By Nityananda Mahapatra
Gharadiha deals with a period of about 20 years, from 1942 to 1961, that is beginning from the time of Quit India Movement to the Chinese aggression. The novel seeks to give an account of the changes during that period which disrupted the traditional pattern of village-life, as a result of which not only did the human character change but also the basic values of the village were sought to be redefined, leading to the threat of disintegration of village-life. The hero, a common villager who left the village twenty years ago in search of employment, returns to find everything changed – his land gone, his wife gone – himself a destitute and a victim of exploitation, and is forced to undergo almost an ordeal of fire. It received the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1987.
About the Author
Nityananda Mahapatra (1912 –2012) was an Indian Odia politician, poet and journalist. He was imprisoned three times by the British Raj between 1930 and 1942 for nationalist activities. He came to literary prominence as editor of the Odia magazine Dagara, and as a short story writer after independence. In his political career, Mahapatra served as a member of the Odisha Legislative Assembly from 1957 to 1971 and as State Minister of Supply and Cultural Affairs from 1967 to 1971.