Printed on Thu Oct 06 2022 1:31:16 AM

Kangal Harinath Majumder, a pioneer of rural journalism

Ranjak Rizvy, Author
Kangal Harinath
Kangal Harinath Majumder, the pioneer of rural journalism. He is one of the nineteenth century time-honored saints, journalists, writers and one of the leaders of women's awakening.

At that time he stood against the English oppressors, the indigo planters, zamindars, police and exploiters. His Grambarta Prakashika soon became a tool for the disenfranchised to protect rural interests. The role of the magazine for the welfare of the peasant-weaver-raiyat-tenant and working people is still exemplified in this Bengali. This mouthpiece that blends in with ideal journalism and the villagers is now just history.

Kangal Harinath and his magazine were uncompromising against oppression and tyranny. He pledged to develop fearless journalism by writing against bigotry, superstition and social evils.

In this series, on the first Baishakh of 1270, the monthly Grambarta Prakashika was first published by hand from a secluded village in the ancient town of Kumarkhali. Ignoring thousands of obstacles, he published this magazine for almost a decade. Monthly to fortnightly and later in 1863 it is published in a week from Girish Chandra Vidyaratna Press in Calcutta. In 1873, Harinath Majumdar set up MN Press at Kumarkhali with the financial support of Mathuranath Maitra, father of his friend Akshay Kumar Maitra, and continued publishing Grambarta from there. This famous saint was born at Kundupara in Kumarkhali town of Kushtia (then Nadia in Pabna district) on 5 Shravan 1240 (English 1833). His father's name is Haldhar Majumdar and mother's name is Kamalini Devi. He was the only child of his parents. Kangal Harinath's father and mother were separated at the time of his childhood.

After that, Kangal Harinath grew up in an atmosphere of poverty. During his 63 years of life, he was involved in various social movements and activities including journalism and spiritual pursuits. This well-known Bengali saint died on 5 Baishakh 1303 (April 16, 1896) in Kundupara. He was with three sons, a daughter and a wife. His wife's name Swarnamoyee. The memory of Kangal Harinath, the only recourse for rural journalism and the happiness and sorrows of the poor peasants and common people, is now lost. But he was a life-long devotee and a bright man.

Kangal Harinath himself used to travel around the village to collect news and hand over a strong magazine to the readers. In 1872, this brave soldier took a stand on behalf of the miserable people. Since then, Kala has been protesting against the law through newspapers. Although he lived in the village, in 1863 he created an uproar by writing an article against Mr. Nilkar and the twin Sankor Tagore zamindar of Shilaidaha. That is why Thakur Zamindar sent a hired baton to kill this nineteenth century intellectual. But Baul devotee Lalon Fakir with his team took up position in Kangal Kuthi to protect Pallibandhu Kangal. In the face of intense resistance, the zamindar lathels returned. He was saved because of Kangal's contact with Lalon Fakir.

Kangal Harinath has always been vocal against oppression. In addition, he formed a group of writers around Grambarta Prakashika. As a result, historian Akshay Kumar Maitreya, well-known writer Roy Bahadur Jaldhar Sen, Dinendra Kumar Roy, Mir Mosharraf Hossain, Shivchandra Vidyanarb and other writers have been created through this magazine. Besides, the island of knowledge that he ignited by setting up a literary hangout one and a half hundred years ago was a unique example. At that time Mir Mosharraf Hossain, Akshay Kumar Maitra and Baul emperor Lalon Fakir used to spend regular time in that chat. It has been said about the role of Ishwar Gupta and Kangal Harinath in Bengali literature that the poet Ishwar Gupta has a conservative attitude at the crossroads of ancient and modern times even though he lives in a larger society of capital Kolkata.

But Kangal Harinath, living in a small town like Kumarkhali in Kushtia, has shown a much more modern, liberal, fearless and rational attitude. But due to lack of proper evaluation and publicity, he remained as a composer of Baul songs in Kangal Vanita. In fact, he was not a Baulsadhak. He was a pious man with a generous heart and a writer. For this reason, some people considered him a follower of Brahma Dharma.

