Annada Shankar Ray
|Native name||অন্নদাশঙ্কর রায়|
|Born||Annada Shankar Ray
15 May 1904
Dhenkanal, British India
|Died||October 28, 2002
|Occupation||Writer, Poet, essayist|
|Language||Bengali, English, Odisa|
|Notable works||Pathe Prabaase, Banglar Reneissance|
|Notable awards||Padma Bhushan|
Annada Shankar Ray (May 15, 1904 – October 28, 2002) was a Bengali a poet and essayist. He also wrote some odia poetry.
He was a bitter opponent of the partition of 1947 and wrote several Bengali poems criticising it. Most notable is "Teler shishi bhaanglo bole khukur pare raag karo"(তেলের শিশি ভাঙলো বলে খুকুর উপর রাগ করো). Among his many essays, the book Banglar Reneissance has an analytical history of the cultural and social revolution in Bengal. Annada Shankar's most famous work is Pathe Prabaase, a diary of his Europe trip in 1931. He died in Kolkata on 28 October 2002.
He graduated in English from Ravenshaw College in Cuttack. He topped the list of Indian Civil Service examinees in 1927. He had failed to make the mark in the previous year, being cut off by one rank. Incidentally, he was the first ICS officer from the territory later forming the state of Orissa. The first person of Indian origin to have ranked first in the Indian Civil Service (I.C.S.) examination was Sir Atul Chandra Chatterjee, in 1896. Nevertheless, Annada Shankar Ray's achievement in 1927 should be considered noteworthy.
His father had shifted base from their ancestral village of Rameswarpur near Dhamnagar in Bhadrak of Orissa, following a family feud. His family roots go back to the 'Ghosh Mahashayas' who migrated to Rameswarpur from Kotarang near Howrah as a part of Todarmal's contingent during Akbar's reign.
He married an American pianist called Alice Virginia Orndorf. After marriage Alice Virginia took the name Leela Roy. Leela Ray was an Indianized American lady with literary talent.
After serving in various administrative posts, he sought voluntary retirement in 1951 to devote himself to literary pursuits. Ray was a Gandhian in politics and Rabindranath Tagore inspired his literature. His first published book was Tarunya (1928), which gave him a footing as an essayist. His first two novels were Asamapika and Agun Niye Khela. As an essayist, he was urbane and sophisticated and combined in his craft two different styles of prose, represented by Tagore and Pramatha Choudhury. A significant breakthrough in his literary career came with the publication of Pathe Prabase, a diary of his Europe trip, in 1931. Ray also established himself as a short-story writer. His collections include Prakritir Parihas (1934), Man Pavan (1946), Kamini Kanchan (1954) and Katha.
A Bengali rendering of a short story by Tolstoy and an appraisal of Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s essay Narir Mulya marked his debut on the literary scene at the age of 16.
In Oriya, the poetry "Sabita" finds place in higher studies of the language at college level, making him one of the rare poets to have the distinction of getting such acclaim from two different language speaking states of India.
Annadashankar Roy was a contributor of both prose and poetry.
- Satyasatya (6 Novels)
- Jar Jetha Desh
- Morter Sorgo
- Agun Niye Khela
- Putul Niye Khela
- Notun Kore Bacha
- Binur Boi
Short story collections
- Prokritir Porihash
- Du Kan Kata
- Hason Sakhi
- Mon Pahon
- Jouban Jala
- Kamini Kanchon
- Ruper Day
He received the Vidyasagar Smriti Award from the state government and the Padma Bhushan. He was made a fellow of the Sahitya Akademi in 1989. The Visva Bharati conferred on him the Desikottama and an honorary D.Litt. He also received the Rabindra Puraskar, the Ananda Puraskar twice and the Zaibunnisa Award of Bangladesh.
- Golpo Songroho (Collected Stories), the national textbook of B.A. (pass and subsidiary) course of Bangladesh, published by University of Dhaka in 1979 (reprint in 1986).
- Bangla Sahitya (Bengali Literature), the national textbook of intermediate (college) level of Bangladesh published in 1996 by all educational boards.