Manoj Das Biography: Manoj Das, an award-winning Indian author who writes in both Odia and English, was born in 1934. Manoj Das was awarded the Saraswati Samman in 2000. In 2001, he received the Padma Shri, India’s fourth-highest civilian honour, for his contributions to the fields of literature and education. The Kendra Sahitya Akademi has bestowed its highest honour, the Sahitya Akademi Award Fellowship, which is also India’s highest literary honour.
In 1971, his investigation in the archives of London and Edinburgh revealed little-known facts about Sri Aurobindo’s leadership of India’s freedom struggle in the first decade of the twentieth century, for which he was awarded the inaugural Sri Aurobindo Puraskar (Kolkata).
Since 1963, he has been a resident of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Puducherry, where he teaches English literature and Sri Aurobindo’s philosophy at Sri Aurobindo International University.
Manoj Das Biography
Manoj Das was born in the Orissa district of Balasore, in the tiny coastal village of Shankari. His father, Madhusudan Das, was employed by the British government. He had begun writing early on. His first book, a collection of poetry in Oriya, was published in 1949 when he was a senior in high school. In 1950, he founded the literary magazine Diganta. He graduated from secondary school. In that year, he published his first collection of short stories, Samudrara Kshudha (Hungry Sea). He was influenced by left-wing ideology. While pursuing a BA at Cuttack College, he was prominent in student politics.
During his college years, he was a radical student leader and spent a year in prison for his revolutionary activities. In 1959, he attended the Afro-Asian Students’ Conference in Bandung, Indonesia, as a delegate. In Cuttack, he did not conclude his degree. 1955 was the year that he graduated from Samanta Chandra Shekhar College, Puri. He published a novel, Jeebanara Swada, a collection of short stories, Vishakanyar Kahani, and a collection of poems, Padadhawani, during his college years. After earning a bachelor’s degree in English literature, he earned a master’s degree in English literature from Ravenshaw College. After a brief period teaching at Christ College (Cuttack), he joined the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Puducherry. Since 1963, he has been an English Literature professor at the Sri Aurobindo International Centre for Education in Puducherry.
As early influences, he cites Fakir Mohan Senapati, Vyasa, and Valmiki.
Manoj Das Career
Between 1985 and 1989, he edited The Heritage, a cultural magazine published in Chennai under his direction. The magazine is no more in circulation.
In India’s national newspapers such as The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Hindu, and The Statesman. He penned columns about the search for eternal truth in common life.
Manoj Das is a master of dramatic expression in both his English and Odia short stories and novels and is possibly the most accomplished bilingual Odia author. Das has been compared to Vishnu Sharma in modern Odia literature due to his magnificent manner and effective use of language. As well as the fact that he is currently one of India’s finest storytellers. P. Raja was the first scholar to complete a doctoral dissertation based on the works of Manoj Das.
Member, General Council, Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi, 1998–2002; Author-consultant, Ministry of Education, Government of Singapore, 1983–1985 are among the other significant positions Das has held. He was the head of the Indian writing delegation to China in 1999.
Accolades & Recognitions
Das has received the Sahitya Akademi Award, the Odisha Sahitya Akademi Award (twice), the Sarala Award, the Sahitya Bharati Award, and the Bharatiya Bhasha Parishad (Kolkata) Award, among other honours. He was also awarded Odisha Sahitya Akademi’s highest honour, the Atibadi Jagannath Das Samman. He was honoured with the Saraswati Samman, Padma Shri, and Padma Bhushan. The Sahitya Akademi awarded him the Fellowship for Life, its highest honour.
Manoj wedded Pratijna, the Samants’ oldest daughter. He settled in Jobra, Cuttack, where the Samants had a home, purchased a printing press, and revived the magazine Diganta, which he had founded during his high school years in Balasore.
Manoj Das Death
Tuesday, April 27, 2021, the legendary author Manoj Das passed away at the Aurobindo Ashram in Puducherry. The 87-year-old was a novelist, a renowned poet, a columnist, and a fiction and travel writer. A daring commentator on social issues, and an extraordinary storyteller.