Today is the birth anniversary of Sunil Gangopadhyay. He was one of the greatest Indian poets India had ever seen.
Who was Sunil Gangopadhyay?
Sunil Gangopadhyay is also known as Sunil Ganguly. He was an Indian poet, novelist, and historian in the Bengali language. He was based in the city of Kolkata. This person is also the former sheriff of Calcutta. He and his friends started a Bengali poetry magazine called Krittibas in the year 1953. Later on, he wrote for many different publications.
The early life of Sunil Gangopadhyay
Sunil Gangopadhyay was born in Faridpur, Bengal Presidency (now Bangladesh) on 7th September 1934. At a very early age, he came to live in Kolkata leaving his ancestral hometown. Later his ancestral home fell within East Pakistan after the Partition of India in 1947. He studied at various colleges to gain various degrees like Surendranath College, Dum Dum Motijheel College, and City Colleges in Kolkata. All these colleges were affiliated with the University of Calcutta. After that, he obtained his master’s degree in Bengali from the University of Calcutta in 1954.
On 26th February 1967, he married Swati Banerjee and on 20th November the same year, his son Souvik was born who lives in Boston.
The literary career of this renowned author
This famous writer was the founder editor of Krittibas, a seminal poetry magazine that started publishing in 1953. It became a platform for a new generation of poets to experiment with many new forms of poetic themes, rhythms, and words. Later on, he started writing for various other publications like the Ananda Bazaar Group, a major publishing house in Kolkata. He continued in it for many years. He also became a friend of the beat poet Allen Ginsberg when he was traveling in India. This poet mentioned him most notedly in one of his poems called September on Jessore Road. Sunil in return mentioned Allen in some of his prose work. He served as Vice President of Sahitya Academy for five years before the members appointed him President on 20th February 2008.
He was also defense witnesses in the famous trial of the Hungry generation movement poet Malay Roy Choudhury along with Jotirmoy Datta, Satrajit Dutta, and Tarun Sanyal. This writer was the author of over 200 books. This writer excelled in many genres but declared poetry to be his first love. He was a prolific writer. His Nikhilesh and Neera series of poems have been extremely popular. He also wrote great stories. His second novel Atmaprakash was published in Desh in 1965. His historical fiction Sei Somoi received the Indian Sahitya Akademi award in 1985. Some of his pen-names include Nil Lohit, Sanatan Pathak, and Nil Upadhyay.
He wrote for children’s fiction as well. Ganguly created the Bengali fictional character Kakababu whose real name is Raja Roy Chowdhury. He was passionate about solving mysteries. In this series, he wrote 36 novels. He was one of the most popular, creative, and celebrated writers of the present era.
Death of Sunil Gangopadhyay
Mr. Gangopadhyay died at 2:05 am on 23rd October 2012 due to a heart attack. He was at his South Kolkata residence during that time. The author had been suffering from prostate cancer and went to Mumbai for treatment. He returned to Kolkata on Mahalaya. His family cremated his body in the Keoratola crematorium with several dignitaries and fans paying their last tributes. On his death, Indian President Pranab Mukherjee said, “Gangopadhyay had enriched Bengali literature through his unique style. He was one of the best intellectuals among his contemporaries. The vacuum created by his death could not be filled.”