Chakravarty, Amiya

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Amiya Chakravarty

Chakravarty, Amiya (1901-1986) poet, researcher, scholar. Born in Xerampur, Hughli district of West Bengal in 1901, Amiya Chakravarty completed his BA in 1921 from St Columbus College at Hazaribagh and MA in 1926 from Patna University. His father Dwijesh Chandra Chakravarty was the diwan of Gauripur Estate in Assam. Amiya's full name is Amiya Chandra Chakravarty, but he became known in the literary world as Amiya Chakravarty. His mother Anindita Devi was a famous feminist writer.'

After completing his BA (1921) from St Columbus College (run by Irish missionaries) at Hazaribagh and MA (1926) from Patna University, Amiya Chakravarty started working as the literary-secretary of rabindranath tagore. In 1933, he enrolled himself at Patna University as a research scholar and earned D.Phil degree (1937) from that University. He taught English literature in calcutta university from 1940 to 1948.  From 1948 to 1967, Amiya Chakravarty taught at various universities of the world such as Howard University, Yale University, Kansas University, Boston University, Smith College, New York University. He mainly taught there Indian religion and comparative literature. He lived in America from 1948 to 1977 and got acquainted with many literary celebrities.  

He traveled many European countries including Germany, Russia, Denmark, Russia and America. He also traveled in many Asian countries including Persia, Africa, South America, Japan and Korea. As a result he could understand the Asian culture from the closest range. In his poems he portrayed classical topics like mystic and theological aspects of those places he visited.

Though Amiya Chakravarty came in close contact with rabindranath tagore, but he could well keep himself free from Tagore's influences in his literary works. His poems bear universal thought and that was his distinction as a poet.

Amiya Chakravarty's poems and other writings were regularly published in Kallol, Probashi, Bichitra and other periodicals. His literary works include: Kabitabali (1925), Upohar (1927), Khasore (1938), Ek Mutho (1939), Matir Deyal (1942), Avigyan Basonta (1943), Parapar (1953), Palabadol (1955), Ghare Ferar Din (1961), Harano Orchid (1966), Pushpito Image (1967), Amarabati (1972), Anishesh (1976), Natun Kabita (1987), Sampratik (1963). He also wrote several books in English.

Amiya Chakravarty earned great honour in his lifetime at home and abroad. For his efforts to establish peace, he obtained Albert Schweitzer Medal (1961) and Watumull Foundation Award (1967). He was an invited guest at the world peace conference in Geneva. For literature, he obtained unesco award and Academy award (1960), and a DLit from Rabindra Bharati University. visva-bharati university honoured him with the title of Deshikottom (1963). In 1970, the Indian government honoured him with Padma Bhushan (1970). Amiya Chakravarty died in shantiniketan on 12 June 1986. [Sawkat Hossain]