Grambarta Prakashika was the ideal magazine for fearless journalism. Mr. Humphrey Kangal, the then District Magistrate of Pabna, wrote in a letter to Harinath Majumder: "Editor, I am not afraid of you, but I have been forced to give up many evil deeds for your writing." The reason behind this statement was that the cow of a sad mother was very tempting. The then district magistrate liked the cow. The cow was later snatched at his behest. Later, journalist Kangal Harinath came to know about this incident. He published the news in Grambarta Prakashika under the headline Garuchoor Magistrate. Seeing the news, the magistrate became very angry and rushed to Harinath's press. At that time, Harinath was meditating in the Kali Mandir in the middle of the forest known as Jharepul in the village of Batikamara, northeast of Kumarkhali town. The magistrate rode there on horseback with a whip. Kangal saw Harinath in a meditative state and after standing for a while, called out several times. He is said to have whipped her for not responding. However, the magistrate was shocked and went back as he did not touch the whip on Kangal's back even once. It is also heard that the magistrate later apologized for his misconduct. This fact is still widely propagated among the traditional ideologues.

Kangal Harinath lost his parents in childhood and was able to learn a little in extreme poverty. Even though he was born in a well-to-do family, he had to face life struggles at a young age. At the beginning of his career he took a job in a cloth shop in Kumarkhali Bazar with a salary of two paise. During the day he used to do the customer's tobacco-dressing, tidying up and in the evening he used to write the book of the shop. After a while, he wrote books on the moneylender's mattress, worked as an apprentice in the head office of 51 factories in Kumarkhali's Nilkuthi and later worked as a teacher. Unable to bear the various atrocities, he could not do any job for more than a few days. Then Ishwar Chandra Gupta started writing the news of the oppression of the English zamindars as a local correspondent in Prabhakar. In 1851, Harinath published his first novel, Granthabijaya Basanta. On 13 January 1854 he established a Bengali school at Kumarkhali. Here he worked as an unpaid teacher and taught according to the English teaching method. As the reputation of the school spread in a short time, the number of students gradually increased. The school then received a government grant. Kangal Harinath's salary as head teacher was fixed at 20 taka. However, he himself took a salary of fifteen taka to increase the salary of lower class teachers. Later she established a girls' school at her home Chandimandapagriha in Kumarkhali in 1860 to educate girls. When the conservative Hindu society was against women's progress and women's education, when Ishwar Gupta, Harinath's guru of literature and journalism, was also against it, Harinath took vows on women's education in the village of Kumarkhali. That school is now established as a famous girls school in Kumarkhali.

Kangal Harinath has composed numerous Baul songs under the influence of Lalon. He is very selfish as a Baul songwriter. However, Lalon Fakir once said after listening to his Baul song, it has become less salty. From then on, he became more conscious and continued composing songs and formed a choir called Fikirchand. There are rumors that many people at that time were seen shedding tears of emotion after listening to the songs composed by Kangal. In this regard, Sukumar Sen said, Baul songs were created by Kangal Harinath before Rabindranath. Many of his Baul songs still resonate in the voices of Baul artists in the village. He composed Baul songs without being a Baul himself. However, Lalon Sai's strong influence helped Kangal to compose Baul songs. Lalon Sai has visited the poor hut in Kumarkhali many times.

Kangal also came to Lalon Shah's Akhrabari in Chheuria village. Well-known researcher Dr. Abul Ahsan Chowdhury has published the evidence along with the documents. He has given details about this in his book Biography of Kangal Harinath and In Search of Lalon Sai. He mentions in his biography that Harinath created a clan of Baulgan. Kangal Harinath's Baulang songs are in the thousands. Many people at that time used to say Harinath Devta after listening to his songs. He formed the Baulgan group of Fikirchand Fakir in Bangla 1287. Lalon Fakir used to come to Kangal Kutir to listen to the songs of this group and sing himself. This has led to the widespread spread of the Fikirchand group and people from different walks of life used to come to listen to this Baulgan.

