New Delhi-based Biraja Mahapatra is a lawyer by profession. Born on June 2, 1966, in Sarangadharpur village in Odisha’s Nayagarh district, Mahapatra started his career as a journalist in 1987 with Sambad and Sun Times published from Bhubaneswar after completing his Masters degree in history from Utkal University.
He acquired a degree in law from the Utkal University Law College, Bhubaneswar, in 1991. After obtaining a diploma in mass communication from the Dhenkanal campus of the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) in 1994, he moved to Delhi and worked with Press Trust of India (PTI) as a journalist. He quit as its principal legal correspondent in 2001 to practice law.
In 2006, he founded civil society organization Build India Group for promoting citizenry consciousness and environment awareness among students and youth across the country.
Associated with various magazines and journals, Mahapatra penned Odia short poems collection Dinalipi ra Gitalipi in 2001, My Call in 2008, which offered a foundation to the mission of the Build India Group, and Odia non-fiction Aatanka ku Uttara in 2012, giving a call to reject violence in any form.
His idea of eliciting a written commitment to be good citizens from students in their mother tongue on the third Saturday of January every year took the shape of a Pledge Festival with nationalism as the theme. After witnessing the popularity of this festival in educational institutions across the country, he had suggested the government to declare November 26 as Citizens’ Day.
The present work is about his dream offering a quaint, hypnotic description of Citizens’ Day as if that has already happened.