Haldhar Nag, the 66-year-old poet in Kosli language, was in news in the last week of March 2016. He came in news after President Pranab Mukherjee on 28 March 2016 conferred Padma Shri 2016 on him at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.
He was bestowed with third highest civilian honour for his contribution in Literature & Education section.
Who is Haldhar Nag?
• In Odisha, he is known as Lok Kabi Ratna and has penned down 20 epics and several poems. He remembers all his creations and can recite them at any point of time.
• He wrote his first poem 'Dhodo Bargachh' (The Old Banyan Tree) in 1990, which was published in a local magazine. He wrote it while selling stationeries and eatables for school students from a small shop owned by him.
• He sent four poems to the magazine and all of them got published.
• Born in a poor family of Ghens in Bargarh district of Odisha in 1950, Nag could attend school only up to Class-III.
• Five scholars have based their PhD research on his works.
• He draws his themes from the rustic surroundings and mostly writes on nature, society, religion and mythology. He also takes up the cause of the oppressed and social reforms through his writings.
Besides, Sambalpur University is coming up with a compilation of his writings, titled Haldhar Granthabali-2. This compilation will be a part of the university's syllabus.
Kosli also known as Sambalpuri, is the western-variation of Odia language. It came into existence for the first time in the year 1891 via a weekly magazine "Sambalpur Hiteisani" published from Debagarh. It was titled Sambalpur Anchalar Praachin Kabitaa, written by Madhusudan.
In the Census of India - 2001, the Kosli language is shown as a mother tongue grouped under Oriya.
Kosli Language Movement
For promotion of the Kosli language, few people from different sections of society in districts of Western Odisha (Kosal) have been campaigning for the last five decades. This campaign is termed as the Kosli language movement and aims at recognition for the Kosli language and its inclusion in the 8th schedule of the Constitution of India.
The movement was started by people like Prayag Dutta Joshi, Nilamadhab Panigrahi and others.
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Who: Poet Haldar Nag
What: Conferred Padma Shri
When: 28 March 2016