Born on 15th August 1926, Sukanta Bhattacharya was Bengali poet and playwright of the 20th century. His poems and literary works are of rebel nature signifying patriotism, humanism and a fighter instinct and on the contrary romanticism as well. His poems were widely circulated during his time.
Born to Nibaran Chandra Bhattacharya (owner of Saraswat Library) and Suniti Devi, Sukanta was the second among their seven siblings. Sukanta Bhattacharya was born at his maternal grandmother’s house at Kalighat. Sukanta spent most of the time of his childhood at their house at Nibedita Lane, Bagbazar in Calcutta. Sukanta studied at Beleghat Deshbandhu High School and had studied at Kamala Vidyamandir prior to that. In 1944, he joined the Communist Pary of India. In 1945, he appeared for the entrance examination from Beleghata Deshbandhu High School but failed. He was a close friend of the great poet Subhas Mukhopadhyay.
Works and Contribution:
In 1944, Bhattacharya edited an anthology named Akal (Famine) which was published and appreciated by the Anti Fascist Writer’s and Artist’s Association. He was the editor of the Kishore Sabha, Dainik Swadhinata since its very beginning from the year 1946. Some of the prestigious works of Sukanta Bhattacharya are Chharpatra (Certificate), Purbabhas (Premonition), Abhijan (Expedition), Ghhum Nei (Sleepless), Mithe Kada (Sweet and Sour), Geetiguchha (Songs). His works are deeply influenced by the communist principles, agenda and experience.
Sukanta Bhattacharya’s poetry was published while he was alive and made him a poet of great caliber, creativity and will power. Once in of his poems he wrote “Poetry, we do not need you anymore. A world devastated by hunger is too prosaic, The full moon now reminds us of toasted bread” – which was then the actual reality of a nation so suppressed economically and by the British Raj as well.
Sukanta Bhattacharya died at an early age of 20 in the year 1947. He died of Tuberculosis at the Jadavpur T.B. Hospital in Calcutta. An account of the poet’s life can be found in “Kabi Sukanta Bhattacharya O Shei Samay” written by the poet’s youngest brother Amiya Bhattacharya.