Manoj Das, Padma Bhushan-winner and prolific bilingual writer, passes away at 87 due to age-related ailments

Prime Minister Modi and Lt Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan expressed condolence, speaking about the writer's contributions to the worlds of literature and education.

FP Staff April 28, 2021 17:09:52 IST
Manoj Das, Padma Bhushan-winner and prolific bilingual writer, passes away at 87 due to age-related ailments

Manoj Das. Image via Twitter/@VPSecretariat

Puducherry: Prolific bilingual writer and columnist Manoj Das has died of age-related ailments here, Aurobindo Ashram sources said.

Manoj Das, 87, died on 27 April. Das, who wrote in Odia and English, was conferred the Padma Shri in 2001 besides the Padma Bhushan in 2020 in recognition of his contributions to education and philosophy.

Shesha Basantara Chithi and Tuma Gam o Anyanya Kabita are among the Odia works he is best known for. He began his career in English writing in 1967 with the short story collection A Song for Sunday and Other Stories, and wrote a memoir titled Chasing the Rainbow: Growing up in an Indian Village in 2004.

In a condolence message, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the late litterateur was an excellent educationist and a renowned writer. His contributions to English and Odia literature were historic and he had also projected the philosophy of Aurobindo in his contributions, Modi said, conveying his condolences to the bereaved family.

Attached to the Ashram since 1963, Das taught Aurobindo's philosophy in the Ashram-run International Centre of Education here. Ashram sources said that Das was a fearless writer on various social issues. Ideologically, he was a Marxist, reports Hindustan Times, and his work was centered on rural issues,

Describing his death as a great loss to the world of literature, Lt Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan said Das had brought fame and pride to Puducherry in the field of education and also literature.

Graham Greene once said of Das' writing: "I have now read the stories of Manoj Das, with very great pleasure. He will certainly take a place on my shelves beside the stories of Narayan (R K Narayan). I imagine Odisha is far from Malgudi but there is the same quality in his stories with perhaps an added mystery."

With inputs from Press Trust of India.

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