LET HIM TAKE BIRTH, AGAIN, IN EVERY HEART

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Madhu Sudan Das

India’s first President, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, when a student, had organized Bihar Students’ Conference at Motihari in 1912. The conference had the rarest opportunity of being presided over by the father of Oriya nationalism, Mr. Madhusudan Das, addressed with affectionate reverence as Madhubabu, who to one and all was the personification of probity and in whom it was absolutely settled that there was no difference between one’s mother and motherland

“Personally I associate my love for my country with my mother”; he had told the conference.

“It was my mother who presented me as her offering to my country. When I was in the dark chambers of my mother’s womb, I drank and drew my mother’s blood. She starved herself to give me nourishment. This was an object-lesson on self-denial to me and with this lesson of self-denial ingrained in my nature, she presented me as a sacred offering of her to my country. This lesson on the importance of self-denial was reiterated every moment of my childhood, for she nourished with blood from her heart – blood whose color and taste her sacred love had changed – blood changed into milk. When I grew stronger and looked for stronger nourishment than mother’s milk, my country fed me and clothed me”.

None of us Indians, and none in the world, as far as I have meticulously probed to find out, has ever seen the motherland as the mother by birth in this vein.

Today is his birth anniversary. We in orissamatters.com join the entire Oriya race in remembering him with love and reverence. But I offer my oblations to his beloved mother Parvati Devi who had “offered” this matchless man to “my country”, the man to whom the country became his mother.

My reverence also goes to Raghunath Das, for having fathered the father of my nation, the Oriya nation.

The first Oriya to have a Masters degree, the first Oriya to be a Vakil, the first Oriya to be an Advocate, the first Oriya to visit Europe, the first Oriya member of the Provincial and Viceregal Legislative Councils, the first Oriya to become a Minister, Madhubabu was the first leader of India to have resigned office as his demand for working without salary was not acceptable to the system then in vogue.

“In an organization in which all the workers are honorary, a salaried minister mars the symmetry and harmony of the organization. The office of the minister of local self-government ought to be an honorary one”, was his opinion.

This opinion was too revolutionary to earn approval.

And probity was too precious to be abandoned for office.

Madhubabu resigned office and has ever since been reigning over every heart that dreams of days when politics shall end to be a professional pursuit and political leaders shall function as true servants of the people.

“Here was an Oriya who never feared power and who was never lured out of right path”.

This is his autobiography uttered for the universe to know, from the lips of this lover of human beings, in presence of Pandit Nilakantha Das, in the briefest possible manner, at the moment that was dropping down the last curtain on the life of the first and the last man till date to whom Orissa was the mother; mother and nothing else.

Let him take birth, again, in every Oriya heart.

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