Bhubaneswar: Pandit Nilakantha Das was one of the Pancha Sakhas (comrades) of Satyabadi and a close associate of Utkalmani Gopabandhu Das. On his death anniversary, let us remember this legend and his contribution to the society.
- Nilakantha Das, popularly known as Pandit Nilakantha Das, was born on August 5, 1884 at Sri Ramapur Sasana near Satyabadi in Puri distrcit.
- He was named Nilakantha after Lord Shiva and was born to his parents after seven girls
- Nilakantha’s family was very large and poor.
- Nilakantha’s first school was the village Pathasala. He was an intelligent boy.
- He was the youngest boy of his class and was very often ragged by the older fellow students.
- During his school days, he learnt Bengali along with English and Sanskrit.
- He started his professional career as a teacher at Satyabadi Bana Vidyalaya.
- He published a weekly named ‘Seba’. He was also the editor of monthly literature-based magazine ‘Nababharat’.
- He also established a National School at Sambalpur.
- Inspired by Gopabandhu Das, he entered politics.
- He took over the reins of Odisha state unit of Indian National Congress after the death of Utkalmani Gopabandhu Das.
- He was elected as a honorary member of Indian Legislative Assembly (1925-30).
- He was one of the strength of Satyagraha movement during 1935-40.
- He was also the first president of ‘Odisha Sahitya Akademi’.
* The Pancha Sakhas are Pandit Gopabandhu Das, Acharya Hari Hara Das, Pandit Nilakantha Das, Pandit Krupasindhu Mishra and Pandit Godabarish Mishra.