Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Sunday paid tribute to ‘Swabhaba Kabi’ Gangadhara Meher on his 158th birth anniversary.
Patnaik took to Twitter and recalled Meher’s contribution towards Odia literature during 19th century.
Naveen mentioned that Meher’s efforts in setting a benchmark for Odia literature will inspire the people of the land for generations.
ସ୍ଵତନ୍ତ୍ର ଓଡ଼ିଶା ପ୍ରଦେଶ ଗଠନର ଅନ୍ୟତମ ପୁରୋଧା ତଥା ସ୍ଵଭାବକବି ଗଙ୍ଗାଧର ମେହେରଙ୍କ ଜୟନ୍ତୀରେ ମୋର ଶ୍ରଦ୍ଧାଞ୍ଜଳି। ସମାଜ ସଂସ୍କାର ସହ ଓଡ଼ିଆ ଭାଷା ଓ ସାହିତ୍ୟ ଜଗତକୁ ସମୃଦ୍ଧ କରିଥିବା ତାଙ୍କ କାଳଜୟୀ ରଚନାଗୁଡ଼ିକ ପାଇଁ ସେ ସର୍ବଦା ସ୍ମରଣୀୟ ରହିବେ। pic.twitter.com/2g6mGjEcb8
— Naveen Patnaik (@Naveen_Odisha) August 9, 2020
Born in a poor family to Chaitanya Meher and Sebati Devi August 9, 1862, Gangadhara only managed to have basic education in a village school. That said, his is amongst the most revered names in Odia literature.
Gangadhara started composing poems from a very young age. His first poetry collection was being ‘Rasa-Ratnakara’.
Meher’s works also include Pranaya Ballari, Kichaka Badha, Indumati, Utkala Lakshmi, Ayodhya Drushya, Kabita Kallola, Bharati Bhabana, Arghya Thali, Kabita Mala, Krushaka Sangita, Kumara Janmotsav, Bhakti Upahara, Padmini along with his masterpiece Tapaswini.
The prolific poet breathed his last April 4, 1924. His legacy, however, is a lasting one- especially in western parts of Odisha. Sambalpur College, which opened in 1944, was renamed to Gangadhar Meher College in his honour back in 1949.