Bhubaneswar, October 9: Odisha paid tribute to Utkalmani Gopabandhu Das on his138th birthday today.
Numbers of programmes were arranged across the State to pay tribute to the great freedom fighter, poet, philosopher and social activist.
CM Naveen Pattnaik today paid floral tribute to the statue of Gopabandhu established in the premises of the State Assembly here. CM Naveen Pattnaik was accompanied by the Speaker and Cultural Minister.
Various oraganisations and political parties including BJP, Congress, Samajwadi Party and NGOs have recognised the birth anniversary of Gopabandhu Das.
Born on 9 October 1877 to Swarnamayee Devi and Daitari Das in Suando Village, near Puri, Odisha, Gopabandhu was a 'Man of the Masses'. He always worked for the poor and downtrodden and even did not bother about his own family for the sake of the nation.
Even when his own son was suffering from serious illness, he went to serve the people of flood-affected areas. He said, "there were many people to take care of my son, but if I did not go, who would look after these poor people?" His son died, but he was serving hundreds of others to bring smile to their faces despite the pain and agony in his life.
Pt. Gopabandhu was a member of Utkal Samilani from 1903 to 1921. He was elected President in the year of 1919. He was a renowned Poet and Writer. 'Kara Kabita', 'Dharmapada', 'Bandi Ra Atma Katha' are some his legendary poetry works.
Gopabandhu was the first leader of Odisha to organise the Odisha Provincial Committee. He became the first president of the Congress party in Odisha and brought Gandhiji to Odisha in 1921 to further the cause of Non-Cooperation Movement.
He was instrumental in making Odia journalism suitable for the common man. He published a monthly magazine called Satyabadi in 1914. Later on 4 October 1919, the auspicious day of Vijayadsahami he started the weekly newspaper The Samaj, which became the most popular daily news paper of Odisha.
Gopabandhu fell ill while attending a fund raising ceremony in Lahore for the flood victims of Odisha, after which he never recovered. He died of prolonged illness on 17 July 1928.