Gangadhar Meher

Last updated

Swabhaba Kabi

Gangadhara Meher
Painting of Gangadhar Meher (cropped).jpg
Swabhaba Kabi Gangadhara Meher
Born(1862-08-09)9 August 1862(On the full moon day of Sravana Purnima)
Died4 April 1924(1924-04-04) (aged 61)
Nationality Indian
EducationStd V
OccupationJudicial Moharir (Accountant)
Notable work
Tapaswini, Rasa-Ratnakara, Balarama-deba, Pranaya Ballari, Kichaka Badha, Indumati (First Published work), Ayodhya Drusya, Padmini (Last work); genre (Poet)
Spouse(s)Shanta Devi, Champa Devi (After the death of Shanta Devi)
ChildrenArjuna Meher (died at the age of 12), Bhagaban Meher (Famous as Kabi-Putra), Basumati Meher, Lakhmi Meher
Parents
  • Chaitanya Meher (father)
  • Sevati Devi (mother)
Website www.gangadharmeher.org

Swabhaba kabi Gangadhara Meher (Odia : ସ୍ୱଭାବକବି ଗଙ୍ଗାଧର ମେହେର ) was a renowned Odia poet of the 19th century. Though poor in wealth and education, he remained one of the most prolific and original contributor to Odia literature. [1]

Contents

Childhood

Gangadhara was born in 1862 on the full moon day of Shravana Purnima at Barpali of present-day Bargarh district of Odisha. Chaitanya Meher was working as a village Vaidya (Ayurvedic doctor) besides his family profession of weaving. But as he could not maintain his family with the income of these works, he opened a village school and began to teach a few children. Gangadhara Meher could read up to the Middle Vernacular Standard hurdling over diverse disadvantages, and his keen eagerness for literature eventually sparked his skills in writing poems. [1]

As a young boy, he heard the Jagamohana Ramayana composed by Balarama Dasa and afterwards he himself read it as well as the Odia Mahabharata by Sarala Dasa. He also read and mastered a great number of Sanskrit books; of which ‘Raghuvamsham’, deserve mention. Tulasi Ramayana in Awadhi used to be held by him in great respect. He used to read Bengali magazines and newspapers. [1]

Gangadhara got married at the age of 10. As his father’s pecuniary condition was not satisfactory, Gangadhar used to go to school in the morning and help his father in weaving in the afternoon. His clear and beautiful hand writing also garnered attention from many people willing to get their transcribed by him. The pecuniary condition of the family improved a bit due to his hard labour when to the misfortune of the family, the ancestral house caught fire.

Career

The then Zamindar of Barpali, Lal Nruparaj Singh offered him the post of an Amin (Patwari). Coming to learn of amicable behaviours and good virtues of Gangadhara, the Zamindar promoted him to the post of a Moharir. He continued to serve in the said post and was transferred to Sambalpur, Bijepur and Padmapur and at last transferred to him own native place Barapali on a salary of Rs.30/- per month.

The poet was very liberal and progressive socially. During the last age of his life, the poet organized an All Odisha Social Conference of Mehers with a view to uplifting the entire weaver society. Nearly three thousand Mehers from different parts of Odisha assembled in the Conference. The poet put up twelve proposals for the reform of the society and all were passed unanimously.

Literary career

Gangadhara started composing poems from a very tender age. His first writings follow the style and technique of the ancient Odia writers. His first kabya (poetic work) was “Rasa-Ratnakara”. Then being persuaded by some friends he changed his ways and wrote poems and kabyas in the modern Odia style. Kabibara Radhanatha Ray praised his writing very much. The works produced by Gangadhara Meher are marked by vivid imagination, in beauty and clarity of language, in the novelty of style, in point of forceful character painting and in the lively description of nature from different perspectives. His writings remain as some of greatest creations in Odia literature. [1] [2] [3] .His literary career was frequently influenced by the writings of Radhanath Rai, who wrote in western influences. A research was conducted in North orissa University which reveals many similarities between Gangadhar Meher and western romantic poets like P.B Shelley, Lord Byron, John Keats.The treatment of nature is equally same in their poetries.

