Pradeep Pattanayak

The mortal remains of Padma Shri awardee litterateur Binapani Mohanty were consigned to flames with full State honours at Sati Chaura cremation ground in Cuttack on Monday. 

The legendary Odia writer’s mortal remains were taken to the cremation ground in a procession. Several dignitaries including Cuttack Collector Bhabani Shankar Chayani, Cuttack DCP Prateek Singh and Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) Commissioner Ananya Das turned up at the cremation ground to pay their last tribute to the departed soul. Later, the writer was accorded a ceremonial guard of honour.   

Eminent Odia litterateur and poet Binapani Mohanty breathed her last at her residence in Cuttack due to age-related problems. She was 85. 

A professor in Economics, Mohanty was the youngest sister of eminent doctor Nirupama Rath and lawyer Satchidananda Mohanty, both of whom had predeceased her. 

Mohanty has more than 100 books to her credit. Some of her best-known stories are Pata Dei, Khela Ghara, Naiku Rasta, Bastraharana, Andhakarara, Kasturi Murga O Sabuja Aranya and Michhi Michhika.

Mohanty was conferred with Padma Shri in Literature and Education category in 2020 besides prestigious 'Atibadi Jagannath Das Samman', Sahitya Akademi Award and Sarala Samman.

The Sahitya Akademi Award was conferred upon her in 1990 for her collection of short stories entitled 'Pata Dei and other stories.'  'Patadei' was published as 'Lata' in Femina in 1986. Her career began with the publication of ‘Gotie Ratira Kahani’ in 1960. 

As the news of Mohanty’s sad demise broke, condolences started pouring in from different sections of the society. Social media cites were flooded with condolence messages. 

Among others, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Odisha Governor Professor Ganeshi Lal, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, BJP National Vice President Baijayant Panda and Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had taken to their respective Twitter handles to express their grief over the demise of the noted writer.

“Her way of portraying a common man in her writings sets her apart from others. She remained unmarried. When asked, she would say literature was her family and she loved it,” said convenor, Odia Advisory Board, Sahitya Akademi Bijayananda Singh.