Madhusudan Das

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Madhusudan Das
Madhusudan Das.jpg
Utkal Gourab Madhusudan Das
Native name ଉତ୍କଳ ଗୌରବ କୁଳବୃଦ୍ଧ ମଧୁସୂଦନ ଦାସ
Born (1848-04-28)28 April 1848
Satyabhamapur, Cuttack district, Bengal Presidency, British Raj
Died 4 February 1934(1934-02-04) (aged 85)
Cuttack, Bihar and Orissa Province, British Raj
Occupation Lawyer, social reformer, minister, industrialist
Nationality Indian
Education M.A, B.L.
Alma mater Calcutta University
Period 1848–1934
Spouse Soudamini Devi
Children Sailabala Das, Sudhanshubala Hazra

Utkal Gourab Madhusudan Das (28 April 1848 – 4 February 1934) was the first graduate and advocate of Odisha. He was born on 28 April 1848 in a village called Satyabhamapur, 20 kilometres from Cuttack, Odisha.[1] He is known as Kulabruddha which means Grand Old Man and Utkal Gourab, which means Pride of Utkal, and was referred to as a poet and freedom fighter.


He was born to a Zamindari family from father Choudhury Raghunath Das and mother Parbati Debi. They had initially named him Gobindaballabh. Later they changed his name to Madhusudan. He had two elder sisters and a younger brother named Gopalballabh. Gopalballabh was the Magistrate at Bihar Province and the father of Ramadevi Choudhury. Madhusudan had adopted two Bengali girls; Sailabala Das and Sudhansubala Hazra. Sailabala was an educationist who had trained from England and in whose name the famous Shailabala Women's College of Cuttack was founded.[2] Shailabala was a Bengali, and her parents had left her in the care of Madhusudan Das and his wife Soudamini Devi at Calcutta. Sudhansubala Hazra was also a Bengali and she was the 1st female lawyer of British India. Madhu babu was the house teacher of Ashutosh Mukherjee, the former Vice-Chancellor of Calcutta University in Calcutta[3] and Janakinath Bose, father of Subhash Chandra Bose at Ravenshaw College.

Early life and education[edit]

After his early education, he moved to Cuttack High School (later known as Ravenshaw Collegiate School) which offered English education. In 1864, he passed the entrance examination and went to Calcutta University. In spite of uttermost challenging conditions he lived in Calcutta for almost fifteen years, from 1866 to 1881. In 1870, he became the first Odia to complete his B.A.[4] He continued his studies there to complete his M.A. in 1873 and B.L. degree in 1878, thus becoming the first ever scholar from Odisha to achieve these feats.

Professional life[edit]

Statue of Madhu babu

After returning to Odisha from Calcutta in 1881, he started his legal practice. His insight knowledge on this field helped him to earn sufficiently and spend for the common man. He was a source of inspiration for the lawyers in Odisha and in India. His birth anniversary is observed to be a Lawyers' Day in the State.

Political career[edit]

Known as 'Madhu Babu' by the common people, he worked for the political, social and economical upliftment of the people of Odisha and worked as a lawyer, journalist, legislator, politician and social reformer. He founded Utkal Sammilani which brought a revolution in the social and industrial development of Odisha. He was elected as a member of the legislative council of Bihar and Orissa Province and under the Diarchy scheme of Government of India Act, 1919, he was appointed as Minister for Local Self-Government, Medical Public Health, Public Works in 1921.

He was the first Odia to become a member of both the legislative council and the Central Legislative Assembly of India. By his long political fight he united Odisha & modern Odisha took birth on 1 April 1936. This day is celebrated as Utkala Dibasa. He was also the first Odia to sail overseas.[citation needed]

He founded the Utkal Tannery in 1905, a factory producing shoes and other leather products. In 1897 he founded the Orissa Art Ware Works. With his support, the Tarakasi(filigree) work of silver ornaments achieved commendable feet.[5]

Contribution to literature[edit]

As a writer and poet, patriotism was always at the fore and it reflected in all of his literary works. He penned a number of articles and poems in both English and Odia. Some of his important poems are "Utkal Santan", "Jati Itihash" and "Jananira Ukti" etc. He was also an influential speaker in Odia, Bengali and English.

Last years[edit]

He died on 4 February 1934.[6]


  1. ^ "Utkal Gourav Madhusudan Das". Odisha Files. 2012. Retrieved 4 February 2013. born on 28th April of 1848 to father Choudhuri Raghunath Das and mother Parvati Devi at Satyabhamapur of Cuttack district 
  2. ^ "National memorial for Madhusudan Das". 2012. Retrieved 28 April 2012. his adopted daughter Sailabala Das 
  3. ^ "Our History". 2012. Retrieved 28 April 2012. Ashutosh Mukherjee, the then Vice-Chancellor of Calcutta University who was a student of Utkal Gourab Madhusudan Das 
  4. ^ Bina Kumari Sarma (1 January 1996). Development of Modern Education in India: An Empirical Study of Orissa. M.D. Publications Pvt. Ltd. pp. 108–. ISBN 978-81-85880-94-5. 
  5. ^ "Death Anniversary of Utkal Gourab Madhusudan Das" (PDF). 
  6. ^ Sampad, Shilpi; Panda, Namita (1 April 2012). "Forgotten Madhu babu". Calcutta, India. Retrieved 4 February 2013. he passed away in Cuttack on February 4, 1934 

External links[edit]