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Gour Kishore Ghosh

Bengali Writer Gour Kishore Ghosh
Written By - Team Nettv4u

Gour Kishore Ghosh was born on June 20, 1923. He was a Bengali writer and journalist. Ghosh was born in Hat Gopalpur village within the Jessore district in undivided Bengal (presently Bangladesh). He completed his schooling in Nabadwip and intermediate science (I.Sc.) examinations in 1945. thanks to poverty, Ghosh didn't continue his education further and started working. He varied his professions between 1941 and 1953. Amongst others, he worked as a non-public tutor, electrician and fitter, sailor, a waiter at restaurants, brotherhood organizer, schoolteacher, manager of a touring dance troupe, land customs clearing clerk, proofreader, and others, until, from a temporary job as a border customs clerk, he joined a replacement daily newspaper, Satyayuga, where his distinctive genre earned him a promotion to editor of two feature sections.

Thus, he settled into his chosen profession, that of a reporter/journalist. Ghosh wrote columns within the literary weekly Desh and in Calcutta's largest vernacular daily, Anandabazar Patrika, where he became a senior editor. In his "News Commentary by Rupadarshi," he portrayed the agony of the province during the Naxalite movement from 1969 to 1971 in sharp satire. He often wrote under his nom de guerre, Rupadarshi. After the emergency imposed upon India in 1975, Ghosh shaved his head and wrote a symbolic letter to his 13-year-old son explaining his act of "bereavement" over the loss of his freedom to jot down. This letter that led to his arrest was widely circulated underground and has become a protest classic. He was sent to jail together with another reporter, Barun Sengupta. Ghosh smuggled from prison two other letters on abuses of the authoritarian rule before, in his cell, he suffered a 3rd heart failure. Although reinstated as a senior editor of Ananda Bazar Patrika after the emergency ended and he had recovered from his illness, Ghosh started Aajkaal (This Time) together with some associates within the early 80s.

After a brief stint with Aajkal, he wrote for Anandabazar Patrika till the top. His weekly satirical column was famous, as was a series of humorous stories. His mature work chose the rather neglected field of interaction between Hindu and Muslim societies. Among his lighter works, Brojoda, although not as popular as Feluda, Granada, and Tenida, has left a distinct mark on the so-called dada literature of Bengal. because of his immense add literature and journalism, Ghosh received numerous awards, which are: Ananda Purashkar for Literature (1970); Ko Joy Uk Memorial Award (1976) from the South Korean Government; Ramon Magsaysay Award (1981) for Journalism, Literature, and inventive Communication Arts; Maharashtra Government Award (1981); Bankim Puraskar (1982); Hardayal Harmony Award (1993); Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Award (1993). Ghosh has worked on various stories, but a number of his most famous and major works are Ei Kolkatay (1952), Mon Maney Na (1955), Sagina Mahato (1969), Poschimbongo Ek Promod Toroni, Ha ha! (1969), Aamra Jekhaney (June 1970), and Prem Nay.

He married Shila Ghosh. He had two daughters and a son. He was known for his Spartan lifestyle. His early political inspiration came from M. However, in his later years, he gravitated toward Gandhi's ideals. Sagina Mahato, a story written by him in remembrance of a colleague in his activist, and political past, was successfully adopted into movies in Hindi (Sagina) and Bengali (Sagina Mahato) by Tapan Sinha, with the famous thespian Dilip Kumar playing the part of the protagonist Sagina Mahato in both instances. He was a columnist who used biting satire to oppose terrorists and the government while advocating for press freedom. Gour Kishore Ghosh took on every variety of political tyrants, regardless of party or flag.

In one particularly memorable instance, he described mighty Left Front autocrat and former province Chief Minister Jyoti Basu as Shri Gadiballav Puraguchhait' (translation impossible, but a dig at what he saw as power-hungry Communist leaders). Ghosh's portrayal of the horrifying torture inflicted on Naxalite activists and sympathizers in West Bengal within the late 1960s and early 1970s had already made him a marked man, so it came as a little surprise that in the nationwide Emergency of 1975, the police under the Congress government led by Siddhartha Shankar Ray picked him up from his direct a midnight swoop. The immediate trigger for his arrest was his act of shaving his head, a common sign of grief among many Indians, and a symbolic letter to his 13-year-old son explaining his' mourning at the 'death of his freedom to write' with the announcement of the Emergency by Congress supremo statesman.

The stint in prison, which he shared with Barun Sengupta, was stressful enough for Ghosh to suffer his third coronary failure, but not before he had managed to smuggle out two more letters describing the abuse perpetrated by authoritarian rule. This pattern of calling out political high-handedness continued into the 1990s when Ghosh tore into BJP leader L.K. Advani as religious fascism began to lift its head in India. He had been reinstated as senior editor of Anandabazar Patrika once the emergency ended and his health improved. However, he still launched the Bengali daily Aajkaal with some associates in the early 1980s. After a short stint with Aajkal, he continued writing for Anandabazar Patrika until almost his last days. While his weekly satirical column and humorous sketches made him justifiably famous, he also chose to target the neglected Hindu-Muslim relations area, which might have drawn more attention today. He died on December 15, 2000, in Kolkata. In 2011, a Metro station in Kolkata was named after him. Till now, two metro stations are named after him in Kolkata.


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