|Born||27 February 1934|
Sankhari, Balasore, Odisha, British India
|Died||27 April 2021 (aged 87)|
|Occupation||Writer, columnist, editor, professor|
|Alma mater||Samanta Chandra Shekhar College, Puri |
|Genre||Fiction, mythology, biography|
A Tiger at Twilight
Mystery of the Missing Cap
Myths, Legends, Concepts and Literary Antiquities of India
|Notable awards||Padma Shri|
Sahitya Akademi Fellowship
Manoj Das (27 February 1934 – 27 April 2021) was an Indian author who wrote in Odia and English. In 2000, Manoj Das was awarded the Saraswati Samman. He was awarded Padma Shri in 2001, the fourth-highest Civilian Award in India, Padma Bhusan in 2020, the third highest Civilian Award in India for his contribution in the field of Literature & Education.
Kendra Sahitya Akademi has bestowed its highest award (also India's highest literary award) i.e Sahitya Akademi Award Fellowship.
In 1971, his research in the archives of London and Edinburgh brought to light some of the little-known facts of India's freedom struggle in the first decade of the twentieth century led by Sri Aurobindo for which he received the first Sri Aurobindo Puraskar (Kolkata).
His deeper quest led him to mysticism and he was an inmate of Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Puducherry since 1963 where he taught English Literature and the Philosophy of Sri Aurobindo at the Sri Aurobindo International University.
Manoj Das was born in the small coastal village of Shankari in Bhograi, Balasore district of Orissa. His father, Madhusudan Das, worked under British Government. He had started writing early. His first work a book of poetry in Odia, Satavdira Artanada was published in 1949 when he was in high school. He launched a literary magazine, Diganta in 1950. He graduated high school in 1951. His first collection of short stories Samudrara Kshyudha (Hunger of Sea) was in that year. He was active in student politics while studying BA in Cuttack College. He was a youth leader with radical views in his college days, and spent a year in jail for his revolutionary activities. In 1959 he was a delegate to the Afro-Asian students' conference at Bandung, Indonesia. He did not complete his degree in Cuttack. He ultimately finished his graduation from Samanta Chandra Shekhar College, Puri in 1955. During his college years, he kept on writing and he published a novel Jeebanara Swada, a collection of short stories Vishakanyar Kahani and a collection of poems Padadhawani. After graduating with a degree in English literature, he got a post graduate degree in English literature from Ravenshaw college. After a short stint as a lecturer in Christ College (Cuttack), he joined Sri Aurobindo Ashram at Puducherry. Since 1963, he has been professor of English Literature at Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education, Puducherry.
He cited Fakir Mohan Senapati, Vyasa, and Valmiki as early influences.
He edited a cultural magazine, The Heritage, published from Chennai in 1985-1989. The magazine is no longer in circulation.
He wrote columns on quest for finding eternal truth in common lives in India’s national dailies like The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Hindu and The Statesman.
Manoj Das is perhaps the foremost bilingual Odia writer and a master of dramatic expression both in his English and Odia short stories and novels. Das has been compared to Vishnu Sharma, in modern Odia literature for his magnificent style and efficient use of words and for the fact that, he is one of the best story-tellers in India in modern times. Over the years many research scholars have done their doctoral thesis on the works of Manoj Das, P. Raja being the first scholar to do so.
Among the other important positions that Das held were, Member, General Council,[clarification needed] Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi 1998–2002, and Author-consultant, Ministry of Education, Government of Singapore, 1983–85. He was the leader of the Indian delegation of writers to China (1999).
Short Story Collections
History & Culture
Graham Greene once said, I have read the stories of Manoj Das with great pleasure. He will certainly take a place on my shelves besides the stories of Narayan. I imagine Odisha is far from Malgudi, but there is the same quality in his stories with perhaps an added mystery.
he has been teaching English at the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education there ever since
He is settled as an ashramite of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry since 1963
Senapati, undoubtedly, was a consciously felt influence
He wrote columns in India's national dailies like The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Hindu and The Statesman.
Year : 2000 Recipient : Shri Manoj Das Name of Book : Amruta Phala (Oriya : Novel)
Mr. Das was at his humble best when he received the country's highest literary honour – Sahitya Akademi Fellowship
2006: Sri Manoj Das (1934)
The luminaries are Manoj Das
Oriya writer Manoj Das has been selected for the NTR National Literary Award for 2013.
Manoj Das, a towering figure of English and Oriya literature, will be conferred with the 2013 Amritakeerti Puraskar
Odisha writer Manoj Das receives Mystic Kalinga Literary Award
Graham Greene, who happened to read his short stories during the last phase of his life, wrote, Manoj Das's stories 'will certainly take a place on my shelves beside the stories of Narayan. I imagine Odisha is far from Malgudi, but there is the same quality in his stories, with perhaps an added mystery.'