Kangal Harinath and Baul emperor Lalon Fakir, the epitome of human compassion, generosity and non-sectarianism. Harinath is especially discussed as a devoted journalist. A very ordinary poor man like him has done public service and literary pursuit by publishing magazines so fearlessly - it is rarely seen alone. However, as a sign of his closeness with Lalon Fakir, special influence can be noticed in composing sadhan and baul songs. The triangular shape of Rabindrasamudra on one side, Kangal Harinath, Lalon Fakir and Mir Musharraf on the other side is analyzed as a wave of literary pursuit and exchange. The current of creation has also flowed in intensity. Which recognizes this special position in the literature of the two Bengals.

Kangal Harinath was a devotee of pure-art inspired literature. At the same time he has left several successors. Their writings and the writings of Kangal still have a special status in Bengali literature. However, various aspects of Kangal's creation, practice and philosophy still remain undiscovered. What was the real religion of Kangal or whether he was a Brahmo Samaj. Even this simple matter could not be rescued. However, it is known that he had a close relationship with the Brahmo Samaj. Some people think that Harinath surrendered himself according to Hindu society in his first life and in the last life. His writings also prove that Kangal had an intimate relationship with the Brahma-preacher Vijayakrishna Goswami. However, although there is no clear evidence of this, in his last life he became engrossed in religious consciousness and materialism. The educational life of this Tantric devotee was very limited. Indifferent to learning from Guru Mashai, Kangal Harinath used to learn from nature. His childhood is spent in unbridled arrogance. Later, when an English school was established in Kumarkhali, it was closed financially after admission there. However, he was very good at Bangla lessons. The relatives were focused on teaching. But in the end it was no longer possible. His life has always been important. This devotee has gone through every moment of life through struggle. However, his Grambarta Prakashika was a symbol of the hopes and aspirations of the rural people. This magazine was most favored by the peasant-tenant-raiyat-worker and middle class people. Besides, Kangal Harinath was the only refuge of helpless people. He was also a pioneer in the development of industry and trade in the country. This great personality crossed many inaccessible paths of a struggling life and passed away at his home in Kundupara village of Kumarkhali town on 5 Baishakh (April 17, 1897). He died at the age of 63, leaving behind three sons, a daughter and a wife, Swarnamoyee. In the nineteenth century, Kushtia was second to none. The light of knowledge that Kangal Harinath lit one day in Kumarkhali was extinguished after his death.

Kangal Harinath Majumdar was not just a successful journalist. He has also written poems, novels and textbooks for children. He has also written plays and various essays. It is known from the writings of various researchers that Harinath Majumdar has written 40 books. Of these, only a few books have been published. Most are unpublished. Among his books, Vijay Basant is a successful novel. Many people think that this novel is the first novel written in Bengali language. And its father is Kangal Harinath Majumdar. The novel Dulal in Tekchand Tagore's Alal's house is also considered to be the first in Bengali.

In this regard, Shivnath Shastri, Ramtanu Lahiri wrote about Kangal Harinath in the book Banga Samaj - Dulal Bangla's first novel by Vijay Basanta and Tek Chand Tagore's Alal's house written by Harinath Majumdar of Kumarkhali. At that time Vijay-Basanta was widely appreciated by the readers. Among the literary qualities of Kangal Harinath, various activities can be found. It is worth mentioning that he was the first to write a book on Lalon Fakir's songs and published Baul songs in Grambarta Prakashika. His books include Vijay Basanta (Novel 1869), Padyapundarik (1862), Twelfth Child Description, Charucharitra (1863), Kavitakaumudi (1866), Vijaya (1869), Kavikalpa (1870), Akrusangbad (Gitavinay 1673). 1674), Chittachapala (1873), Eklavya's perseverance, Bhabochchhas (drama), Kangal Fikirchand Fakir's Gitabali (1887 and 1893), Brahmandveda (Dharma and Sadhanatattva I to 6th volume), Krishnakali-Leela (1892) ), Agamani (religious music), Parmarth-Gatha (religious music), Matru-Mahima (History of Sadhanatattva 1897), Kangal Fikirchand Fakir's Baul Sangeet, Kangsabadha, Prabhasmilan, Nandavidaya, Pashanoddhar, Ramlila, Sabi ), Jatil-Kishore (Drama), Shumbha-Nishumbha Badha, Ashoka, Manuj (Poetry), Bharatoddhar (Essay), Seva O Sevaparadha (Essay), Thandidir Baitak (Story Essay), Part III Children's Education Fundraising (Children's Text), Satnam (name-chanting), Anandamayi mother's arrival Ananda-utsav (theory music), autobiography and Harinath books. He also has several unpublished works. However, in some cases he has also published in Grambarta Prakashika and Sangbad Prabhakar under pseudonyms.

