A great social reformer who fought for the upliftment of the downtrodden, Dr Radhanath Rath (1896-1998) was born in Orissa
. After passing matriculation from the Ravenshaw Collegiate School in 1917, he joined the forest department as a clerk. He left the job in 1919 and became the manager and assistant editor of the ‘Samaj,’ a newspaper. He took an active part in the freedom struggle and was imprisoned in 1942 for taking part in the Quit India movement.
A powerful writer and speaker, Dr Radhanath Rath was acclaimed for his administrative abilities. He was the Finance and Education Minister in the Nabakrishna Choudhury Government from 1952 to 1959. He also served as the minister of development and forest department from 1959-61. He withdrew from active politics in 1961 and returned as the editor of ‘Samaj’. He spent the rest of his life at ‘Samaj’ and was instrumental in making it the most circulated daily in Orissa.
Dr Radhanath Rath was a distinguished writer and poet who made valuable contributions towards Oriya literature and culture. He had authored many poems, stories and biographies. ‘Mo Jel Smruti Lipi’ is one of his famous works. He was awarded Orissa Sahitya Academy Award in 1967 and was honored with
Padmabhushan in 1968. He passed away in 1998.