Mukunda Das (Bengali: মুকুন্দদাস)was an Indian poet, ballad singer, composer and patriot, who contributed to the spread of Swadeshi movement in rural Bengal.

Early Life

Mukunda Das came from a modest background. His grandfather was a boatman and his father was a grocer. He was born as Yajneshwar De to Gurudayal De and Shyamasundari Devi in the village of Banari, in the Bikrampur pargana of Dhaka District (currently part of Munshiganj District, Bangladesh). When he was seven, the family migrated to Barisal where they settled permanently. His father set up a grocery store in the Alekanda region of Barisal town. Being Vaishnavas, his father used to sing devotional songs while running the store. The Deputy Magistrate of Barisal, pleased with his melodious voice offered him the job of an orderly in the Barisal court. Yajneshwar's father took up the job and he began to run the store.

Yajneshwar too was gifted with a melodious voice. He, from his very childhood, began to compose and sing songs on his own. He attended the Barisal Zilla School, but he did not like studies and was irregular at school. He spent most of his time in fishing, capturing bird's nests and playing with neighbourhood boys. In 1893, he was admitted to the Brojomohun School. He attended the Brojomohun School for six years, but dropped out after the eighth standard. Ashwini Kumar Dutta, upset at the failure of a pupil of his own institution, decided to speak to Yajneshwar himself. Datta had heard his melodious before and had realized the potential and talent in him. His called Yajneshwar to his house and initiated him into the patriotic movement.

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