Janapitha Award Winners- Gopinath Mohanty and Sitakant Mahapatra

Through this article, I want to throw some light upon the life of Gopinath Mohanty and Sitakant Mahapatra, who have received the highest literary award of India 'Jnanpith Award'. Details are provided in the description presented below.

Profile and Life History of Gopinath Mohanty

Gopinath Mohanty, the eminent Odia Novelist was born on 20th Apr 1914 at Nagabali, a small village on the river bank of Mahanadi of Cuttack Dist. He has completed his Post Graduation in Arts from Patna University in the year 1936. After completion of his post graduation he has joined OAS in the year 1938. During administrative career, most of his time was spent with Tribal people of Koraput dist. and rural people of Orissa

Gopinath appeared in the literary world during middle of 19th century after India has got its independence. As he has spent his administrative career with tribals and rural people, their life was found a great place in most of his novels. There was a unique style in his writings and the languages are such that it can be understand by ordinary people of Odisha. For the presentation of tribal life in his novels, he has often been compared with the great Nigerian Novelist Chinua Achebe. Their visions are almost identical. He wrote 24 Novels, 10 short stories, two biographies, essays and books in five different tribal languages.

His best works in novels include Mana Gahirara Chasa, Dadi Budha, Paraja and Amrutara Santan. He wrote 'Youdh and Shanti' which is the Odiya version of Leo Tolstoy's'War and Peace'. Mana Gahirara Chasa, was his first novel which was published in the year 1940. His novel 'Amrutara Santan ', was the first Odiya novel to receive Sahitya Academy award. Most of his novels has been translated in English language.

He was conferred with many awards for his novels like Padma Bhusan, Jnanpith Award, Sahitya Academy Award, Orissa Sahitya Academy award and many more.

Profile and Life History of Sitakant Mahapatra

Profile Photo- Sitakant Mahapatra
Sitakanta Mahapatra a distinguished Indian Poet was born on 17th Sept. 1937 in Mahanga village situated on the river bank Chitrotpala of Cuttack Dist. He has completed his B.A. in History from Ravenshaw College in the year 1957 and M.A. in Political Science from Allahabad University in the year 1959. He started his career as a Professional Teacher in Utkal University. After that he joined IAS in the year 1961. He was the first Odiya to secure 1st position in IAS exam. He has held many prestigious positions including Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Senior Fellow of Harvard University, Chairman of National Book Trust, UNESCO's World Decade for Cultural Development etc.

He has started writing poems during his University Career. Most of his writings featured the Culture and people of Orissa and of Tribal culture. He has mentioned the people of Orissa as compassionate, simple, and innocent in his writings. He has published about 15 poetry collections, 5 essay collection, a travelogue apart from various translations. His scholarly work of poetry includes Ashtapadi, Shabdara akasha, Ara drushya, Shrestha kavita etc. He has received Sahitya Academy Award for his poem Sara Akash in the year 1974. He has written two books of Social Anthropology published by Oxford University. He was so fluent in Santali Language. He has translated 9 oral poetry of the Santal Tribes.

He was conferred with many awards for his poetry work like Padma Bhusan, Jnanpith Award, Sahitya Academy Award, Orissa Sahitya Academy award, Kabeer Samman and many more.


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