Delhi, April 28: President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday condoled the demise of noted litterateur Manoj Das of Odisha.
The Odia and English writer passed away on Tuesday at Sri Aurobindo Ashram Nursing Home in Puducherry. He was 87.
Das, though a native of Odisha, had made Puducherry his home for several decades.
Taking to the Twitter, the President said that the passing away of Das was a huge loss to the world of Odia and English writing.
“The passing of Manoj Das is a huge loss to the world of Odia & English writing. His towering stature as a fiction writer, his simplicity & spirituality gave him a unique identity. A Padma Bhushan, he was given many prestigious awards. My condolences to his family and admirers,” wrote President Kovind.
Prime Minister Modi also took to the soical media platform to express his condolences to the departed soul.
“Shri Manoj Das distinguished himself as a noted educationist, popular columnist and prolific writer. He made rich contributions to English and Odia literature. He was a leading exponent of Sri Aurobindo’s philosophy. Pained by his demise. Condolences to his family. Om Shanti,” wrote PM Modi.
Das passed away while undergoing treatment at the Ashram Nursing Home for terminal cancer yesterday. Das, who was associated with Sri Aurobindo Ashram for several decades was hospitalised for nearly a year.
Das was one of the best storytellers of present times, who enchanted writers like Graham Greene to Ruskin Bond.
Das has conferred with the Padma Bhushan award last year for his contribution in the field of literature and education. He was earlier conferred with the Padma Shri in 2001.
Das was a unique bilingual writer whose stories both in Odia language and English, were equally loved and appreciated.
Born in 1934 in a small village called Sankhari in Balasore district in Odisha, Das’s first collection of poems was published when he was just 14.
He started writing in English in 1968 and some of his well-known works are A Tiger at Twilight, The Submerged Valley, The Bridge in the Moonlit Night, Cyclones, Mystery of the Missing Cap, Myths, Legends,Concepts and Literary Antiquities of India.
His best Odia works include ‘Tandralokara Prahari’, ‘Aakashra Isara’, ‘Amruta Phala’.
His cremation is likely to take place on Wednesday with full State honour, observing the Covid protocols as Odisha Government requested the Puducherry Government for the same.