August Na (The Ninth of August) derives its vitality from a critical moment in history confronting individuals with the painful choice between intense suffering, even death on the one hand, and the rewards of moral compromise on the other. The play charts the journey of the central character from skepticism to martyrdom and celebrates the heroic idealism of the young pitted against the forces of oppression everywhere and in all ages.
MANORANIAN DAS's (b. 1921) career as a playwright began in the 1940s. Till date, he has written about fifty plays, full-length as well as short ones. His early plays, which include Jauban (Youth: staged 1944, published 1948), August Na (The Ninth of August: st. 1947, pb. 1948), Buxi Jagabandhu (st. 1949, pb. 1951), Agami (The Oncoming: st. 1950, pb. 1952) and Abarodh (The Siege: st. 1953, pb. 1955), reflect urgent social concerns. His later plays focus on the futility and absurdity of human existence. These include Banahansi (The Wild Swan: st. 1968, pb. 1969), Aranya Fasal (The Wild Harvest: st. 1969, pb. 1970), Klanta Prajapati (The Tired Butterfly: st. and pp. 1980), and Bitarkita Aparahna (The Controversial Afternoon: st. 1980, pb. 1981).
Das has received several awards and honours including the Sahitya Akademi Award (1971), the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1981) and the Sarala Award (1989). He was Emeritus Fellow, Deparment of Culture, Government of India, from 1994 to 1996.
Arun Kumar Mohanty teaches English at Dhekanal College, Orissa. His English translation of Gopinath Mohanty's novel Dadi Budha (The Ancestor) has been published by Sahitya Akademi.
Jatindra Kumar Nayak teaches English at Utkal University, Bhubaneswar. He has won the KATHA Translation Award, 1997.
In the 1940s the Indian struggle for independence reached a turning point. The failure of the Cripps Mission had left the country angry and bitter. The Congress Working Committee, which met in Wardha in July 1942 to decide on a course of action, called upon Britain to quit India and transfer power to the Indians. The historic session of the All India Congress Committee held at Bombay on 7-8 August 1942 endorsed the decision of the Working Committee by passing the 'Quit India' resolution. In the early hours of 9th August, Gandhi and all the members of the CWC were arrested; they were hustled away from Bombay to different destinations. The news of the resolution and the subsequent arrest of the leaders led to spontaneous protests all over the country. There were strikes in schools, colleges and factories. Police stations, district and sub-divisional offices, post offices and railway stations, symbols of British authority, were attacked, wrecked, or set on fire. Telegraph and railway services were disrupted. As most of the leaders were in jail and a few who had escaped arrest had gone underground, individuals and groups now acted on their own.
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Children’s Books (474)
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