Kangal Harinath was a truthful, courageous writer and a poor friend of the country. At one stage of the publication of this well-literary magazine, he focused on Tantrasadhana. He has been meditating regularly in the solitude covered by the jungle. His seat was under a willow tree in the village of Batikamara at the end of Durgapur in the north-east corner of Kumarkhali town. The place is known as Sadhanpeeth Durgabari. But now everyone knows it as Kali Mandir. Once upon a time, there was no public access to this jungle-covered storm fort. There was a foot path. And there were tigers and wild animals in that area. Durgapur High School is a short distance north from Kumarkhali bus stand. The road to Hasimpur-Mahendrapur village is on the right side of this. This area was once known as Jharepul. You will see a small bridge on the road. On the right side of this is a Kalimandir under a big pankar (ashot) tree. This is basically the sadhanpith Durgabari. Where Tantrasadhana has been going on for a long time. There is Gazi's Dargah and Daha (water body) on the left side of the road. Gazi's dargah is a little higher along the road. There was a beech tree on the right side of the road in front of it. Which is coming from ancient thought as the seat of Goddess Durga. No one knows when the sadhanatirtha was formed here due to the harmony of people of two religions. But everyone thinks how people came here. Because the area was a forested environment. There was so much jungle - no one would go to that area during the day. Currently the bilb tree does not exist. However, there are various words in the mouths of people and people of all faiths can be noticed to have a special weakness towards the two seats. Even some time ago, all these believing people used to swear allegiance. Banana, milk, chicken and other items were given in those two seats. However, the shrine of Ghazi is neglected and unprotected even though it has been taken care of due to the worship of Kali Mandir lately. But at one time both places were very crowded. Kangal Harinath has described these two places of pilgrimage in Matru-Mahima. There he mentions Ñ "This Durgabari is not in his own Kumarkhali, but in the village of Batikamara, northeast of the market. On the south side of the highway is a long-lived bilb tree. At the root of this tree is the appearance of the full-fledged Brahma-goddess Durga.

He gave the full description of this instrument. From there it is known that an employee of Birahimpur Pargana donated 5 kathas of land to Durgbari. Apart from Kangal Harinath Majumdar, he has been subjected to various persecutions here - local young Pramanik, Vaimik Upadhyakari, Chakraborty, Bagchi, Radha-Madan Mohanjiur Sebayit, Krishnachandra Chakraborty's ancestor Mohantdev Chakraborty, Chandal priest Haridhan Chakraborty, Kuridhav, Kurdish Goswami Sonabandhu, Nimananda Bhattacharya and many more. Devout monks used to live here by eating wild fruits. At that time there was no water except Gaur river (Gorai river). It is believed that this is the reason why there was no settlement in Jharepul area. It is known that the seat of Goddess Durga was created before the creation of Gazi Dargah. But no one can say for sure. According to Matrumahima Sutras, after attaining Siddhi in Bilbamul, a fakir set up Gazi's Dargah in Durgabari. At that time the water was in Kuthirdighi and Gauri rivers. However, in the pursuit of that fakir, a Daha (reservoir) was created overnight north of the Dargah. Which is known as Gazi's Daha. Due to this incident, the importance of Gazi's Dargah also increased. Then a naked fakir named Karim Shah Fakir came here. He has been immersed here. Rumor has it that he never crossed the river in a boat. He could be seen here and there on his own. Suddenly he disappeared one day. Then came Mohammad Shah Fakir. He matured the dargah a bit. Then came Nabu Fakir. He is local. He was not a devotee.

