Poet Manohar Meher is well-known among those who served for the uplift of Oriya language and literature. He has written numerous poems related to Indian heritage, patriotism, social reformation, Orissan culture and other like matters. His complete works named as “Manohar Granthavali” is yet to be published. Some distinguished writers and researchers have written articles on the literary works and life of Poet Manohar Meher.
In the year 1885, he was born on the holy day of Sri-Rama Navami at Sinapali village situated on the bank of River Udanti about 30 kilometres distance towards south from Raj Khariar (presently in Nuapada district of Orissa). Adorning the laps of father Ghenucharan Meher and mother Malati Devi, Manohar passed his life with very simple and sincere behaviour. He departed from the mortal world on 4th December 1969.
Before formation of Orissa Province, during pre-independence days, Khariar state was under the administration of the then Central Province and the language prevalent was Hindi. Though Poet Manohar Meher was living in the Hindi-speaking region, he wrote numerous poems on various topics in Oriya language only, and not in Hindi language. He preserved the importance and honour of Oriya language in his literary compositions.
During the said period of pre-independence days, as Sinapali village was under the Hindi-speaking area, Manohar Meher who penned in Oriya language is really worth-mentioning. There was a time for social movement for formation of separate province of Orissa based on the areas where Oriya language was prevailing. Through Utkal Sammilani, the movement for a separate province was in progress. At that time, India was under the administration of British Government. It is a matter of wonder that in spite of the prevailing Hindi language, Manohar Meher wrote in Oriya, simply because he had dedicated life for the motherland and mother tongue Oriya. Though he had a little education in Guru tradition, he composed many literary writings in different aspects such as Chautisha, Stuti, Janana, Bhajana, Abakash, Sankirttan, Sangit, Koili, Baramasi, Boli, Brata Puja, Jyotisha, Danda-Nata, Loka-Natya, Ghumura Patal, Charita, Drushya and traditional kavya etc.
Poet Manohar Meher is known as ‘Gana-Kavi’ or ‘Palli-Kavi’ of Western Orissa. He wrote on various aspects of life, social customs, folk culture, traditional and religious festivals with a sign of social reformation and a touch of Indianness. Social, cultural, spiritual and religious values of the people are reflected in his poems. His subtle vision from individual existence has spread towards global consciousness beyond the world. To promote social unity and national integration, the endeavours of Poet Manohar are indeed appreciable. As a literary patron of Indian culture, he deserves a special attraction.
Living at the extreme end of south and western zone of the then Orissa, Manohar Meher sincerely strived for the establishment of Oriya language and literature. His literary genius is noteworthy for preservation of glory of Oriya even in the midst of Hindi-speaking region. Parashuram Mund, a distinguished litterateur and novelist of Oriya literature, has named Poet Manohar Meher as “Simantara Dipa-Sikha” (The Flame of Lamp of The Border). Significant is this epithet, as the poet living in a border of the then Orissa, has dedicatedly made much efforts to keep Oriya language in a perpetual flow among the people. In the social movement for establishment of Oriya language, Orissa Province and national awareness , the literary pen of Manohar Meher has emerged as a beneficial instrument for socio-cultural unity in his milieu. His contributions to Oriya literature is really memorable for all time to come.
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