By Nilambar Rath
Welcome to the world of Madhusudan Das, popularly known as Madhubabu by millions of Odias.
Madhubabu – the icon of Odia pride was the inspiring force which unified similar psyches during the British regime and created the ground to establish ‘Odisha’, the land of the Odia-speaking population, as the first province of British India in 1936, on the basis of language.
Madhusudan Das was an exceptional lawyer, a legislator par excellence and above all, a great humanitarian. He had devoted his entire life towards the cause of ‘Utkal’, the erstwhile name of Odisha.
While we may be aware of his contribution to Odia language and his participation in developing the nation, many amongst us might not be equally informed that Madhubabu was a very passionate entrepreneur. It is a rarely discussed facet of his personality.
He founded ‘Odisha Art Wares’ and ‘Utkal Tannery’ between the late 19th century and early 20th century. Madhusudan Das was deeply engaged in developing the industrial ventures with the collaboration of indigenous skills and modern technology.
Madhubabu’s thoughts and actions had influenced Mahatma Gandhi to a great extent. They had discussed on introduction of technology to the tannery at Sabarmati Ashram and promotion of skill-based activities for addressing untouchability and upliftment of backward classes of the society.
Madhusudan Das was a man who was known for his commitment to the language, the land, and its people. He was a great national hero. Study on his life and time shall create immense inspiration to the generations of today and tomorrow.
This initiative of OdishaLIVE aims at presenting his life and thoughts to the global community. This brief publication portrays five distinct characteristics of the great man in five different stories.
Madhubabu was not just a proud Odia and a great patriot of the nation, but a dynamic and optimistic pioneer in the areas of development of indigenous skills, entrepreneurship, and international trade.
I believe that the digital initiative (www.madhubabu.org) of OdishaLIVE on Madhubabu shall pull away your minds to dive into his great life stories.
I sincerely thank Mr. Bhaskar Parichha, who promptly accepted our request to author the book and took great care to portray the life of Madhubabu through the brief stories. I would also like to thank all my colleagues at OdishaLIVE for their dedication.