Born into Ghiakhala in the famous Khandlkot area of Khorda, Odisha, Parliamentarian Poet Prasanna Patsani has come a long way. Khandlkot, birthplace of the famous Annapurna theater which made a strong statement in Odisha’s famous age-old drama tradition made an early impact on Dr. Patsani. Born into Kaviraj and the village Sarpanch, Aniruddha Patsani, who witnessed seven of his children die, was apprehensive of the life of Dr. Patsani and sold him to a washerwoman “Heera” who influenced Dr. Patsani’s early life. While his parents wanted Dr. Patsani to be a doctor, Patsani developed a feeling towards writing, acting, and dancing to which his parents did not approve. But soon Dr. Patsani became rebellious against the system, the system which oppressed the majority of its own people. Educated at Balugaon High School and Godavarisha Maha Vidyalaya, Dr. Patsani was president of the college union for three consecutive terms and started fighting against corrupt practices, propagating social reform. In the college he was editing one magazine called “Bela.”
“Commitment is the key to success. Something committed if abided with sincerity, and dedication bears results. A busy person always finds time whereas a lazy person struggles,” explains Dr. Prasanna Patsani. Always in a hurry, Dr.Patsani has visited more than 110 countries. He moves with crimson robes and wields a “Blessed Wand.” Dr. Patsani has published 60 books ranging from poetry to philosophy in Odia, Hindi, and English and has written around more than 100 articles. He has been a visiting professor to many universities in India and abroad and has delivered talks in numerous universities and colleges worldwide on different subjects ranging from art and culture to philosophy, history, language and spiritualism.
Dr. Patsani asserts that he has been influenced greatly by the beautiful lake Chilka, where more than four hundred different kinds of birds come every winter. His early life until college was carefree and simple, and Dr. Patsani enjoyed it to the hilt. But soon life changed its course.
During that time, eminent poets who propagated revolutionary messages like Jwalamukhi, Nikhileswar, and Shesananda Raju touched millions of hearts. Dr. Patsani’s poetry had nothing to do with Naxalism, he was writing out of poetic justice for the millions suffering in India. But the Government of Odhisa misunderstood, and slapped him with 12 years of imprisonment, and thus his journey as a wanderer started. Beginning this difficult period in his life in the Odisha West Bengal border, he reached Delhi with the help of a poet from West Bengal and marched to Hardwar and Rishukesh on foot. There he met Maharashi Mahesh Yogi who taught him Patanjali Yoga and for a brief period he stayed in Kathmandu and then went to Switzerland.
After the warrant was lifted in 1975, he came back to India and in 1978 joined politics. Since 1980 he has been winning election after election, serving people first as an MLA and then a minister in the Odisha cabinet, and now as a parliamentarian from the prestigious Bhubaneswar constituency. Dr. Patsani has traveled widely throughout the world and within India has traveled around 2,70,000 km by road. Easily accessible to everybody, Dr. Patsani is the author of sixty books and has developed a new style in Odia poetry. He has been so influential that around ten scholars have done Ph.D.s on his work from different universities in and outside of India. With life’s myriad hues, Dr. Patsani’s romance with poetry is on and going stronger as time passes.
He likes to gorge himself on home cooked food and spend time with his family. Dr. Patsani symbolizes an era where time stands still. He explains the most difficult political situation with an easy little smile and laugh. This is perhaps his biggest message to the new age politicians who tread this difficult path of governing the biggest the most difficult functioning democracy of the world.
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