03 November 2018
Bhubaneswar: While society would like to believe that one’s education should be completed in their mid-twenties, ex-legislator Narayan Sahu will force them to change their views. Breaking all shackles, this 80-year-old has registered himself for PhD in the State’s renowned Utkal University.
Former MP and MLA Sahu, has enrolled himself for obtaining a Doctorate in Philosophy after toiling in research of ‘Srimad Bhagabat by Jagannath Das’ for two years. To gain a complete college experience, Sahu has also moved in to the scruffy hostel rooms, consisting of one bed and a table, that are unlike the quarters he might have been accustomed to during his tenure as a Parliamentarian.
An Economics Graduate in 1963 from the historic Ravenshaw College, this Congress leader was elected as a MLA from Pallahara in 1971 and as an MP from Deogarh in 1974. In an interview, Sahu revealed that Biju Patnaik was one of his first friends in politics. He also shared that his decision to leave politics was because of increasing corruption and lack of strong ideology.
However, those were not the reasons behind his decision to pursue further education. After his wife’s death in 2009, his Dhenkanal house felt empty and to fill the void, he enrolled for a post-graduate course in Utkal University.
He followed that with a Masters in Philosophy and then quietly enrolled for PhD in the same temple of learning.
According to a report in a leading daily, Sahu is accommodated in Room 24 of Hostel 5 and has put up photos of his late wife, daughter and early political days. The seasoned politician has had no problem in blending with the students and has no complaints about his new life. While many of his classmates prefer logging on to social media for relaxing after a tiring day, Sahu turns on his radio instead and visits the library to read a book or two.
Sahu's grand daughter Upasana Mohapatra, an aspiring political leader, shared her grandfather's achievements on her Facebook timeline and thanked him for constantly inspiring her and being a trend-setter.
"Praises from the 80-year-old student of Utkal University! Such an honour! Thank you Ajja. Former MLA and MP, Shri Narayan Sahu, now a resident of Vani Vihar hostel and a student regardless of his age. Indeed, it’s never too late to learn! Proud of your spirit and dedication," she wrote.
In the age of tech-savvy generation, Sahu’s presence in the University has brought a visible change in the classes. The octogenarian has charmed both students and professors alike with his humility and courteousness.