Nilakantha Das (1884-1969) was a politician, freedom fighter, social reformer and revolutionary leader of Orissa
. He was also a writer, editor and orator of great repute.
Born in Puri, Nilakantha Das secured Masters in Philosophy from the Calcutta University. He refused a lucrative job under the British government and instead chose a humble job of a school headmaster. He inspired the youth to fight against the social evils. His oratory skill was seen in the powerful speeches he delivered when he served as a parliamentarian in the Central Legislative Assembly and Orissa Legislative Assembly.
Nilakantha Das’s major contribution to
Oriya literature were the poetry works titled ‘Konarke' and ‘Mayadevi'. He is also known for his translations, noted among them are the ‘Dasa Naik’ and ‘Pranayini’, which are adaptations of the poems of Lord Tennyson. He received the Sahitya Academy Award for his autobiography titled ‘Atma Jivani’. His literary work, ‘Oriya Sahityar Kramaparinam’, is considered a landmark in Oriya literary criticism. He is also known for his commentary on the Bhagavad Gita.