Biography of Utkal Keshari Harekrushna Mahatab

Harekrushna Mahatab was the Chief Minister of Orissa for two terms. He was a politician, freedom fighter and well known personality.

Harekrushna Mahatab is a well known figure in the state of Orissa. He was a freedom fighter, politician and former Chief Minister of Orissa. He is known as Utkal Keshari.

Birth and Education of Harekrushna Mahatab

Harekrushna Mahatab was born on 21st November 1899, in the village Agarpada, situated in Bhadrack District of Orissa. Harekrushna Mahatab's father's name was Krushna Charan Das and mother's name was Tohapha Debi.

Harekrushna Mahatab studied in Bhadrak High School. He passed his Matriculation from there and to pursue higher education, he joined Revenshaw College, Cuttack. But Harekrushna Mahatab could not continue his higher studies, because in 1921, he participated in the Independence Movement of India and left his higher studies.

Harekrushna Mahatab's Participation in Independence Movement and Political Career

Harekrushna Mahatab joined Indian Independence movement in 1921 and was imprisoned several times. In 1922, he was sent to jail for protesting against British Authorities. In 1924, he became the Chairman of Balasore District Board. He was also member of Orissa and Bihar Council. He joined Mahatma Gandhi's Salt Satyagraha in 1930 and was arrested along with other freedom fighters. From 1930 to 1931, he was the President of Utkal Pradesh Congress Committee.

In 1932, Mahatab became the General Officer Commanding of Congress for Puri session. But the party was banned by the British Government and Harekrushna Mahatab was arrested. In 1934, he protested against 'Untouchability' and took steps to open the Temples of Orissa to all. In 1937, he again became the President of Utkal Pradesh Congress Committee. He also worked with Subhas Chandra Bose in the Congress Working Committee from 1938 to 1950.

In 1942, Mahatma Gandhi led the Quit India Movement and people protested the British Government all over the country. Harekrushna Mahatab also strongly participated in 'Quit India Movement' and was arrested. He was in jail from 1942 to 1945.

On 23 April, 1946, Harekrushna Mahatab became the Chief Minister of Orissa and served Orissa as the Chief Minister till 12 May, 1950. Then he became the Union Minister of Commerce and Industry in 1950. In 1952, Harekrushna Mahatab became the Secretary General of the Congress Parliamentary Party. In 1955, Mahatab was posted as the Governor of Bombay, but he resigned from the post in 1956.

harekrushna Mahatab again became the Chief Minister of Orissa on October 19, 1956 and remained in the position till February 25, 1961. When Harekrushna Mahatab was the Chief Minister of Orissa, he did some development and notable work for the state of Orissa and for the people of Orissa. Harekrushna Mahatab had also a significant role in the construction of Hirakud Dam Project. The capital city of Orissa was shifted from Cuttack to Bhubaneswar during his period.

In 1962, Harekrushna Mahatab was elected as a member of Loksabha. Though in 1966, he became the Vice-President of the Indian National Congress, he resigned from the post and left Congress Party in the same year. He returned to Orissa and formed a new Party Orissa Jana Congress. In 1976, during Emergency, Harekrushna Mahatab was arrested and sent to jail for protesting.

Harekrushna Mahatab made 'Gandhi Karma Mandir' in his village Agarpada. Harekrushna Mahatab was the founder of the Oriya Daily Newspaper Prajatantra. Harekrushna Mahatab was the Chief Editor of the monthly Oriya journal 'Jhankar'.

Honours Given To Harekrushna Mahatab

Harekrushna Mahatab was choosen as the President Orissa Sahitya Academy. He was also the President of Sangit Natak Academy for some periods.

Harekrushna Mahatab received 'Sahitya Academy Award' in 1983 for his book Gan Majlis

Andhra University had honoured Harekrushna Mhatab with Doctorate Degree.
Harekrushna Mahatab was also honoured with D.Litt from Utkal University.
Sagar University honoured Harekrushna Mahatab with Doctorate of Law.

Harekrushna Mahatab was honoured with the Title Utkal Keshari

Family of Harekrushna Mahatab

Harekrushna Mahatab's wife's name was Malati Devi. His son Bhartruhari Mahatab is a member of Loksabha from Biju JanataDal (BJD) and also the Chief editor of Oriya Newspaper 'Prajatantra'.

Harekrushna Mahatab Died on January 2, 1987.

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