Institution and award named after Gangadhar Meher

In 1949, Sambalpur College which is in Sambalpur district, opened in 1944 was renamed Gangadhar Meher College in his honour later upgraded to a university, now it is known by Gangadhar Meher University. In 2015, this college was upgraded to a university. [4] Sambalpur University, Burla, instituted the Gangadhar Meher National Award for Poetry which is conferred annually on the foundation day of Sambalpur University. In January 2020 the Gangadhar Meher National award will be conferred to Viswanath Prasad Tiwari. [5]

Related Research Articles

Odia language Indic language

Odia is an Indo-Aryan language spoken in the Indian state of Odisha. It is the official language in Odisha where native speakers make up 82% of the population, and it is also spoken in parts of West Bengal, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. Odia is one of the many official languages of India; it is the official language of Odisha and the second official language of Jharkhand. The language is also spoken by a sizeable population of at least 1 million people in Chhattisgarh.

The Odia (ଓଡ଼ିଆ), formerly spelled Odiya, are native to the Indian state of Odisha and have the Odia language as their mother tongue. They constitute a majority in the eastern coastal state of Odisha, with significant minority populations in Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and West Bengal.

Sarala Das Indian (Odia) Writer

Sarala Dasa was a 15th-century poet and scholar of Odia literature. Best known for three Odia books — Mahabharata, Vilanka Ramayana and Chandi Purana — he was the first scholar to write in Odia. As an originator of Odia literature, his work has formed an enduring source of information for succeeding generations.

Odia literature is the literature written in the Odia language and predominantly originates in the Indian state of Odisha. The language is also spoken by minority populations of the neighbouring states of Jharkhand, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. The region has been known at different stages of history as Kalinga, Udra, Utkala or Hirakhanda. Odisha was a vast empire in ancient and medieval times, extending from the Ganges in the north to the Godavari in the south. During British rule, however, Odisha lost its political identity and formed parts of the Bengal and Madras Presidencies. The present state of Odisha was formed in 1936. The modern Odia language is formed mostly from Pali words with significant Sanskrit influence. About 28% of modern Odia words have Adivasi origins, and about 2% have Hindustani (Hindi/Urdu), Persian, or Arabic origins. The earliest written texts in the language are about thousand years old. The first Odia newspaper was Utkala Deepika first published on 4 August 1866.

Odisha is one of the 28 states of India, located in the eastern coast. It is surrounded by the states of West Bengal to the north-east, Jharkhand to the north, Chhattisgarh to the west and north-west, Andhra Pradesh to the south and south-west. Odia is the official and most widely spoken language, spoken by 33.2 million according to the 2001 Census. The modern state of Odisha was established on 1 April 1936, as a province in British India, and consisted predominantly of Odia-speaking regions. April 1 is celebrated as Odisha Day.

Sambalpuri language

Sambalpuri is an Indo-Aryan language variety spoken in western Odisha, India. It is alternatively known as Western Odia, and as Kosali, a recently popularised but controversial term, which draws on an association with the historical region of Dakshina Kosala, whose territories also included the present-day Sambalpur region.

Sambalpuri sari A type of Sari

A Sambalpuri sari is a traditional handwoven ikat or sari wherein the warp and the weft are tie-dyed before weaving. It is produced in the Sambalpur, Balangir, Bargarh, Boudh and Sonepur districts of Odisha, India. The sari is a traditional female garment in the Indian subcontinent consisting of a strip of unstitched cloth ranging from four to nine metres in length that is draped over the body in various styles.

Gangadhar Meher University

Gangadhar Meher University, Amruta Vihar, formerly Sambalpur College and Gangadhar Meher College, is a state university situated in Sambalpur, Odisha, India. It is named after the Odia poet, Gangadhar Meher. N Nagaraju is the current Vice-Chancellor, while Girish Chandra Singh is the Registrar and Uma Charan Pati is the Deputy Registrar.

Haldhar Nag

Dr. Haldhar Nag is a Sambalpuri poet and writer from Bargarh, Odisha, India. Popularly known as "Lok kabi Ratna". He was awarded Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award of India by Government of India in 2016. He was born in a poor family of Ghens. He is best known for his work Kavyanjali, an anthology of English translation of Nag's selected poetry which was launched in 2 October 2016. Recently he released his 3rd volume of work on Kavyanjali. In 2019 Haldhar Nag was awarded Doctorate Degree by Sambalpur University.

