Real Writer of the First Odia Grammar Book and Odia Dictionary
The Real Writer of the First Odia Grammar Book and Odia Dictionary
People often refer to Gopal Chandra Praharaj as the first writer of Odia grammar book and Odia dictionary. One of his famous literary creation is “Purna Chandra Odia Bhasakosha” . However, from a few unique references, it is being inferred that Mrutyunjay Bidyalankar was the primary recognized essayist who had composed the principal Odia grammar book and Odia dictionary too.
Let us have a brief understanding about this sixth classical language, that is Odia ( which has been accorded the status of classical language by government of India next to Sanskrit and the four other Dravidian languages ) .The earliest written texts in this language are more than a thousand years old.The cutting edge Odia language is shaped generally from Pali words with huge Sanskrit impact. About 28% of current Odia words have Adivasi origin , and about 2% have Hindustani (Hindi/Urdu), Persian, or Arabic beginnings.
Gopala Chandra Praharaj (9 September 1874 – 16 May 1945) was an essayist and etymologist in the Odia language, notable as the compiler of the Purna Chandra Odia Bhashakosha. He likewise contributed fundamentally to Odia writing by his works in composition. A legal advisor by profession , Praharaj composed a few satire and scientific articles, in magazines like Utkal Sahitya, Rashichakra, Nababharata, and Satya Samachar, on the social, political and social issues of contemporary Odisha during the mid twentieth century.
Mrutyunjay Bidyalankar ( 1762-1819AD) was a Brahmin Pandit of the then Odisha province. Later on the geographical boundaries of states have been changed. His exact birthplace is still in darkness but his mother tongue was Odia.He was an etymologist and essayist. He learned at the court of the raja of natore and transformed into a Sanskrit researcher. Though it is not known where he studied Bengali, but he made his name as the best Bengali composition author in view of his special composing style during the initial twenty years of the nineteenth century.He was serving as a lecturer in Fort William College in Calcutta.
Fort William College (otherwise called the College of Fort William) was an institute of oriental investigations and a focal point of learning, established on 10 July 1800 by Lord Wellesley (then Governor-General of British India) . It was situated inside the Fort William complex in Calcutta. Wellesley antedated the date & year of establishment to 4 May 1800, to remember the main commemoration of his triumph over Tipu Sultan at Srirangapatna.
Thousands of books were interpreted from Sanskrit, Arabic, Persian, Bengali, Hindi, and Urdu into English at this foundation.
Mrutyunjay Bidyalankar was teaching Sanskrit and Bengali ( As a self evident reality , Calcutta was the Britishers capital till 1911) to the British probationers there, whoever was keen on learning distinctive Oriental dialects and various compositions written in those dialects. Among his students, the most commendable students were William Jones( the Chief Justice of Calcutta Supreme court then, at that point) , William Hamilton, Charles Wilkins and so on who later laid down a good foundation for themselves as experts on Indian culture. During the concluding period of the eighteenth century, European researchers began taking interest on Oriental writing. Warren Hastings was the incomparable authority of British rule in India.Some of the high officials also took keen interest in Indian culture , literature and different types of classical knowledge. They founded the Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal in Calcutta in 1784. Sir William Jones was one of them; they were in search of some Indian scholar to teach them Sanskrit and other Oriental languages. Luckily those British enthusiasts who were inclined to learn more about Oriental classical knowledge, came in contact with Mrutyunjay Bidyalankar. Those British enthusiasts were profoundly motivated by Mrutyunjay Bidyalankar and started learning Sanskrit from him. The famous astrologer of our state Baikoli Mohapatra of khalikote has also mentioned in detail about Mrutyunjay Bidyalankar in his series of Jyotish Ratnabali books and in the book called ” Odia Andolana-ra Itihasa”. This has also been mentioned in the book called ” Adhunika Odia Sahitya” by Dr. Natabar Samantray.
This is being anticipated that Mrutyunjay Bidyalankar had written an Odia grammar book and a dictionary as early as in the year 1801 which could not be printed due to absence of printing facilities. Some of the widely appreciated literary masterpieces of Mrutyunjaya Bidyalankar are Biprabodha Chandrika ( which was published after his death), Rajabali ( written in Bengali in 1808) , Prabodha Chandrika( written in Bengali in 1813). Besides, he translated Purusha Pariksha of Bidyapati and Batrisha Singhasana in Bengali. Those books were selected as text books in Fort William college. He faced strong obstruction from the local jealous Bengali intellectuals thereafter. Odia type letters were prepared in 1804 at that college to print Bible in Odia through his consistent efforts. Finally Mrutyunjay Bidyalankar, taking the help of his European colleagues , completed and printed an Odia dictionary in the year 1804, which is being concluded as our first dictionary.
By that time , there was no printing facility in Cuttack of Odisha. In this regard , we may say that Baptist missionaries were instrumental in establishing a printing press for printing their religious texts in Cuttack in the year 1837.The second Odia book to be printed was the Odia interpretation of a piece of New Testament. It was brought out by the Serampore Mission Press in 1807. A print machine was set up in Odisha without precedent for 1837 by evangelists, Charles Lacey and Amos Sutton.
The Utkala Deepika was the first Odia newspaper. The weekly paper was started on 4 August 1866 by Gourishankar Ray and Babu Bichitrananda Das.
This is how the Odia print letters came in to existence.🤔🤔🙏
Dr. Manoj Mishra