Fakir Mohan Senapati
(13 January 1843 - 14 June 1918) born on January 13, 1843, at Mallikashpur in Balasore, played a leading role in establishing the distinct identity of Oriya, a language mainly spoken in the Indian state of Orissa. Fakirmohan Senapati is regarded as the father of Oriya nationalism and the morden Oriya literaure. Born to father, Laxman Charan Senapati and mother Tulsi Devi Senapatie, Fakirmohan dedicated his life for the progress of Oriya language in the later 19th and early 20th century. The story of Fakirmohan is indeed the story of the 'Renaissance' of Oriya literature. Besides he was a social reformer and educator who used his pen to criticize and correct the aberrations prevalent in the society. He is called the father of Oriya fiction.
He is aptly called as Thomas Hardy of Orissa.[by whom?] Though he had translated from Sanskrit, wrote poetry, and attempted many forms of literature, he is now known primarily as the father of modern Oriya prose fiction. The four novels of Fakirmohan, written between 1897 and 1915, reflect the socio-cultural conditions of Orissa during the eighteenth and the nineteenth centuries. While the three novels, 'Chhamana Atha Guntha', 'Mamu' and 'Prayaschita' explore the realities of social life in its multiple dimensions. 'Lachhama' is a historical romance dealing with the anarchical conditions of Orissa in the wake of Maratha invasions during the eighteenth century. Chha Maana Atha Guntha is the first Indian novel to deal with the exploitations of landless peasants by the feudal Lord. It was written much before the October revolution of Russia or much before the emerging of Marxist ideas in India. Fakir Mohan is also the writer of the first autobiography in Oriya, "Atma Jeevan Charita"
If either Fakirmohan or his progeny had preserved his short story, “Lachhamania” which he had written in the late 1860s, and which was published in the journal Bodhadayini, edited by himself in Balasore, Fakirmohan would certainly been credited with having pioneered the genre in India. But as ill-luck would have it, except for a bare mention in his autobiography, the story cannot be traced, and thus his “Rebati” (1898) is widely recognized as the first Oriya short story. “Rebati” is the story of a young innocent girl whose desire for education is placed in the context of a conservative society in a backward Orissa village, which is hit by the killer epidemic cholera. His other stories are “Patent Medicine”, “Daka Munshi”,”Adharma Bitta”, "Randi Pua Ananta"etc.
Vyasa Kabi Fakir Mohan Senapati had one daughter from his first wife Leelavati Devi who had married to Raghunath Chaudhari elder brother of Gagan Bihar Chaudhari. From his second wife Krushna Kumari Dei; Fakir Mohan had his only son Mohini Mohan Senapati and daughter Sarojini Senapati. Sarojini Senapati married to Gagan Bihari Chaudhari who was the then Dist Judge at Cuttack. Gagan Behari Chaudhari had three sons and one daughter they are Bipin Bihari Chaudhary, Saila Bihari Chaudhary, Snehamayee Devi. Sneha Mayee Devi who married to Surya Mani Jena a graduate from Calcutta University who was the Inspector of Schools. Even the Senior Advocate and former Law Minister late Mr. Ashok Sen and his elder brother were the students of Surya Mani Jena at Sambalpur High School. Surya Mani had three sons and one daughter namely Pratap Chandra Varma, Ajay Chandra and Sanjaya Chandra Varma. Prasanta Varma, Advocate Supreme Court of India is the son of late Mr. Pratap Chandra Varma and is one of the Great Great Grand Son of Fakir Mohan Senapati. Fakir Mohan's great-grand-daughter Monica Das is a writer and economist based out of New Delhi, India.