A notable figure of the Indian Independence Movement and prominent leader of Indian National Congress, Harekrushna Mahatab was born today on 21 November 1899. Popularly known by the sobriquet “Utkal Keshari”, he served the Chief Minister of Odisha. He was also one of the members of India’s first constituent assembly.
Dr. Harekrushna Mahatab was born in a small ‘Vaishya’ family in Agarpada of Bhadrak district. He completed his BA at Ravenshaw College in 1921. He left education halfway to participate in ‘Pada Yatra’, a freedom movement in Odisha, in response to a call from Mahatma Gandhi.
An active participant of many socialist and independence movements and campaigns, he suffered imprisonment many times. He was active participants of Salt Satyagraha and Quit India Movement.
He was the founder of the Prajatantra Prachar Samiti and started the weekly magazine Prajatantra in 1923 at Balasore, which later became the Daily Prajatantra. In 1983he received the Sahitya Academy Award for the third volume of his well-known work, Gaon Majlis.
To honor him India Postal Department has issued a commemorative stamp of value 300 Paise in 2000.
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