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Bose, Manomohan (1831-1912) nationalist poet, playwright and journalist, was born in Nishchintapur in jessore. His father, Dev Narayan Bose, a postal contractor, died when Manomohan was still a child. After early schooling at a Sanskrit school in Jessore, Manomohan went to Hare School, Calcutta and then General Assembly's Institution (now Scottish Church College). He was a very talented student and, encouraged by ishwar chandra gupta, started to write. Initially, his writings appeared in Ishwar Chandra Gupta's sangbad prabhakar and akshay kumar datta's tattvabodhini. Later, his writings appeared in Sangbad Bibhakar (1852) and Madhyastha (1872), both edited by himself.

Manomohan's main contribution was to drama. At this time most plays were in the category of indecent jatra and panchali. Manomohan filled the vacuum in drama by writing plays on ancient mythological themes. His plays drew upon the traditional old jatra, panchali and kathakatha (reciting legends and myths) as well as modern stage techniques. As a consequence his plays were highly popular. Another reason for the popularity of his plays was their reflection of the newly emergent nationalism. His most applauded play was Sati (1873). His other well-known plays are Ramabhisek (1867), Pranayapariksa (1869), Harishchandra (1875), Parthaparajay (1881), Raslila (1889) and Anandamay. Manomohan Bose's plays influenced several writers including girish chandra ghosh, who emulated Manomohan in writing his own plays. Manomohan's other works include Hindur Achar-byabahar (1873), Baktrtamala (1873) and Dulin (historical novel, 1891). Manomohan Gitabali is a collection of his songs.

Manomohan Bose was an active supporter of the hindu mela. He was also associated with the national theatre, where most of his plays were staged. He was for some time a member of the vangiya sahitya parishad and also served as vice-president (1896) of its executive committee.

[Sambaru Chandra Mohanta]

 

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