Sambalpuri culture

Sambalpur, in Orissa, India, is a region that has a distinct cultural identity. The songs, clothing, dances, language and festivals celebrated in Sambalpur are unique. This distinct cultural identity arises from the strong association of the tribal and folk communities which have been coexisting in Sambalpur for centuries.

Brajanath Ratha Indian poet from Odisha

Brajanath Ratha was an Indian poet who wrote in Odia. Brajanath Ratha is internationally recognised and is the recipient of many prestigious awards like the Odisha Sahitya Academy Award, Vishuba Award, Gokarnika Award, First Shudramuni Sahitya Award and Honoured by South Korea's Ambassador, from Global Cooperation Society International, Seol, Republic of Korea for Contribution in World welfare, Cooperation and Services.

Sinapali Town in Odisha, India

Sinapali is the main town in Sinapali Tehsil in the south of Nuapada District in Odisha, India. It is located on the Udanti River, 95 kilometres (59 mi) south of the district headquarters of Nuapada and 450 km (280 mi) from Odisha's capital Bhubaneswar. The village has a Gram panchayat. Its total geographical area is 297 hectares.

Jagamohana Ramayana also known as Dandi Ramayana popularly across Odisha is an epic poem composed by the 15th-century poet Balarama Dasa. This work is a retelling of the Ramayana though not a direct translation.

Balarama Dasa

Balarama Dasa was an Odia poet and litterateur. He was one of the 5 great poets in Odia literature, the Panchasakha during the Bhakti age of literature. He was the eldest of the Pancha sakha. He wrote the Jagamohana Ramayana also known as Dandi Ramayana.

Gangadhar National Award For Poetry is a literary award given in the field of literature for poetry by Sambalpur University. It is named after Gangadhar Meher. First award was given to Ali Sardar Jafri in the year 1991. Till now 29 poets have been awarded on various Indian languages.

Hussain Rabi Gandhi Indian writer and politician (born 1948)

Hussain Rabi Gandhi is an Indian Odia writer of the late-twentieth century and a politician hailing from the Indian state of Odisha. He served as the general secretary of Biju Janata Dal from upon its formation in 1998 till 2005. In 1994 the title of Biplabi Loka Kabi was conferred upon him by the Mayor of Cuttack. He was also awarded with the title of Utkala Jyoti in 1996 by the then Deputy chief minister of Odisha, Basant Kumar Biswal on the behalf of Freedom Fighter's Organisation. Hussain basically writes in Odia language and was awarded with the Secular India Harmony Award in 1993 by the former President of India, Giani Zail Singh and with the prestigious Gangadhar Meher Kabita award in 2015 for his notable contributions to the field of Odia poetry and secular literature. Hussain served as the President of Odisha Sahitya Akademi (2008-2010).

Mamata Dash is an Odia poet, writer and translator from Odisha, India. A moment beyond time She was awarded the Odisha Sahitya Academy Award for her poetry collection Ekatra Chandrasurya.

Rajendra Kishore Panda Indian poet

Rajendra Kishore Panda is an Indian poet and novelist from Odia language. He has published 16 poetry collections. He was awarded the Gangadhar National Award in 2010, and the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1985.

Vishwanath Prasad Tiwari Indian poet, critic

Vishwanath Prasad Tiwari is an Indian poet, editor, critic and a former president of the Sahitya Akademi who served to the post from 2013 to 2018. He has published around 50 books in Hindi on various genres such as criticism, poetry, travelogues, biographies, interviews besides editing books.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 Orissa Society of Americas 27th Annual Convention Souvenir: For Annual Convention Held in 1996 at Washington, D.C. Odisha Society of the Americas.
  2. Gokhale, Namita (15 October 2009). In Search Of Sita: Revisiting Mythology. Penguin UK. ISBN   978-93-5118-420-1.
  3. Mehera, Gaçngåadhara; Mahapatra, Jayanta (1998). Tapaswini: A Poem. Orissa Sahitya Akademi.
  4. "Odisha News, Odisha Latest news, Odisha Daily - OrissaPOST". Odisha News, Odisha Latest news, Odisha Daily - OrissaPOST. Retrieved 13 December 2019.
  5. "Poet Viswanath Prasad Tiwari to get Gangadhar National Award". Business Standard India. Press Trust of India. 9 December 2019. Retrieved 13 December 2019.