(Last Updated on : 02/04/2012)
Godavarish Mishra was a famous Oriya theatre personality. He was born in 1886. Many of his ballads and poems are still read with interest. He belonged to the "Satyabadi School" of thinkers. Led by Pandit Gopabandhu Das, Godavarish with Nilakantha Das, Krupasindhu Mishra, and Harihar Das decided not to accept any government job and dedicated them to the nationalist cause. They established an open-air school in the vakul vana i.e. Mimusops forest of Sakshigopal in Puri district
. This immediately drew nationwide attention. Godavarish, though always busy as a political worker, never forgot to put aside time for literature. While at the school, he wrote two patriotic plays staged by the staff and students. The first, Purushottam Dev in 1917, was based on a historical figure, but the theme of his struggle to occupy the throne and his conflict with his brothers is not supported by history.
Godavarish Mishra, mixing reality with legends and imagination, dramatized Purushottam Dev in modernistic style. He also totally discarded Indian theatrical practice, turning instead to the Western mode of a direct beginning. His second drama, Mukund Dev in 1920 is the tragic story of Orissa
's last independent king. Mishra's project was to describe the patriotism, heroism, dedication, friendliness, and kindness of Oriyas as a race, which he depicted in all his works. He protested against social injustice and superstitions, and earnestly tried to involve the common man in Oriya theatre and introduce modern techniques. Apart from natural dialogue, he successfully put forth internal conflict alongside external conflict for plot development. Godavarish Mishra died in 1956.
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