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Nabakrushna Choudhuri

(1901 – 1984) – (Odisha)

Nabakrushna Choudhuri (Aged 83) also called as Nabababu, was born on November 23, 1901, at Khersa, Jagatsinghpur, Odisha, India. His father belonged to a zamindar family and was an accomplished advocate. Nabakrushna studied at Pyari Mohan Academy in Cuttack. He completed his studies and took the Matriculation Examination at the age of 15 but had to wait for a year due to age restrictions.

In 1930, Mahatma Gandhi started the Salt Satyagraha, and Inchudi in Odisha was the epicenter of the movement in Odia-speaking regions. Srijang was equally active in another area – the movement against payment of tax for Chowkidari. Nabababu was the frontline leader in this movement, for which he was jailed for four months.

On April 1, 1936, Odisha became a separate linguistic province, and in 1937, elections were held for the first time for the Odisha Provincial Legislative Assembly. Nabababu stood for election against Rai Bahadur Chintamani Acharya from the Tirtal-Ersama constituency. He won the election with an overwhelming majority, marking his entry into active politics.

In 1938, he was again imprisoned for his involvement in the Praja Mandal Movement. One of the turning points of the Praja Mandal Movement was the sacrifice of 12-year-old Baji Raut along with Hurushi, Nata, Raghu, Guri, and Lakshman, who succumbed to the bullets of Dhenkanal forces.

On January 26, 1944, some young prisoners hoisted the National Flag. The Jail and Police personnel tried their best to bring down the Flag, but it was a futile effort. When the District Executive gave firing orders, Nabababu appeared at the scene and stood still facing the gun. The British officer was afraid of him and withdrew the firing orders. By the end of 1945, Nabababu was released from Berhampur Jail. He passed away on June 24, 1984.