Chandidas (c 14th century) poet. There were at least four poets with the same name: Baru Chandidas, Dwija Chandidas, Dina Chandidas, and Chandidas. It is not clear whether these different names found in the bhanita (autobiographical lines in poetry mentioning the name of the poet) refer to different individuals or to the same person. Only Baru Chandidas has been more or less identified definitely. But many questions still remain unresolved about the 'Chandidas' puzzle.
It is believed that Baru Chandidas was born in the village of Nanur in Birbhum district. His father Durgadas Bagchi, was a Varendra Brahmin. Chandidas, who was a priest in the temple of the goddess Bashuli (Bishalaksi), fell in love with a washerwoman named Rami and was excommunicated for the conduct.
Baru Chandidas is known mainly as the writer of the lyrical srikrishnakirtan, which was discovered by Basantarabjan Vidvadvallabh at Bankura. Basantaranjan, who published the manuscript in 1916, believed that Chandidas was born in 1339 and died in 1399. However, other scholars, suggest somewhat an earlier date.
The poems ascribed to Chandidas have been popular in Bengal through the centuries. The first humanist poet in Bangla, Chandidas believed that 'sabar upare manus satya tahar upare nai' (Man is the truth and there is none above him). More than one thousand verses bear the name Chandidas.
A school and a hospital have been established at Nanur village in Birbhum as a memorial to Chandidas. Many people visit the village to pay homage to the poet. [Samaresh Devnath]