Awarded by the house of Anandabazar, this prestigious annual literary award felicitates the best in contemporary writing. Its beginnings can be traced to a comment made by Annada Shankar Ray in 1957, where he rued the absence of an award felicitating literature. Those present when he voiced his concerns included Asoke Kumar Sarkar and Tushar Kanti Ghosh, who were spurred into action. Four annual awards for the best in literature were immediately instituted. Anandabazar Patrika, Hindusthan Standard and Desh jointly awarded two of the awards while the other two were instituted by Amritabazar Patrika in association with Yugantar.
On April 20, 1958, seven poets and writers were felicitated, in an event marking the beginning of a new era in Bengali literature. Anandabazar Patrika and Desh jointly gave away two awards called ‘Ananda Purashkar’ in memory of Prafulla Kumar Sarkar and Suresh Chandra Majumdar, the founders of Anandabazar Patrika. Bibhuti Bhushan Mukhopadhyay and Samaresh Basu were the first awardees.
In 1960, Pramathanath Bishi, the author of Keri Saheber Munshi was bestowed the ‘Prafulla Kumar Sarkar’ award.
Celebrating the birth centenary of Rabindranath Tagore in 1962, Pulin Behari Sen was awarded the ‘Saralabala Sarkar Smriti Purashkar’.
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