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De, Brajendra Kumar


De, Brajendra Kumar (1907-1976) writer of Jatrapala (a traditional form of folk theatre in Bengal), was born in the village of Ganganagar in shariatpur on 1 February 1907. His father was Horkishore De and mother Khiroda Sundari. After passing matriculation, he chose teaching as his career. Mukunda Das (1878-1934) first introduced indigenous Jatrapala (texts for Jatra). Brajendra Kumar De enriched his legacy by adding literary and artistic style.

He became attracted to jatrapala during his student life and did an adaptation of Bankim Chandra's Chandrasekhar. His first Jatrapala Swarnalabkar was published in 1925. He also made many experiments on jatrapala. Previously, the dialogue of the on-stage jatrapala used to be long and full of speeches, while the dialogue of the plot of a drama was light and humorous. Because of weird characters, that seemed improbable. Brajendra Kumar De reformed this customary, conventional trend. He brought variety and novelty in the texts of jatrapala. He earned huge expertise in composing dramas based on myths and history. In order to satisfy the demand of the contemporary time, he presented some of the characters in symbolic terms. Thus he created social, revolutionary, realistic and imaginary dramas. And he was the forerunner in creating these kinds of dramas.

Brajendra Kumar De wrote 152 Jatrapalas, and for his excellence in composing Jatrapalas he was offered the title of safol palakar (the successful dramatist) by the Nikhil Bharat Banga Sahitya Sammelan (All India Bangla Literature Conference) in 1973. In 1976, the periodical Obhinoy gave him the title of loknatya guru (the guru of folk drama). To the general public, he came to be known as the palasomrat (the king of drama). He died on 12 March in 1976. [Muhammad Saiful Islam]