Fakir Mohan Senapati

Fakir Mohan Senapati

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Category: Literature

Fakir Mohan Senapati Profile

  • Name:
  • Fakir Mohan Senapati
  • Father:
  • Laxman Charan Senapati
  • Mother:
  • Tulsi Devi
  • Spouse:
  • Krushna Kumari Devi

Fakir Mohan Senapati Biography

Fakir Mohan Senapati is regarded as the father of Oriya nationalism and modern Oriya literature who played a leading role in establishing the distinct identity of Oriya language. His biography is regarded as the story of 'Renaissance' of Oriya literature and he is an integral part of Oriya culture and literature. He was a great writer, a social reformer and educator. He is also credited as ‘The father of Oriya prose fiction’ and ‘Thomas Hardy of Odisha’. His whole life was dedicated towards the progress and renaissance of his mother tongue – Oriya. His works include several translations as well. ‘Chha Maana Atha Guntha’, 'Chhamana Atha Guntha', 'Lachhama', 'Mamu' and 'Prayaschita' are among his noted works. His works also include books on grammar, arithmetic and two volumes of Indian history.

 

He was born on January 13, 1843, at Mallikashpur in Balasore to Laxman Charan Senapati and Tulsi Devi Senapati. His real name is Braja Mohan. He grew up in an environment shaped by several socio-political realities. When he was born, British had already colonized Orissa. His forefathers belong to Cuttack. He lost both his parents at an early age. He was brought up by his grandmother whom he called Thakurma. His started his primary education at Chatsali, village school at the age of 9. Later he studied at a Parsi school at Balasore. In those days, no printed books were available in Orissa except Bible and the school too, taught only Bible. For the same reason, Hindu children rarely studied in school.

 

Due to his financial problems, Fakir gave up his studies and worked as an apprentice in the sail-stitching business of his uncle. In 1862, Fair Mohan joined a school in a neighbouring village named Barabat. He was class toper, yet stopped studies as he couldn’t give fees. He was appointed as a teacher in that same school in 1863. Later he has worked in many schools as a teacher and headmaster. Fakir Mohan married Leelavati Devi in 1856 when he was only thirteen. But their marriage life was not happy and she died when he was 29. In 1871, he married Krushna Kumari Devi with whom he shared a happy married life.

 

During his tenure as headmaster in the Balasore Mission School, Fakir Mohan started an organization in association with a few friends including poet Radhanath Ray for the development of Oriya language. It started the new era of Oriya literature.

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Updated: January 02, 2014

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