BHUBANESWAR: Eminent litterateur Prof Chandrasekhar Rath passed away at a private hospital here on Friday. He was 89. Last month, Prof Rath was nominated for Padma Shree. Born in 1929 at Malpada village in Balangir district, he was a trendsetter in Odia prose and received many accolades. A Post Graduate from Canning College, University of Lucknow, Prof Rath had joined Odisha Education Service in 1952 as lecturer in English and served as Secretary of Test Book Bureau before retiring as Deputy Director Public Instruction (DPI) in 1987.
He took off as an essayist and carved out a place for himself in an area which did not have many names either in the past or in his times. He has authored three novels - Yantrarudha (The Instrumented) in 1967, Asurya Upanivesh (The Sunless Colony) in 1974 and Nav Jatak (Regenesis) in 1981.
Besides, he has 14 short story collections, 15 essay books, including four volumes of devotional essays, and three poetry collections to his credit. He had received Sahitya Akademi Award in 1997 for his collection of short stories ‘Sabutharu Dirgharati’ (The Longest Night Ever) and Hutch Crossword Book Award for ‘Yantrarudha’ (Astride the Wheel) in 2004.
Governor SC Jamir, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan condoled his death. The CM visited the bereaved family members at their Nayapalli residence and paid floral tributes to Rath. “The sad demise of Rath is a great loss to the State. He would be remembered for his contribution to Odia literature,” Naveen said.