Dakshinaranjan Mitra Majumder

Published:  01:29 AM, 22 December 2018

A prominent name in Bengali fairy tales and children's literature

A prominent name in Bengali fairy tales and children's literature

Dakshinaranjan Mitra Majumder was a celebrated Indian writer in Bengali of fairy tales and children's literature. His major contribution to Bengali literature was the collection and compilation of Bengali folk and fairy tales in four volumes.

Dakshinaranjan Mitra Majumder was the person who first collected some folk-stories of Bengal and published it under the name of Thakurmar Jhuli in 1907 (1314 of Bengali calendar). The Nobel-Laureate, Rabindra Nath Thakur wrote the introduction to the compilation. Since then, it has become a favourite of Bengali children. Over the years, it has become a household name in West Bengal and Bangladesh.

Dakshinaranjan Mitra Majumder was born in 1877 in the village of Ulail near Savar in Dhaka district. He lost his mother when he was nine and was brought up by his paternal aunt, Rajluxmi Devi, at Mymensingh. At the age of twenty-one, he moved to Murshidabad with his father.

In Murshidabad, Dakshinaranjan started to write in different journals, including the SAHITYA PARISAT PATRIKAand Pradip. On completing FA, he returned to Mymensingh, where he took on the task of overseeing his aunt's zamindari.

Dakshinaranjan became attracted to Folk Literature and collected fairy tales, hymns, ballads and humorous conversations.

Inspired by Dinesh Chandra Sen, he edited and published the material he had collected in Thakurmar Jhuli (1907), Thakurdadar Jhuli (1909), Thandidir Thale (1909), and Dadamashayer Thale (1913). Rabindranath Tagore wrote the introduction to Thakurmar Jhuli, which was also translated into German. Dakshinaranjan's work has given the folk literature of East Bengal a permanent place in' Bangla Literature.

Dakshinaranjan was also well-known as a writer of children's books. Among his children's writings are Khoka Babur Khela, Amal Bai, Kishorder Man, Charu O Haru, First Boy, Last Boy, Utpal O Rabi, Banglar Sonar Chhele, Sabuj Lekha, Chiradiner Rupkatha, Amar Desh, and Ashirvad O Ashirvani. He also translated fairy tales from different parts of the world in Prthivir Rupkatha.

Dakshinaranjan also edited a number of journals such as Sudha (1901-1904), Sarathi (1908) and Path (1930-32), the mouthpiece of the Bengal Scientific Council of which he was vice-president from 1930 to 1933. As president of the Scientific Terminology Board of the Council he was able to contribute to the development of terminology. Mitra Majumder died in 1957 in Kolkata, India.

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