Bhattacharya, Bidhayak

Bhattacharya, Bidhayak (1907-1986) playwright, litterateur and journalist, was born on 7 February 1907 at Ziaganj in Murshidabad district, west bengal. Although his given name was Bagalaranjan, he was better known as 'Bidhayak', a name given him by rabindranath tagore. His pen-names were 'Yashodhar Misra' and 'Manas Das'. He passed the Entrance examination in 1928 from Edward Coronation High Institution (now Raja Vijoy Singh Vidyamandir) and served as a journalist at Amrita Bazar Patrika and Yugantar. Later he was editor of Rupayan, Mancharupa and Chhabiwala. He also taught briefly at santiniketan.

Bidhayak Bhattacharya wrote short stories, novels and plays, but he was more famous as a playwright, writing over 25 plays. His plays are mainly on social and domestic themes. Meghmukti was first staged in 1938 at rangmahal theatre in Calcutta and proved immediately popular. His other plays also gained a high level of popularity, among them Matir Ghar (1939), Bish Bachhar Age (1940), Rakter Dak (1941), Tumi o Ami (1941), Chirantani (1942), Rajpath (1949), Khabar Balchhi (1950), Ksudha (1956), Anthony Kaviyal (1966), Nati Vinodini (1969), Khelaghar, Tahar Namti Ranjana, Ujan Yatra, and Kanna Hasir Pala. He also dramatised several of sharat chandra chattopadhyay's novels, such as Baikunther Will (1944), Bipradas etc. Fateh Lohani based the motion picture Akash Ar Mati (1959) on one of his stories. Bidhayak Bhattacharya's novels include Chaka Ghurchhe, Brddha Bidhata, Ratri Yader Din etc.

Bidhayak Bhattacharya received many honours for his contributions to literature and journalism, among them 'Madhusanglapi' from Bhatpara and 'Sahitya Mahasnatak' from Nikhil Bharat Banga Sahitya Sammelan (1961). He also received 'Sudhangshubala Puraskar' (1967) from the university of calcutta and 'Shatabarsiki Puraskar' on the centenary of Bangla theatre. He died on 15 November 1986. [Anupam Hayat]