Herekrushna Mahatab, the man who started the merger of princely states with India, died today on 2nd January in the year 1987. Popularly known by the sobriquet "Utkal Keshari" (Lion of Orissa), Mahatab was the first Chief Minister of Orissa in independent India, served as a cabinet minister in the Nehru government.
Harekrushna Mahtab was born to Krushna Charan Das and Tohapha Debi in an aristocratic Rajput family. After passing his matriculation examination from Bhadrak High School, he joined Ravenshaw College, Cuttack but left his studies in 1921 to join the independence 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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