wether & soil
riligions & tribes
drought & disaster



Haripada Mondal

Of the puranik and Vaishnabik group we have tried to give a brief idea in the above lines. Now a few words may be said about the third group i.e., Mangal Kavyas based on folk culture. Generally we take Siva, Sitaja, Sarada, Laksmi. Saraswati, Shasthi, Ganga , Dharma thakur Kalu Ray. Satyapir, Manasa and OlaiChandi as local god and goddesses or demi-god and demigoddesses. Sometimes blind or superstitious belieftáct upon the mind of the common folk and they seek solace and comfort in the demi-god and goddesses,' who are believed to possess some supernatural power. Poets of the common stratum used this popular sentiment in their ballad-like verses with lyrical blending. Such are the production of Akinchan Chakravarti, Ramesh Bhattacharya (Chakravarti), Nityananda Chakravarti, Dayara Das, Kavisankar Dcv, Srikrishna Kinkar, Durga Hariram, Durja Gangadas and Akinchan Das, Pranaballav Ghosh and Manikram Gangujy did not belong of this district though they resided for some period here.
The growth and development of Bengali prose as a literary language began early in the 19th century after Raja Rammohan Ray and the Christion Missionaries of Serampur appeared in the field as preachers of new gospel and polomic writers One of the mighty and erudite writers of this period was M RITYUNJAY VIDYALANKAR (1762 - 1819), who was a man of Midnapur and who happened to be the Head Pandit of Fort William College of Calcutta, established in 1810 as an Institution of higher education for the Europeans, It goes to his singular credit that he gave a new and bold shape to Bengali literary prose in his books, Prabodh Chandrika, Batrish Singhasan, Hitopadesh and Rajavali , written for serving the purpose and his style was better than Rammohan's.

The next luminary among the early Bengali prose writers was also a Pundit,......Pundit ISWAR CHANDRA VIDYASAGAR (1820 - 91), one of the greatest personalities ever born in the world, who also emerged as an exceptionally powerful and influencial author creating lasting inspiration among the reading public. Born in an obscure village called Birsingha in this district in a very poor family, he established his immortal name as a versatile genius and a great humanitarian reformer in almost all aspects of Bengali society and cultural endeavours. Some of his outstanding books are Bidhava Bibaha, Sitar Banabas, Sakuntala, Kathamala, Betal Panchabinsati . But his Varnaparichay (Pratham Bhaga and Dwitiya Bhaga) is the most popular elementary book for the beginners of Bengali speaking people until now. His was the language of superior sensibility and aesthetic flavour. Bengali prose literature marked a distinct and dynamic change in his accomplished hand. Vidyalankar, Vidyasagar (along with Rammohan and Devendranath Tagore or Akshay kumar Datta ) the one or the other, are both regarded as the father of Bengali prose. The style of Vidyasagar's prose was lucid and simple and sometimes mixed with Sanskrit prose patterns or vocabularies. The style was further reformed by Bankimchandra Chattopadhyay . The first life history of Vidyasagar was written by his younger brother Sambhu Chandra Vidyaratna in 1891, and afterwards many biographers, some of whom are Midnapurians, wrote about the life and achievements of Vidyasagar, Jnanesh Chandra Chatterjee's Vidyasagar, Rishi Das, Vidyasagar, Vidyasagar Parichay of Rashbehari Ray, Vidyasagarer Chhatrajiban of Prabodh Chandra Basu are but a few to mention. The credit of being a first writer of the biography of Michael Madhusudan Dutta goes to a Midnapur writer, Prasanna Kumar Ghosh of Contai.

Vidyasagar was much high above the common rank his cordial friendship in the true sense only with a person named RAJNARAYAN BASU , a scholar r of the Young Bengal group, (born in 24 Parganas, 1826-99) lived to be a man of Midnapur, and for his selfless service as an educator-reformer, and nationalist writer here took an active initiative to establish the Bailly Hall Public Library, founded the Aliganj Girl's School and one night school for the Working class people to impart non-formal education. In him the great Vidyasaga found a friend and a staunch supporter of widow marriage Rajnarayan was also an able writer of Bengali Prose, BANKIMCHANDRA though not a man of Midnapur, Spent his boyhood days in this town as a Young learner in the Zilla (now Collegiate) school and afterwards Stayed twice for some considerable periods as a Deputy Magistrate in this district, and authored his immortal novel, Kapalkundala Sources of which were gathered the locality of Contai. The fragmentary Pictures Midnapur can be found in the writings of three great authors, Rajnarayan (in Atmacharit), Bankimchandra (in KaPalkundala) and saratchandra (Palli Samaj, Mejadidi, Baradidi etc.). Jogesh Chandra Basu of Contai has presented us his research studies regarding Bankim in Bankimchandra Smritichinta, Banga-Sahitye Bankimchandra, Ban kim-sahityey Noukayatra and Bankim Sahitye Swapnadarshan .

The authors of Midnapur made some prominent marks in prose writings, if not so much in poetry for its having lack of moving charm either in matter or in form. Goloknath Basu created a small sensitive agitation by his novel “Sonar Patharbati” using the Midnapur coloqual dialect of the southern side along with chaste Bengali. But more or less, the novelists were followers of Bankimchandra, who presented mostly the upper class people in his novels, ‘Kalanka' and ‘Karnalakshi' of Manmathanath Nag imbibed the ideals of novelist Bankim, while Mahendra Nath Das in his novel “Rupantar” tried to balance the old and the near social orders. Prabodh Chandra Sarkar of Chandrakona had the courage to draw up a new novel, “Salful” fully using the sources, i.e., the story of the Nayek revolt of Bagri Pargana. This is the first of its kind in this district, and this reminds us of some novels of the Mahasweta Devi who has very often used local sources owned at her disposal. Panchulal Ghosh of Contai had once achieved a shining image as a story-writer in Bharati, Prabasi, Bharatbarsha, Yamuna. Manashi and Marmabani periodicals.


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