DR.AKHAYA KUMAR MISHRA
LECTURER IN HISTORY
Prananath was one of those remarkable men in Odisha who fought for freedom. He was not only a blind fighter but also a far sighted one. His patriotism was fierce like fire, crystal clear like water and bold like heavy wind. He was also a socialist who dedicated his whole life for the poor and common people .Born in a lower middle class family of Dimiri, a small village near Kanasa under Sakhigopal Police Station in Puri district1 on 16, November, 1905Prananath was the youngest child of his father Madanmohan Pattnaik who was a popular man in the area2. Prananath started his education with the village Abadhana and then joined Kanasa Primary School. The school was some 2 miles away from his village. He was provided only one paisa daily as pocket money. But that was the time when the prices were as low as l6 seers of rice per rupee. After passing’ Minor from Kanasa Primary School, Prananath was admitted in PuriZilla School in class VII (A). In 1920 due to Non-cooperation movement the students of Zilla School boycotted ‘the School. Prananath had to return to his village. But soon joined school due to the pressure of his elder brothers.
After passing Matriculation in 1926 Prananath joined Ravenshaw College as a science student. By that time his vision had widened and he had already learnt the rudiments of Nationalism. He went through the speeches of S.N. Banarjee, Lajpat Rai, Tilak, Bipin Chandra Pal and Gandhiji. These political books of the age inspired him to be a freedom fighter. In western Hostel of Ravenshaw College, Prananath came in contact with some of the stalwarts of Modern Orissa4 They were Jagatbandhu Mahapatra, Prominent lawyer and Minister late Dinabandhu Sahu, retired RDC and educationist Ratnakar Sarangi, eminent economist and educationist Dr. Sadasiv Mishra, Late Lingaraj Das, Dr. Raaghunath Sahu , Dr . Mahendra Chandra Mishra etc. Bhagabati Panigrahi was also in the same Hostel. As Ravenshaw was the only premier educational institution in Orissa, it was natural on part of Prananath to have such friends.