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Madhusudan Das
poet, freedom fighter

Madhusudan Das

Madhusudan Das
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro poet, freedom fighter
A.K.A. Kulabruddha
Was Author Lawyer Journalist Social worker Politician Revolutionary Businessperson
From India
Field Activism Business Journalism Law Literature Military Politics
Gender male
Birth 28 April 1848, Cuttack District
Death 4 February 1934, Cuttack (aged 85 years)
Siblings: Gopal Ballav Das
Children: Sailabala Das
The details (from wikipedia)


Madhusudan Das (28 April 1848 – 4 February 1934) was the first graduate and advocate of Odisha. He was born in the village of Satyabhamapur, 20 kilometres (12 mi) from Cuttack, Odisha. He is known as Kulabruddha, which means Grand Old Man, Madhu Babu, and Utkala Gouraba, which means Pride of Utkal, and was referred to as a poet and freedom fighter.


Madhusudan Das was born to a Zamindari family, his father was Choudhury Raghunath Das and his mother, Parbati Debi. They had initially named him Gobindaballabh. He had two elder sisters and a younger brother named Gopalballabh. Gopalballabh was a Magistrate at Bihar Province and the father of Ramadevi Choudhury. He was converted to Christianity that caused him boycotted in the village which he had to quit to erect a small house at the end of the village. The house was known as ‘Madhukothi’ or ‘Balipokharikothi’, later on used as the state office of the Kasturba National Memorial Trust, in a part of which was running the Anganabadi, Balbadi. Madhusudan had adopted two Bengali girls; Sailabala Das and Sudhansubala Hazra. Sailabala was an educationist who had been trained in England, and in whose name the famous Sailabala Women's College of Cuttack was founded. Sailabala was Bengali, and her parents had left her in the care of Madhusudan Das and his wife Soudamini Devi at Calcutta. In 1864, he passed Matriculation from Cuttack and thereafter he was inclined to become a teacher and began his career as a teacher at Balasore for three years. The year 1866 was the year of a acute famine in Odisha, called the "Naanka Durviksha" When more than one lakh people died of hunger. This year he converted himself to Christian and changed his name as Madhusudan Das from his earlier name of Gobinda Ballav Choudhury. Sudhansubala Hazra was also Bengali and she was the first female lawyer of British India. Madhu babu was the resident tutor of Sir Ashutosh Mukherjee, the former Vice-Chancellor of Calcutta University in Calcutta and Janakinath Bose, father of Subhash Chandra Bose at Ravenshaw College.

Early life and education

After his early education, he moved to Cuttack High School (later known as Ravenshaw Collegiate School) which offered English education. In 1864, he passed the entrance examination and went to Calcutta University. In spite of extremely challenging conditions he lived in Calcutta for almost fifteen years, from 1866 to 1881. In 1870, he became the first Odia to complete his B.A. He continued his studies at Calcutta and earned his M.A. in 1873, and an LL.B degree in 1878, thus becoming the first scholar from Orissa to be thus educated.

Professional life

Madhusudan Das
Statue of Madhu babu

After returning to Orissa from Calcutta in 1881, he started his legal practice. His insight knowledge on this field helped him to earn sufficiently and spend for the common man. He was a source of inspiration for the lawyers in Orissa and in India. His birth anniversary is observed to be a Lawyers' Day in the State.

Political career

Known as 'Madhu Babu' by the common people, he worked for the political, social and economical upliftment of the people of Orissa and worked as a lawyer, journalist, legislator, politician and social reformer. He founded Utkal Sammilani which brought a revolution in the social and industrial development of Orissa. He was elected as a member of the legislative council of Bihar and Orissa Province and under the Diarchy scheme of Government of India Act, 1919, he was appointed as Minister for Local Self-Government, Medical Public Health, Public Works in 1921.

He was the first Odia to become a member of both the legislative council and the Central Legislative Assembly of India. By his long political fight he united Orissa and modern Odisha took birth on 1 April 1936. This day is celebrated as Utkala Dibasa. He was also the first Odia to sail overseas.

He founded the Utkal Tannery in 1905, a factory producing shoes and other leather products. In 1897 he founded the Orissa Art Ware Works. With his support, the Tarakasi(filigree) work of silver ornaments achieved commendable feet.

Contribution to literature

As a writer and poet, patriotism was always at the forefront of his mind, and that was reflected in all of his literary works. He penned a number of articles and poems in both English and Odia. Some of his important poems are "Utkal Santan", "Jati Itihash" and "Jananira Ukti". He was also an influential speaker in Odia, Bengali and English.

Last years

He died on 4 February 1934 at the age of 85.

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 24 Jul 2019. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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