(Last Updated on : 03/07/2019)
The contemporary version of the revolutionaries like Pankaj Mallick
and Kavi Nazrul Islam
, Birendra Krishna Bhadra was a radio
broadcaster, playwright, actor, narrator and theatre
In the 1930s, when the All India Radio
was established and used to be Indias national radio broadcaster, Birendra Krishna Bhadra worked there for several years. His rendition of the Mahishashura Mardini
(1931) with his immaculate Sanskrit
recitation that airs in the dawn of Mahalaya
to this day after almost 8 decades is a true testament to his talent.
Early Life of Birendra Krishna Bhadra
Born in British India
on 4th August, 1905, Birendra Krishna Bhadra was the son of Roy Bahadur Kalikrishna and Sarala Bala Devi, who also had another son named Bhupendra Krishna Bhadra. The family used to stay in a rented house in Ahiritola in north Kolkata
but later shifted to Yogo Maya Devis house in 7, Ramdan Mitra Lane, it used to be Birendras grandmothers house.
Fluent in 14 languages, Birendras father was a linguist and was employed as an interpreter in a lower court and later became a known figure in the Bengali
literary circles. In 1927, he was awarded the title of Roy Bahadur. Birendra Krishna was also academically inclined and by 1926 he had passed his Intermediate and by 1928, he had graduated from Scottish Church College
Career of Birendra Krishna Bhadra
During his time in the All India Radio, Birendra Krishna Bhadra had produced and adapted several plays and classics to produce as notable radio plays. In 1931, the Kolkata All India Radio started to broadcast a 2 hour long program called the Mahishashura Mardini, which described the epic battle between Goddess Durga
and the demon
. The script of the program was written by Bani Kumar and the music was directed by Pankaj Mallik. The rich baritone of Birendra Krishna Bhadra brought the play to life and even to this day, it is played by All India Radio every Mahalaya, ushering the Durga Puja festivities.
Some of the other works of Birendra Krishna Bhadra included plays in Bengali theatre
like the Mess No. 49, Blackout, Sat Tulsi
(1940) and Sahib Bibi Gulam
, which was a stage adaptation of the celebrated novel of Bimal Mitra. In 1952, he dramatised Subarna Golak
written by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay
, which was also later filmed in 1981. Birendra Krishna has also written screenplay for the Bengali film Nishiddha Phal
(1955). His other works include:
Bisvarupa- Darsana, 1963
Rana- Berana, 1965
Bratakatha Samagra, 1985
Srimadbhagabata: Sampurna Dvadasa Skandha, with Upendracandra Sastri, 1990
Legacy of Birendra Krishna Bhadra
Birendra Krishna Bhadras version of the Mahishashura Mardini releases the spirit of celebration and festivities among the Bengalis and the show itself is associated with his voice. In 1975, when the voice of noted Bengali actor, Uttam Kumar
was employed for the programme, it did not get a favourable response from the audience and it was shifted back to the original version of Birendra Krishna Bhadra.
In the 2019 Soumik Sens Bengali language movie Mahalaya
, highlighted this 1975 fiasco, where actor Jisshu Sengupta
portrayed the role of Uttam Kumar and Birendra Krishna Bhadra was portrayed by Subhasish Mukherjee.