 1955. During his college, he kept on writing and he published a novel Jeebanara Swada , a collection of short stories Vishakanyar Kahani, and a collection of poems Padadhawani . After graduating with a degree in English literature, he got a post-graduate degree in English literature from Ravenshaw College. After a short stint as a lecturer in Christ College (Cuttack) , he joined Sri Aurobindo Ashram at Puducherry. Since 1963, he has been a professor of English Literature at Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education, Puducherry.

AS EDITOR AND COLUMNIST

He edited a cultural magazine, The Heritage, published from Chennai in the 1985-1989. The magazine is no more in circulation.

He wrote columns on quest for finding eternal truth in common lives in India’s national dailies like The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Hindu and The Statesman.

Creative writing

Manoj Das is perhaps the foremost bilingual Odia writer and a master of dramatic expression both in his English and Odia short stories and novels. Das has been compared to Vishnu Sharma, in modern Odia literature for his magnificent style and efficient use of words and for the fact that he is one of the best storytellers in India at present times. Over the years many research scholars have done their doctoral thesis on the works of Manoj Das, P. Raja being the first scholar to do so.

NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL POSITIONS

Among the other important positions that Das has held are, Member, General Council, Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi 1998–2002, and Author-consultant, Ministry of Education, Government of Singapore, 1983–85. He was the leader of the Indian delegation of writers to China (1999).

Awards:
  • Orissa Sahitya Academy Award, 1965 and 1987
  • Kendra Sahitya Akademi Award, 1972
  • Sarala Award, 1981
  • Vishuba Award, 1986
  • Sahitya Bharati Award, 1995
  • Saraswati Samman, 2000;
  • Orissa State Film Award for Best Story 2001
  • Padma Shri, 2001
  • Sahitya Akademi Fellowship, 2006
  • Atibadi Jagannath Das award, 2007
  • NTR Literary Award, 2013
  • Amritakeerti Puraskar, 2013
  • Veda Vyas Samman
  • Padma Bhusan in 2020

SELECTED WORKS

Novels

  • The Escapist, 2001
  • Tandralokara Prahari, 2000
  • Aakashra Isara, 1997
  • Amruta Phala, 1996 (Saraswati Samman)
  • A Tiger at Twilight, 1991
  • Bulldozers and Fables and Fantasies for Adults, (1990)
  • Cyclones, 1987
  • Prabhanjana
  • Godhulira Bagha
  • Kanaka-Upatyakara Kahani
  • amruta phala

Short Story Collections

  • Upakatha Sataka
  • Abu Purusha
  • Sesa Basantara Chithi, 1966
  • Manoj Dasanka Katha O Kahani, 1971
  • Dhumabha Diganta O Anyana Kahani, 1971
  • The Crocodile’s Lady: A Collection of Stories, 1975
  • Manoj-pancha-bimsati, 1977
  • The Submerged Valley and Other Stories, 1986
  • Farewell to a Ghost: Short Stories and a Novelette, 1994
  • Legend of the Golden Valley, 1996
  • Samudra-kulara Eka Grama (Balya Smruti), 1996
  • Aranyaka; (adapted to Aranyaka, 1994)
  • Bhinna Manisha O Anyana Kahani
  • Abupurusha O Anyana Kahani
  • Lakshmira Abhisara
  • Abolakara Kahani
  • Aranya Ullasha
  • Selected Fiction,
  • Chasing the Rainbow : growing up in an Indian village, 2004

Travelogue

  • Kete Diganta (Part I)
  • Kete Diganta (Part -II)
  • Antaranga Bharata (Part I) (My Little India)
  • Antaranga Bharata (Part II)
  • Dura-durantara
  • Adura Bidesh – 2004

Poetry

  • Tuma Gaan O Anyanya Kabita, 1992
  • Kabita UtkalaHistory & Culture

     

    • Bharatara Aitihya: Shateka Prashnara Uttara,1999
    • Manoj Das Paribesita Upakatha Shataka (Tales Told by Mystics), 2002
    • Mahakalara Prahelika O Anyana Jijnansa, 2006
    • Jibana Jijnasa o Smaraika Stabaka
    • Prajna Pradeepika

 

 

About Editor in chief

Ashok Palit has completed his graduation from Upendranath College Soro, Balasore and post graduation from Utkal University in Odia Language and literture.. He has also carved out a niche for himself as a scribe of eminence after joining the profession in 1988. He is also an independent media production professional. He brings loads of experience to Advanced Media, Ashok Palit as a cineaste has been active in film criticism for over three decades. As a film society activist, he soared to eminence for his profound commitment to the art film appreciation and aesthetics of cinema. His mode of discourse is often erudite but always lucid and comprehensible marked by a perfect acumen so rare in the field. A film aesthete with an immense fond of critical sensibilities, he wrote about growth and development of odia cinema in New Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Asian Age and Screen. He has been working as an Editor for Cine Samaya from 2002-2004.. He had made solid contribution on cinema in many odia Dailies and weekly such as Samaj, Prajatantra, Dharatri, Samaya, Satabadi, and weekly Samaya.

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