Best known as Lok Kabi Ratna. Haldhar Nag is a Sambalpuri language poet and writer from Odisha, India. Nag was born in a poor family of Ghens in Bargarh district of Odisha on March 31, 1950. He lost his father at the age of ten. He had formal schooling up to third standard only as he had to dropout from school after class three due to his family responsibilities at that tender age. The BBC made a documentary film about his life and works. He has barely attended school, but five scholars have based their PhD reserarch on this writer and poet from western Odisha. Kavyanjali, an anthology of English translation of Nag’s selected poetry has been launched on 2nd October 2016.
Some revere Nag as a messiah, with lakhs of followers in Odisha and Chattishgarh, who congregate in large number to listen to his Kosali poetry when he gives readings. Initially writing Kosli folk stories, in the 1990s he started writing poems in the Kosali language. Hundreds of poets imitate his style and technique boosting a robust “Haldhar Dhara” in Western Odisha.
He has been at the forefront of the Sambalpuri-Koshli language movement for inclusion in 8th schedule of Constitution. He was awarded Padma Shri , the fourth highest civilian award of India by Government of India in 2016.