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Kabibar Radhanath Roy ( On the eve of 174th Birth Anniversary)

Kabibar Radhanath Roy was born in the village of Kedarpur on September 28, 1848, in the district of Balasore. He was a prominent poet of Oriya language and literature. They belonged to a Bengali clan that had settled in Odisha for generations. His poems created a new tradition in Odia poetry and influenced later poets up to about the middle of the twentieth century. Odia poetry was enriched by Radhanath Roy with the introduction of new forms, new themes, a new approach, and greater freedom than prerequisites.

He started writing at the age of 18 by writing a collection of Bengali poems and the collection of poems is get named Kabitabali. Also, this Kabitabali is getting more popular at that time. After some days he completely shifted to writing in the Odia language. Radhanath with his innovative style used simple and colloquial Oriya disparaging the older traditional ‘Chhandas’ to give wide access to the people of Orissa to know their living Gods and Goddesses, interested in human affairs: to read the myths and legends of their soil, to thrill their minds with daring and bravery heroes and heroines dressed in warrior robes to peep through his superb poetic narration the green mountains, thirsty rivers, murmuring fountains, saintly silent and shrined lakes and historically important monuments with their significance and brought a magical movement in the threshold of a new era.

During Radhanath’s time, in Orissa, the Oriya language movement was active. Though medieval Oriya literature was richer in comparison to that of Bengali literature, however, some Bengali educationalists wanted to abolish the Oriya language as the medium of teaching in schools. As Bengal was gripped by British Colonialism much before Orissa, the Bengalis had the privilege to motivate the Anglicist scholars to prove Oriya as a branch of the Bengali language. John Beams, a British Officer of East India Company first tried to prove that Oriya is a more ancient language than Bengali, and it had a richer literature than Bengali had not.

In the Orissa division, there were only seven Oriya School teachers; Bengalis formed the majority of teachers, even in remote areas. Consequently, Bengali textbooks were prescribed for Oriya students. At that time, Radhanatha was one of the prime figures along with Fakir Mohan Senapati, who fought against the expansionism of Bengali educationalists to eradicate the Oriya language from Orissa. As an Inspector of the Orissa Schools along with Fakir Mohan Senapati and Madhusudan Rao, he tried to promote textbook writings.

The credit of Radhanath as a modern poet has been uttered highly for his nine Kavyas such as ‘Kedar Gouri’ (1886), ‘Chandrabhaga’ (1886), ‘Nandikeswari’ (1887), ‘Usha’(1888). ‘Parvati’ (1890) ‘Chilika(1891) ‘Mahajatra’(1893),‘Jajatikeshari’ (1894) and ‘Darabara’ (1897). The valuable contributions of Radhanath Ray to the modern Oriya language and literature were his eclectic craftsmanship and extraordinary talent reflected in his principal creative works. This great poet of Odisha passed away on– April 17, 1908


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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