Mrunal Manmay Dash

Former president of Odisha Sahitya Akademi and renowned litterateur Satakadi Hota passed away on Sunday. Hota breathed his last due to old-age-related ailments in Bhubaneswar. He was 95.

Speaking about Hota’s demise, writer Asit Mohanty said, “Odia literature lost a hero today. He was not only an eminent writer, but he was a good organiser too. He led many organisations like the Bhubaneswar Book Fair, and Writers’ Front. He was the president of the Writers' Cooperative Council too. Hota was the first to write a letter to the government demanding a classical language tag for Odia.”

“He was the editor of Odia daily ‘Samay’ since its inception. He has written many poems, essays, novels, stories, travel stories and even biographies too. But it is unfortunate that Hota never received the Kendra Sahitya Akademi award in his life time,” Panda added.

“At a time when writers have become self-centric and care only about their own creations, Hota was a rare litterateur who propagated Odia literature’s inclusiveness. He encouraged many other writers to excel in their fields,” Panda said.

Satakadi Hota was born in 1929 at Jagannath Khunta in the district of Mayurbhanj. He received his school education at Baripada. After that, he shifted to Puri and Cuttack to complete his education.

In 1954, he joined the Indian Railway Traffic Service and was posted at several places. Always interested in social service, Hota was associated with a large number of social and cultural institutions and had acquired a rich and varied experience about life.

Hota started his literary career by writing poems. Mostly rhymed pieces on traditional themes, his poems were complied in 1966 in a book entitled Madhuchhanda. But he gave up poetry and began writing stories from 1972, and published 12 story-collections (a total of about 180 stories).

They are Phular gotie surabhi 1977, Sonitar swapna (1977), Begam saheba (1978), Kiriburu kanya (1980), Mahasnana (1981), Sayanhar shobha (1982), Madhulagna (1982), Jagannathanka hasa (1982), Asatarka muhurta (1982), Nilachalaku rasta (1982), Langala raja (1983) and Mo galpar nayak (1984).