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Madhusudan Das Biography, Education, Religion, Death

Utkal Gaurav Madhusudan Das is the pride of Odisha.He was the first graduate and advocate of Odisha. He is also referred to as “Utkal Gaurav”. He is the new hope of Odia people to create a new state of Odisha. Madhusudan Das united the Odia people by writing and poetry.

Madhusudan Das Biography

Madhusudan Das was born in the village of Satyabhamapur in the district of Cuttack on 24 April 1848. His father Choudhury Raghunath Das and mother Parbati Debi named him Gobindaballabh. Later they changed his name to Madhusudan. 

Madhusudan Das Education

He completed his primary Eduction in the village, then he was admitted to the Cuttack High School. He is uncomfortable in school because many of the students are in English medium and he is unable to share his feelings and emotions. After completing the matriculation he was appointed as a teacher in Balasore High School. He passed the entrance examination in 1864 and went to Calcutta University.

He spent 15 years in Calcutta (1864 – 1881). In 1970 he was the 1st Odia graduate and after completing the graduation B.A. He furthered his academic pursuits in Calcutta, achieving an M.A. in 1873 and obtaining an LL.B degree in 1878. In doing so, he secured the distinction of being the inaugural scholar from Orissa to receive such an education.

Political Career

Madhusudan Das fights against untouchability, Casteism, and superstition. He worked for the political, social, and economic upliftment of the people of Orissa. He is a lawyer, legislator, social reformer, journalist, and politician. He is a founder of Utkal Sammilani.  He was elected member of the council of Bihar and Orissa Province. Under the Diarchy scheme of the Government of India Act, of 1919, he was appointed as Minister for Local Self-Government, Medical Public Health, and Public Works in 1921.

Madhusudan Das was the first Odia to travel to England at this time. He is the man who always tries to separate the state of Odia-speaking people. On 1st April 1936, Odisha became the state declared. Madhusudan Das is also the father of the modern architect of Odisha. He founded the Utkal Tannery to produce shoes and lather in 1905. In 1897 he founded the Orissa Art Ware Works.

Fight For Own Language, Oriya

For historical reasons, Oriya-speaking territories were under different administrative units for a long time. For this dismemberment, Orissa and Oriyas have had a lot to pay. Madhusudan Das realized that if all Oriya-speaking territories could be brought together in one place, then it would help in the strengthening of the Oriya people as well as their language and script.

Madhusudan had realized this early in life in his experience at the Cuttack High School. Oriya people could not take part in political movements of the state because of their vivisected condition. He made a clarion call for the recognition of the Oriya language in the administrative and educational institutions and demanded the unification of all scattered outlying Oriya-speaking tracts under one administration. He was helped in this venture by Bichitranand Das and Fakir Mohan Senapati who realized the ambitious plans of Madhusudan to raise the linguistic, cultural and political level of Orissa.

While he was a student in the B.A. class of Calcutta University, he had to fight with Rev. K. M. Banerjee to establish his rights as an Oriya. As per the provision of the University, a student could answer the Sanskrit paper either in Bengali or in his mother tongue. As an examiner of this paper, Rev. K.M. Banerjee did not know Oriya.

He did not allow Madhusudan Das to write the answer of his Sanskrit paper in Oriya. Though yet a student, Madhusudan Das fought a relentless battle to establish his right as an Oriya student, placing his career in danger. In the long run, he won and Calcutta University allowed him to answer his Sanskrit paper in English.

So great was Madhusudan’s love for the Oriya language that he equipped himself with all its details insomuch that Grierson, during his linguistic survey of India, invariably consulted Madhusudan Das in all matters of Oriya and Oriya-speaking people.

Utkal Sabha

After his arrival at Cuttack in 1881, Madhusudan Das felt that a socio-political organization was the need of the hour, because a platform was necessary through which the Oriya people could voice their grievances to the British Crown. With this goal in mind, he and Gourisankar Ray made efforts to establish the Utkal Sabha in 1882. This is the organization which later functioned as the branch of the Indian National Congress. It remained the nodal organization to fight for the National Cause for many years. It also prepared the people of Orissa to participate in local self-government.

The Utkal Sabha took up the problems of poverty and backwardness and Madhu Babu was happy to solve some of them. Though discouraged by his compatriots, Madhusudan Das was never tired of involving the Utkal Sabha in the task of reconstruction of this backward state of India. In a way he infused the idea of All India National Integration in Orissa and Orissa Association, the Utkal Sabha, acted in furtherance of all India movement.

Utkal Sammilani

After working as Vice-President and President of Utkal Sabha, Madhusudan Das felt that Orissa will have to suffer until it was united. He had recognized early that Orissa, tied to the tail ends of three separate administrative divisions of three different Presidencies, speaking different languages had no hopes of redemption until all the Oriya-speaking tracts were united under one administration and in a separate province of its own.

From this feeling came the urge to unite all Oriyas on a bigger platform. Utkal Union Conference or Utkal Sammilani was the fulfillment of this urge. Utkal Sammilani spearheaded the agitation for the unification of all Oriya-speaking territories under one administration under the leadership of Madhusudan Das.


The year 1966 Madhusudan Das changed his religion and converted to Christianity.


Madhusudan Das died on 4 February 1934 at the age of 1934.

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