However, his wife and mother were devotees of Ghazi and Durga Devi. At that time a young man from Bara-Lia village used to come to Pawan Durgabari area to ride cows. One day the tiger chased him. He ran to Ghazi Dargah and was rescued. Although he did not say that then, Paban Fakir later revealed it. There are many rumors about these two places of pilgrimage. Which Kangal Harinath has also revealed. At the Durgotsab in 1300, he revealed that he had seen all the deities there. After that Kangal Harinath and Faratullah Fakir forbade sacrifices in Durgabari. Even after the sacrifice, the priest died. Sacrifice has already stopped there.

Kangal used to come to Sadhanpith from a very young age. Later, when he rushed to the fort and stood next to the fort and knew that it was the seat of Goddess Durga, he immediately became meditative. Furniture artist and businessman Sheikh Mohammad Selim and housewife Hasina Khatun told about this area, there were three old women's vita in Durgabari area. Their names are Matijan Buri, Umri Buri and others are unknown. The house was on the left side of the road. There was no settlement without these three houses. The only source of water for them was the well. They used to collect water from Matijan's house. The old woman died in 2004 at the age of 125. Listening to his face, playing drums and playing dhoti, some people used to sing along the road at one foot of the pool. Many nights songs could be heard in Kalibari. Kali Puja was performed on Shivaratri according to the date of the month of Falgun. Later, Loknath Puja was also performed on the 19th of the month of Jyastha. But they (Matijans) would not go there for fear. However, the influential Abul Biswas of the area used to hang out with his friends Azahar and Quader Mollah.

Kavigan used to be heard. They didn't think much about it. In the evening they used to hang out at Abul Biswas's house. And Kangal Harinath and others used to reach 200 yards away. Occasionally he would sing with Fikirchand's group. It is believed that the devotees of Durgabari were well acquainted with Azahar's father Ismail. In that house, he used to sit in the chauchala room and arrange for everyone to eat aus paddy. Kangal Harinath's verse (Bani) where you will see ashes / fly away so / you can get it even if you get it / hidden gem. It is also heard that it was recited. There are more verses like this in Kangal Ñ I don't understand, O Tantra Tantra / Argument argument is useless, you are mine, I am yours / I write the Vedas of Kangal In this way, the reality is highlighted in the words of the poor song. Besides- Hari Dinto Gelo Sandhya Holo / Pass me and I am not here / Fix it first / He will see later / There will be nothing to think about, will not happen, in the words of this song he has clarified his statement about crossing and his position. Again, this contemporary issue has also come up in his message Ñ the golden Bengal, the poor of rice / cannot be seen with the naked eye / howls, how many families / not the grass.

Such realities have also come up in the words of Kangal Harinath. The area was bought by the East India Company, Osaldig's insect factory and set up a cloth factory. After that Durgabari and Gazi Dargah were separated due to road construction. At the same time, Zolaras came from different areas and settled in Batikamara village. However, the road was built here to connect the railways with Pabna. The British had planned to take the train from Kumarkhali to Pabna by crossing the Padma. Ismail's grandson Sohrab Uddin alias Chhane, 85, a native of the area, said many experts, including a meme, had come. They were very young then. Mr. Mem said flood water would repeatedly enter the area. Not suitable for rail lines. Then they changed their minds. In fact, that meme's observation was correct. Almost every year, water enters the area and floods occur.

Although there is no such environment at present, the area of ​​the two pilgrimage places is not yet full of locals. There is no communal division in this area which has been famous since ancient times. The two pilgrimages still survive under the direction that the followers of the Brahma Durga rituals will never create communal divisions. And the memory of the time-honored journalist and Tantric saint Kangal Harinath Majumdar is also invisible to all.
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