Unsung Heroes | History Corner | Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, Ministry of Culture, Government of India

Unsung Heroes Detail

Unsung Heroes Detail

Kuntala Kumari Sabat

Puri, Odisha

August 05, 2022

Kuntala Kumari Sabat was born on 8 February 1901 at Jagdalpur in Chhattisgarh where her father Daniel was posted as a physician. Daniel was from the Dandamukundapur village of Puri district. Later he moved to Burma as he got a better opportunity there. But because of some family problems Kuntala along with her mother Monica came back to Odisha and studied in Khordha and later in Cuttack. After completing her primary schooling at Ravenshaw girl’s school she pursued her medical education in Cuttack. Thereafter she started her career as a lady physician. But she had also a passion for writing and composed a number of patriotic and revolutionary songs pertaining to the freedom struggle. She was greatly inspired by Gopabandhu Das who ignited a spark in her heart. She not only composed in Odia but also in English, Bengali and Hindi. She had also presided over a meeting of All-India Arya Mahila Sammilani and was also the President of the Students Federation of Aligarh.

She with her poems and writings became the voice of millions of women and youth. Her poem dignified the ideologies of national leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru and she became the major driving force for youths and women to participate in the freedom struggle. As a true disciple of Gandhi, she proclaimed that independence was the birthright of the Indians. She derived a special pride in herself by portraying Gandhi, Nehru, and the charkha in her lucid poems. During the national movement for independence, she gave a wake-up call to the women of Odisha to join it. She also expressed her concern for the downtrodden and socially unprivileged section which also found expression in her writings. She also stood against superstitions and inequality in society. Her poems always revolved around her country and God. Some examples of her patriotic poems are ‘Sphuling’, which reminded the youth to get lessons from the past. Similarly ‘Ahwan’ gave a clarion call to the people to join the National Movement. Such was the fervour for the fight against the British government that it was sold well but was proscribed. ‘GarjatKrishaka’ shows about the longings of liberty etc. She had even chaired one of the sessions of Utkal Sammilani at Balesore on 2nd august 1931. Her poetry not only highlighted the cunningness of the British people but side by side it gave a wake-up call for joining the freedom struggle in Odisha by healing up the bonded psyche of the people. She died at the early age of 37 in 1938. Though she directly did not participate in the freedom struggle her poetries reflect how she was involved in this struggle.